Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ex-Obama counsel expects charges in Mueller-related probe

Ex-Obama counsel expects charges in Mueller-related probe

It was a client relationship the Justice Department has said was forged with the assistance of Paul Manafort, who later became Trump's campaign chairman.

"Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge", Craig's attorneys said in their statement. The indictment could land as soon as Thursday, according to the Journal.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Craig's attorneys were expecting him to be indicted "in the coming days" and that the charges would be related to information uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team during the course of their investigation.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the NY law firm that produced the report, settled with the Justice Department in January by promising to retroactively register as a foreign agent for Ukraine and agreeing to disgorge the $4.6 million it was paid for the work.

When working for Yanukovych, Craig was a partner in law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. "We expect an indictment by the DC U.S. Attorney's Office at the request of the National Security Division".

Craig refused to accept a plea deal offered to him.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Wednesday night.

Alex van der Zwaan, a former London-based attorney for Skadden, "reported to a low-security Federal Bureau of Prisons facility near Allenwood, Pennsylvania, on Monday to serve the 30-day sentence he received for lying to investigators in the course of Mueller's investigation", Politico reported. They said federal prosecutors in NY had declined charges, but they expected an indictment to be brought by the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington at the request of the Justice Department's national security division.

Craig is a prominent Washington attorney and was the first White House counsel to former President Barack Obama.

In its settlement earlier this year, Skadden acknowledged it participated in a public relations campaign for the report and should have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, because of it.

Craig has been accused of lying to the Justice Department about his promotion of a 2012 report aimed at justifying the prosecution of a political enemy of Viktor Yanukovych, the Russian-aligned president of Ukraine at the time. But according to the settlement, a senior partner matching Craig's description made several "false and misleading" statements to the government, allowing the firm to avoid registration.

After examining Craig's case, federal prosecutors in NY concluded they had insufficient evidence to bring charges against him, CNN has reported. He also worked at the State Department and as special counsel to the president in the 1990s under former President Bill Clinton.

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