World News

Ex-Obama WH Counsel Greg Craig Pleads Not Guilty

Ex-Obama WH Counsel Greg Craig Pleads Not Guilty

The charges against Craig, a former Obama White House counsel, arose from the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference with the 2016 USA presidential election.

Patten received no prison sentence because prosecutors said he was very cooperative with the Russian Federation investigation, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as other ongoing investigations.

Craig was charged Thursday for lying to the Justice Department about work he performed for the Ukrainian government and failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Way back in April of previous year when former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig was unceremoniously pulled from the Skadden's website and several hours later it was confirmed he'd "retired" from his role as of counsel at the Biglaw giant, you knew that was only the start of his woes. His next appearance was scheduled for April 15.

Craig, who appeared Friday before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in the District Court in the District of Columbia, was released on his own personal recognizance.

As part of his plea deal, Patten acknowledged accepting $50,000 to secure tickets to President Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017 for a Ukrainian client through a "straw" purchaser, circumventing rules about the inauguration committee accepting money from foreigners.

Prosecutors didn't fully detail Patten's co-operation, nor say whether he has helped as part of the inaugural committee investigation.

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But she credited him for co-operating with the government and for taking responsibility for his actions, something the judge said "doesn't happen every day in this courtroom".

Craig faces up to 10 years in prison in all - up to five years and a possible $250,000 fine for allegedly willfully falsifying and concealing material facts from the FARA Unit and another five years and $10,000 fine for making false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit.

"There are reasons why your sentence is not going to be like his sentence", she told Patten, as she also imposed a $5,000 USA fine and 500 hours of community service.

It was not clear why Mueller - who prosecuted other Trump officials, including Manafort, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos for making false statements - did not handle the Craig case himself, and opted instead to farm it out to prosecutors in NY.

Patten helped with the Manafort investigation and was slated to testify in his case before Manafort pleaded guilty previous year.

The FBI said Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence, an allegation he denies. In Mr. Patten's guilty plea he also admitted to arranging for a USA citizen to act as a straw purchaser to pay US$50,000 for four tickets to the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, who reimbursed Mr. Patten through a Cypriot account.


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