Former Obama White House counsel pleads not guilty in foreign lobbying case


In private practice, his clients have included former North Carolina Sen.

Craig has held a number of high-profile jobs in Washington, including as defense counsel for President Bill Clinton during impeachment proceedings and as counsel in the Obama White House. Tymoshenko was a political opponent of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was a longtime Manafort patron.

In court documents, prosecutors accused Craig of failing to file as a lobbyist for his work in Ukraine in 2012 pursuant to FARA guidelines because "doing so could prevent him ... from taking positions in the federal government in the future", among other reasons.

The document sought to legitimize the prosecution of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

It alleges that Craig misled investigators about lobbying efforts undertaken by his former law firm regarding the firm's work on behalf of former Ukrainian president Victor Yunukovich, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The case is part of a foreign lobbying investigation spun off from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

A spokesperson for Weber and for Mercury declined to comment.

In Patten's guilty plea he also admitted to arranging for a US citizen to act as a straw purchaser to pay $50,000 for four tickets to the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, who reimbursed Patten through a Cypriot account. The firm also acknowledged it had been paid $4.6 million for the report and not just $12,000, as the Ukrainian government had said at the time. As of April, 446 separate entities registered with the Justice Department, up from 387 at the end of 2016.

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. But he did not register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for the government of Ukraine.

"I don't know if the charges brought against Greg Craig are justified or not", Miller said.

On Thursday, his attorneys, William Taylor and William Murphy, called the indictment "unfair and misleading" and said prosecutors ignored exculpatory evidence. Mueller had referred the case to the Southern District of NY, but that office has not brought these charges. That includes a case against Manafort, who was recently sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Patten's case has sparked interest in Washington amid a widening crackdown by the Justice Department on undisclosed lobbying.