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© Reuters. Thomas Barrack, a billionaire friend of Donald Trump who chaired the former President’s inaugural fund, arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., July 26, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Hofstetter

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NEW YORK (Reuters) -Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire ally Thomas Barrack pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates on Monday, putting the case on course for trial.

The plea was entered in federal court in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara accepted Barrack’s plea on seven counts, including secretly lobbying the Trump administration for the UAE between 2016 and 2018. Barrack, 74, also pleaded not guilty to lying to investigators about his dealings with the Middle Eastern country.

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