Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ex-Obama WH counsel charged with lying in lobbying probe

Ex-Obama WH counsel charged with lying in lobbying probe

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.

Craig maintains that he never concealed information or misled the Justice Department, and he is confident he'll beat the charges.

In addition to serving under Obama, Craig was White House special counsel to President Bill Clinton during his Senate impeachment trial and helped defend John Hinckley after he shot President Ronald Reagan.

The case against Gregory Craig, 74, arose from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. U.S. Attorney General William Barr is expected to release a redacted version of Mueller's findings next week. At issue were Craig's 2012 lobbying and media contacts on behalf of Yanukovych, while Craig was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

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As reported by Law.com, Craig's arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon, and his case has been assigned to Judge Amy Berman Jackson who has handled several cases stemming from the Mueller investigation.

The indictment alleges that despite knowing federal requirements, Mr Craig did not want to register as a lobbyist for Ukraine "because he believed doing so could prevent him or others at the Law Firm from taking positions in the federal government in the future".

He pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act for lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party. In private practice, his clients have included former North Carolina Sen.

Weber disclosed his work for a Ukrainian think tank, but he did not register as a foreign agent for the government of Ukraine under a the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which would have required him to spell out his activity in detail, according to a Reuters review of lobbying records.

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The document sought to legitimize the prosecution of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"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", his lawyers wrote. Tymoshenko was a political opponent of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was a longtime Manafort patron.

Skadden reached a settlement with the Justice Department in January in which it agreed it should have registered as a foreign agent and paid a fine in lieu of prosecution. He has denied any wrongdoing, the U.S. media reported. The law, enacted in 1938 to unmask Nazi propaganda in the United States, requires people to disclose to the Justice Department when they advocate, lobby or perform public relations work in the USA on behalf of a foreign government or political entity.

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