Ex-Obama lawyer charged with lying to prosecutors

Greg Craig pleads not guilty, released on personal recognizance

Washington lawyer Gregory B. Craig pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he lied to Justice Department officials who were examining whether he needed to register as a foreign lobbyist for work he and his law firm did on behalf of the Ukrainian government. In private practice, his clients have included former North Carolina Sen. Trump and his allies have seized on the fact that the special counsel investigation has led to an indictment against a figure closely tied to both Obama and the Clintons. Tymoshenko was a political opponent of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was a longtime Manafort patron.

Craig, 74, entered the plea in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The work that drew the Justice Department's attention occurred in 2012, when Craig and Skadden were hired by the Ukrainian government to write a report on the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister.

Patten, 47, pleaded guilty in August to communicating with USA lawmakers and news media organizations on behalf of a Russia-aligned political party in Ukraine called the Opposition Bloc without disclosing that work to the Justice Department, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), among other offenses.

The charges reportedly stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The law firm that he is associated with paid a fine of $4.6 million dollars, which was essentially what they got paid for the report. "Craig had no interest in misleading the FARA unit because he had not done anything that required his registration", they said.

Greg Craig was indicted on Thursday for making false claims and withholding information in a federal foreign lobbying inquiry, which coincided in time with Special Counsel Mueller's report.

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The US attorney's office in Washington DC has charged Mr Craig.

"That is, at least according to Craig's lawyers, this case was originally investigated by the Southern District of New York", Miller continued.

Attorneys for Craig called prosecutors' indictment "unfair and misleading" on Thursday.

Before Craig's indictment, the recent charges brought in cases initiated by Mueller had accused people of failing to disclose their lobbying work. That includes a case against Manafort, who was recently sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

In the last few years, the Justice Department has brought several high-profile prosecutions involving FARA.

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