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A dozen years ago, Colony Capital founder Thomas Barrack found himself stranded on a luxury yacht off the Turkish coast, with no Internet and no television. Nothing to do, in fact, but soak in the gorgeous sunset. Well, actually, there was one other thing to do: Left on the ebony coffee table of the main cabin there was, incongruously enough, a copy of the best-selling Mormon vampire Y.A. novel and phenom “Twilight.”

Now, as Barrack was at pains to make clear in retelling this tale, he is a “macho, red-blooded man”: a denizen of the weight room, a surfer, a polo player, every inch the virile heterosexual male. He did not welcome the sight of “this piece of chick lit, teeny bopper heartthrob stuff,” nor the realization that it was the only thing with which he could fill his time (other than, you know, the gorgeous setting, other amenities of the yacht lifestyle or, heaven forbid, his own thoughts). But, you know, he was bored, so he read the thing—AND LOVED EVERY PAGE.

The lesson Barrack learned, one that had eluded him through 63 years, multiple marriages (obviously) and a long friendship with Jeffrey Epstein (to say nothing of the history of business dealings with other sex criminals), was that “the ‘anticipation’ was much more romantic and sexy than the ‘consummation’ to the woman. Slow, patient caring, tender…. (guys have you heard those words before?)” Oh, and also this: “It is time for all of us to… understand foreign points of view.” It is, alas, a metaphorical lesson Barrack took all too literally, according to federal prosecutors.

Starting in 2016 Mr. Barrack provided U.A.E. officials with nonpublic information about foreign policy positions and decisions of the Trump campaign, prosecutors allege. He is also accused of pushing the Trump administration to make government appointments that Emirati officials favored. In media appearances, Mr. Barrack also made pro-U.A.E. comments that his Emirati contacts helped prepare, according to prosecutors.

He had that access to Emirati officials because they’d entrusted some $375 million in sovereign-wealth fund money to Colony. And, of course, he had access to the Trump administration because he was an adviser to his old friend on Middle East issues, and was also allegedly busy breaking other laws as chair of Trump’s inaugural committee. And he has a very Trumpian retort—one that could practically be lifted from the former president’s own responses to the revelation he squirreled away all sorts of highly sensitive documents in a Mar-a-Lago broom closet.

Mr. Barrack disclosed his interactions with the Emiratis to the U.S. State Department, Mr. Trump and Mr. Trump’s closest allies, the lawyers said.

Yea, that’s the same as registering as a foreign agent, and definitely makes up for allegedly lying to the F.B.I. when questioned about it all. Luckily, another bit of wisdom imparted by the “genius” Stephanie Meyer to Barrack on that boat may help. “I feel renewed and refreshed, having gotten out of my comfort zone and experiencing something totally out of my normal realm…. Break through the comfort barriers, you can handle it whatever it is.” Even if “it” is a decade in prison.

Trump Associate Heads to Trial Over Alleged Illegal Foreign Lobbying [WSJ]

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