Mr. Barrack also objected to the five counts against him that relate to his communications with law enforcement. In June 2019 — several months after F.B.I. agents served subpoenas on Mr. Barrack’s company and associates — Mr. Barrack sat down with agents for a voluntary interview, during which, prosecutors say, he lied about his contacts and activities involving the Emiratis.
Mr. Barrack’s lawyers said investigators did not record the interview but instead made handwritten notes that obscured Mr. Barrack’s statements.
The indictment describes events that took place between 2016 and 2019. “Why the government waited more than two years, and until after a change in administration, is a question only it can answer,” Mr. Barrack’s lawyers said.
In his final days in office, Mr. Trump issued executive pardons and commutations to dozens of people, including supporters and former aides facing federal indictments and serving sentences for convicted crimes.
The filing adds that the “lengthy delay” has meant Mr. Barrack could not preserve evidence, including records of conversations with Trump administration officials.
“Such communications would disprove the government’s theory that Mr. Barrack acted as a secret agent of the U.A.E. to betray the United States and instead demonstrate his activities were undertaken with the knowledge of the Trump campaign and administration,” the filing says.
His lawyers noted that Mr. Barrack, while seeking an official position with the Trump administration, submitted extensive information to the government about his overseas contacts, and that starting in late 2017 he voluntarily met with investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, during the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The inquiry by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn into Mr. Barrack’s ties with foreign leaders grew out of that investigation. After Mr. Barrack’s June 2019 meeting with the F.B.I., his lawyers said, he heard nothing from the government about the matter until two years later, when, they said, a dozen armed agents burst into a Los Angeles office where Mr. Barrack was attending a business meeting and took him into custody.