Ex-Obama White House counsel caught in Mueller-probe dragnet

Clay Curtis
April 13, 2019

On the heels of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trials that included charges of lobbying for a foreign country without registering as a foreign agent, the DOJ will likely indict Craig on making false statements to federal agents and possibly other charges.

In a statement Wednesday night, the attorneys said the "government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion".

An indictment against him could come as soon as Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Mr. Craig would become the first person who made his name in Democratic Party politics to be charged in a case linked to the special counsel's investigation", the news agency reports.

Craig's case is one of several that originated in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election and were later referred by Mueller to other us prosecutors for further investigation.

The issue that has been under examination has to do with contact Craig made in late 2012 with several newspaper reporters at the time of the public release of a report he had written for Skadden's client, the Ukranian Ministry of Justice, on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine.

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"Craig resigned from Skadden in April 2018 amid a building investigation into whether the firm's lawyers failed to register as foreign lobbyists for their Ukraine engagement", The Washington Post reported.

In a statement, attorneys William Taylor and William Murphy said they expect Craig, 74, will be indicted by the US attorney's office in Washington at the request of the Justice Department's national security division.

Craig's lawyers did not say why they expect him to be charged.

The apparent lobbying work was done after Craig's tenure as White House counsel, according to the report.

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.

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. 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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