Document: Greg Craig Indicted on FARA Charges

Former Obama WH counsel Greg Craig indicted in charges connected to Mueller probe

Greg Craig, Onetime Top Democratic Lawyer, Charged In Ukraine Case

In response, a Justice Department official sent Craig a letter in January 2014, indicating that the government agency found the firm had "no present obligation to register under FARA", the Foreign Agents Registration Act. "I think we don't have to with this assignment, yes?" he wrote in a February 2012 email.

The Justice Department later communicated with Craig about whether the members of the firm should have registered as foreign lobbyists, according to The Washington Post, which reviewed the correspondence. "Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in NY previous year after uncovering possible wrongdoing while he investigated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work" adds the author.

If charged, he would be the first prominent Democrat charged as a result of Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Gregory Craig, a former White House counsel to Barack Obama, has been charged with lying to United States authorities about his work alongside Paul Manafort for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Gregory Craig faces federal charges in relation to legal work he did for the Ukrainian government in 2012 after leaving the White House.

If convicted, Craig could face up to ten years in prison. He may be the most well-known white-collar professional to be charged under a lobbying disclosure law that was used heavily by Mueller's team, but he's unlikely to be the last.

He allegedly failed to disclose that he worked on behalf of the Ukrainian government.

Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Ukraine's government to write a report to assess the merits of the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko - which was widely regarded as an abuse of power.

The report was billed as independent, and while critical in some ways of Tymoshenko's trial, critics have said it whitewashed a politically motivated prosecution.

The settlement painted an unflattering picture of Craig's conduct.

"The goal of the scheme was for CRAIG to avoid registration as an agent of Ukraine", the indictment alleges.

The investigation of Craig took an unusually circuitous route.

Skadden, in previous filings, has said it believed its work would be funded largely by Victor Pinchuk, who has denied any involvement. Podesta's company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine's image in the West.

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Craig's indictment had been expected for several weeks, with Craig's own lawyers saying Wednesday they anticipated such an outcome. But it was what came next that caused prosecutors to bring charges, according to the indictment. Manafort shot down the idea.

Craig's indictment is part of a Justice Department crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying and consulting.

Ukrainian officials claimed they only paid $12,000 for the report, but prosecutors said the $4 million ultimately made its way to Skadden through Manafort's illegal offshore accounts.

Prosecutors say Craig lied to both his law firm and government investigators about the extent and nature of his contacts with the media in connection to a report he prepared on Ukraine.

It was transferred to D.C. federal prosecutors in March, who leveled Thursday's charge on Craig.

They said he spoke to reporters at The New York Times about the report to "make certain that the Times would accurately summarize the report's criticisms of the Tymoshenko trial and not rely on misinformation from Ukraine and its representatives". The initial rollout has been very effective and your backgrounding has been key to it all.

Craig responded with praise for a Ukrainian newspaper article.

Two days later, Manafort emailed Craig again with a tally of news coverage. "You are back in the headlines internationally..."

Mueller's investigation turned a spotlight on the Foreign Agent Registration Act, a law that previously had been lightly enforced.

Craig, 74, is the first prominent Democratic figure to be charged as a result of a foreign lobbying investigation spun out of Mueller's investigation.

When the Justice Department determined that Craig should register under the law, the indictment says, Craig resisted the idea. 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 government.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia announced the charges on April 11.

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