Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ex-Obama White House counsel Craig expects charges, lawyers say

Ex-Obama White House counsel Craig expects charges, lawyers say

"This case was thoroughly investigated by the SDNY and that office decided not to pursue charges against Mr. Craig", Craig's legal team said in a statement.

Craig would also be the first prominent Democrat charged in a matter related to the special counsel's work.

The indictment said Craig made false statements and concealed information in relation to Justice Department requirements that he register as a lobbyist for a foreign government with the Foreign Agents Registration Act Unit.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with White House Counsel Gregory Craig in the Oval Office, June 11, 2009.

The Ukrainian government reported Skadden was paid 12,000 US dollars for their services, but prosecutors say Manafort used an offshore account to help route more than 4 million dollars to the firm.

Federal prosecutors in NY have been investigating two prominent Washington lobbying firms in a similar probe, and Justice Department officials in Washington have been increasingly willing to prosecute people who they believe intentionally hide their lobbying work from the federal government.

CNN reported last month that the Justice Department has been exploring a FARA case against Craig for so long that the statute of limitations on the original alleged offense had expired.

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His attorneys on Wednesday night told The Associated Press in a statement that the "government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion".

Skadden relied on those false statements in deciding not to register under FARA as it should have, the settlement says.

The investigation into Craig comes as the Justice Department is cracking down on unregistered foreign lobbying and consulting.

The White House and Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Post further notes that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who helped Yanukovych's 2010 campaign, "eventually admitted that he and other lobbyists used the Skadden report as part of a broad effort to improve Yanukovych's reputation in the West, which had suffered after the widely condemned jailing of Tymoshenko".

The Skadden report examined efforts by the Ukrainian government to prosecute Yulia Tymoshenko, the country's former head of government, who was convicted in 2011 of embezzlement and corruption charges and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Craig becomes the second former Skadden lawyer who worked on the report to face charges. Manafort pleaded guilty to charges relating to his work for Ukraine a year ago. Van der Zwaan's case was brought by Mueller.

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