Former Obama aide expected to be charged soon

Pablo Martinez Monsivais  Associated Press		Attorney Gregory Craig arrived at US District Court in Washington on Oct. 17 2016

Pablo Martinez Monsivais Associated Press Attorney Gregory Craig arrived at US District Court in Washington on Oct. 17 2016

Lawyers for Gregory B. Craig, a White House counsel in the Obama administration, expect him to be indicted in the coming days on charges related to his work for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine.

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

Craig becomes the second former Skadden lawyer who worked on the report to face charges. "Prosecutors have been investigating whether Craig issued false statements to the Justice Department in 2013 as officials made inquiries to the firm about whether its work required public registration, people familiar with the case said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the ongoing probe".

Craig is a prominent Washington attorney and was the first White House counsel to former President Barack Obama.

Last year, Mueller's team prosecuted Manafort, who admitted that he hadn't properly registered as a foreign lobbyist while working as a political consultant for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose 2010 campaign Manafort helped advise. In January Skadden paida fine amounting $4,6 million within the deal with the U.S. General Prosecutor's Office to prevent criminal persecution for violation of the law on registration of foreign agents. It is also notable because while most of the cases charged as a result of Mueller's investigation concerned Republicans connected to President Donald Trump, Craig is a Democrat.

Craig's attorneys have called the expected charges a "misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion", The Hill said, citing the Post.

Craig's firm was hired in 2012 by Yanukovych's Justice Ministry to conduct a review of the prosecution of one of Yanukovych's leading political rivals, Yulia Tymoshenko. 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.

Skadden did not report that work as it should have under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires disclosures by people and entities in the USA working on behalf of overseas entities.

The firm produced a report on Tymoshenko's trial and Craig followed by promoting it to several journalists, including someone from The New York Times.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the NY law firm that produced the report, settled with the Justice Department in January by promising to retroactively register as a foreign agent for Ukraine and agreeing to disgorge the $4.6 million it was paid for the work. Van der Zwaan's case was brought by Mueller.

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