Former Obama White House counsel indicted for illegal lobbying: Report

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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted and later prosecuted on charges of illegal lobbying on behalf of the Ukraine government — but it isn’t just the president’s former allies who’ve found themselves in hot water over their ties to Kyiv.

After his attorneys announced they were expecting indictments to come, a prominent Democrat attorney and former White House counsel under the Obama administration, Gregory Craig, is officially facing federal charges related to lobbying on behalf of the Ukraine government.

Craig was indicted Thursday for “allegedly falsifying and concealing ‘material facts’ and making false statements to the unit responsible for enforcing foreign lobbying laws,” according to Fox News.

Shady dealings

Craig has long been a fixture in Washington’s legal and political circles. He worked in the Bill Clinton administration’s State Department and White House before serving as counsel for Obama.

He later became a partner at a law firm known as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he worked with the Ukrainian Justice Ministry to conduct a review of the “former Ukrainian prime minister’s corruption trial,” according to The Hill.

Craig’s review was ultimately viewed as a whitewash, but Craig and his partners maintained that they’d committed no wrongdoing when faced with questions from the Justice Department in 2013.

But the firm changed its tune in the midst of Robert Mueller’s investigation in January, when it admitted “to misleading the [U.S.] government about whether it acted as a foreign agent during its Ukraine work, blaming Craig for the misleading information.”

They settled with the Justice Department for $4.6 million, The Hill reported.

Craig resigned from his role at the firm in 2018.

Passing blame

Through his attorneys, Craig has denied any wrongdoing. Prior to his indictment, Craig’s counsel suggested the suspected impending charges are “a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”

“This case was thoroughly investigated by the [Southern District of New York] and that office decided not to pursue charges against Mr. Craig. We expect an indictment by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office at the request of the National Security Division,” Craig’s attorneys told The Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

If convicted, Craig would be the first prominent Democrat taken down by the Mueller investigation.

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