Friday, 19 April, 2019

Ex-Obama lawyer charged with lying to prosecutors

A former White House Counsel under President Barack Obama Greg Craig leaves the U.S. District Court in Washington U.S Greg Craig pleads not guilty, released on personal recognizance
Deanna Wagner | 14 April, 2019, 21:29

Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in NY previous year, after uncovering alleged misconduct while investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's unregistered lobbying work on behalf of Ukraine.

The case against Gregory Craig, 74, arose from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A spokesman for the US attorney's office declined to comment.

At the time he did the work, Craig no longer worked for the Obama administration and instead was a corporate lawyer at a prestigious law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

"The government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion", the attorneys said in a statement to United States media.

Three dead after planes collide near Mt Everest
At least four persons including Manang Air Pilot CB Gurung have been also been injured in the crash, the report added. The airfield is notorious for its short runway and perilous approach, sitting at an elevation of over 2,800 meters.

Craig's attorneys on Wednesday night told The Associated Press in a statement that the "government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion".

In April 2018 a Dutch lawyer working for Skadden, Alex van der Zwaan, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $20,000 fine after pleading guilty to lying to the Mueller investigation relating to his work for Ukraine together with Manafort and Manafort's partner Rick Gates. John Edwards and James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was charged in a leaks investigation.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich hired Craig's firm to provide a report justifying his imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a political rival. Manafort supposedly planned on using this report to boost Yanukovych's worldwide reputation. "Without that, it does raise questions over whether the prosecution is political or not".

Weber disclosed his work for a Ukrainian think tank, but he did not register as a foreign agent for the government of Ukraine under a the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which would have required him to spell out his activity in detail, according to a Reuters review of lobbying records. 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. They acknowledged that Craig spoke to reporters about the report but denied it was part of a public relations campaign that would run afoul of FARA. The firm then wrote a letter to the department's FARA unit containing Craig's false and misleading statements, which ultimately allowed for him and the firm to avoid registering, the indictment said. Mueller had referred the case to the Southern District of NY, but that office has not brought these charges.