Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig Indicted for Alleged False Statements

First Democrat Likely to Be Indicted From Mueller Probe

First Democrat Likely to Be Indicted From Mueller Probe

Greg Craig, former White House counsel during Bill Clinton's impeachment and under Barack Obama, was indicted on Thursday on charges of false statements in connection to his work with Ukraine, revealed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation.

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

Mr. Craig's attorneys called the possible indictment "a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion". He also led President Bill Clinton's White House legal team during his impeachment proceedings and defended Clinton during his Senate trial. In private practice, his clients have included former North Carolina Sen. He has also worked for the Washington-based law firm Williams & Connolly.

Craig was charged in a two-count indictment that accuses him of willfully concealing material facts about work he and his former law firm performed for the Ukrainian government. According to the Justice Department, Craig worked with Manafort to obtain the contract to create the Tymoshenko report.

The report was used by Yanukovych's government to justify Tymoshenko's pretrial detention to the European Court of Human Rights and influence US lawmakers.

When he was employed with the firm in 2012, it was contracted to draft a report on the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Manafort said the report, which was criticized as promoting the interests of Yanukovych's government, was meant to strengthen the Ukrainian leader's ties to Western countries.

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Craig wanted to avoid registering as a foreign agent in order to protect his ability to work in the U.S. government in the future, according to the indictment, and so Skadden could avoid disclosing the $4m it was secretly receiving for its work from a wealthy Yanukovych backer.

Craig allegedly made false statements to investigators looking into whether he appropriately registered foreign agent under FARA, which requires lobbyists to declare publicly if they represent foreign leaders, governments or their political parties. The firm agreed with this finding in the settlement earlier this year.

After the FARA unit then concluded that the firm needed to register as an agent of Ukraine, Craig and other Skadden attorneys met with members of the FARA unit in October 2013, and Craig "made false and misleading statements", particularly that "his media contacts were exclusively reactive and for the objective of correcting misinformation".

In their statement Wednesday, Craig's attorneys said his work came "as an independent expert on the rule of law, not as an advocate for the client" and that he had refused requests to participate in Ukraine's lobbying.

The federal investigation began as an offshoot of the Mueller probe that was later handed off to Manhattan federal prosecutors.

Update: This article was updated after the Department of Justice announced it had indicted Craig.

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