Former Obama White House counsel indicted

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Former Obama White House counsel indicted

Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig was indicted Thursday on two counts of making false statements about work for clients in Ukraine in a case stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

While Craig was not charged with failing to register under the law, the indictment accuses him of lying to, and withholding information from, the Justice Department officials who oversee FARA in order to avoid registration.

Craig is the first Democrat to be indicted in connection to the Mueller investigation.

Craig, 74, is accused of lying to the Justice Department about his promotion of a 2012 report aimed at justifying the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister and a political enemy of Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-friendly president of the country at the time.

Craig resigned from Skadden in April 2018 amid a building investigation into whether the firm's lawyers registered as foreign lobbyists for their engagement on behalf of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. "I think we don't have to with this assignment, yes?"

In its settlement, Skadden said the firm had relied on "false and misleading oral and written statements" made by Craig, the Post reported sources close to the case as saying.

In this October 17, 2016, photo, attorney Gregory Craig arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington.

Greg Craig, the former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, was

If convicted, Craig could face up to ten years in prison.

The crackdown on those who work on behalf of foreign governments without giving the USA government proper notice has ramped up recently.

Craig allegedly expressed concern multiple times - including to Manafort - that information about his work would become public.

Obama had hired Craig when he was elected.

Prior to his work for Kiev and the Obama White House, Craig served as special counsel to Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and directed the team defending Clinton against impeachment. The federal scrutiny on Craig reportedly derives from the government's investigation into Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty to charges related to his lobbying for Ukraine. Craig - while on the payroll of the Yanukovych government - found that the Yanukovych government's prosecution of its opponent met worldwide standards, in a report that was widely dismissed as a whitewash.

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

They said Craig "did not lie to his former firm or the government" and said his contact with The Times was meant to ensure that the newspaper accurately summarized the way the report criticized Tymoshenko's trial.

Prosecutors say Mr. Craig failed to register as a lobbyist because he feared it would be revealed that a "private wealthy" Ukrainian paid $4 million for the supposedly independent report, thus damaging its credibility.

Craig delivered a copy of the Tymoshenko report by hand to the reporter's home, according to the indictment, and spoke with a Moscow-based reporter for the paper, which has separately been identified as The New York Times. The Skadden report had concluded the conviction was supported by the evidence, though the official who was tried was denied counsel at critical stages of her trial. The report was also presented to US government officials, raising questions if it constituted lobbying.

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