Former Obama WH Lawyer Indicted In Mueller Case

Posted April 14, 2019

The Justice Department has said it was Paul Manafort, who later became Trump's campaign manager, who arranged to hire Skadden to work for Ukraine. "Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in NY a year ago after uncovering possible wrongdoing while he investigated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work" adds the author.

"Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge and the government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion", they said.

Prosecutors say Mr. Craig failed to register as a lobbyist because he feared it would be revealed that a "private wealthy" Ukrainian paid $4 million for the supposedly independent report, thus damaging its credibility.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel, conducted a 22-month investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Craig was charged by the Justice Department's Foreign Agents Registration Act unit.

Former White House counsel indicted in Mueller... "I have been clear that we can not run close to the FARA line and if we were seen as hiring and directing [PR firm] we would be doing much more than just lawyering", he allegedly wrote in one May 2012 email.

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His indictment represents a dramatic turn for a member of the country's most elite legal circles.

Prosecutors accuse Craig of lying about his work during this process, citing an email in which he allegedly told Skadden's general counsel that he did not disseminate the report, and that he did not "contact the media".

Craig served as White House counsel during the first year of the Obama presidency. Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, meanwhile worked as a consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's pro-Kremlin president, who was later ousted.

The report was used by Yanukovych to justify Tymoshenko's pretrial detention to the European Court of Human Rights.

After the Times published its story on the report, the Ukrainian government released it. Skadden responded to interview requests from two other US publications.

The crackdown on those who work on behalf of foreign governments without giving the USA government proper notice has ramped up recently.

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He is accused of lying to the Justice Department about his work on a 2012 report.

The indictment alleges that Craig cooked up a scheme to avoid registering as a foreign agent, as required by the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), after he was hired to run interference on behalf of the controversial politically charged prosecution of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenka.

Manafort was apparently happy with Craig's work.

Craig's lawyers challenged claims that he had lied to the government and said that he had not participated in a public relations effort.

Mr Craig's work in the Ukraine happened after his year-long tenure with the Obama administration, while he was a senior partner at the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom law firm. He was sentenced to 30-days in prison.

Craig's indictment also attracted notice because he is the first person who made his name in Democratic Party politics to be charged in a case linked to Mueller's investigation.

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Attorney Greg Craig speaks to reporters on the outcome of the courts' decision regarding Elian Gonzalez, in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2000. It was then transferred back to prosecutors in Washington.