Loading...

Former White House Counsel Arrested On Lying about Foreign Lobbying Charge

April 12, 2019 by Tom Ramstack
Attorney Greg Craig, right, leaves U.S. District Court on October 17, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

Former White House counsel Gregory Craig was arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C. on charges that he lied to federal investigators about his role in a foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of the Ukrainian government.

Craig worked for the Washington law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and wrote a report for the Ukrainian government in 2012 on the prosecution of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko was a political opponent of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who had her jailed and prosecuted on financial corruption charges.

Craig’s report was supposed to be an objective analysis, but critics said it whitewashed the political motives behind the prosecution.

The allegations against Craig arose from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was investigating whether Russia influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.

The investigation led first to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was paid millions of dollars by the Ukrainian government for providing lobbying and consulting services.

However, Manafort never registered as a foreign lobbyist, which is required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

He eventually pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to Justice Department investigators about his efforts for the Ukrainians. He is serving a seven-year sentence.

Craig’s report was used by Manafort in his public relations campaign for the Ukrainians. He was trying to help the Ukrainian government respond to Western allegations that Tymoshenko was a political prisoner.

Craig’s law firm reached a settlement in January with the Justice Department in which it acknowledged it should have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The settlement included a $4.6 million payment to the U.S. Treasury, the same amount the firm was paid by the Ukrainian government.

Craig, 74, is represented by lawyers from the firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, which released a statement Thursday saying, “Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge and the government’s stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”

Craig was an Obama administration White House counsel who has represented clients in several high-profile cases. The two-count indictment accuses him of making false statements and concealing material facts. He faces up to five years in prison on each felony count.

He posted a video on YouTube Thursday in which he said he always tried to be honest with federal officials.

“I never discussed the findings of our report with any U.S. officials and certainly did not lobby any U.S. officials on behalf of Ukraine,” he said in the video. “I did not help Ukraine promote its spin when it released our report.”

The 22-page indictment describes a different story indicating Craig and his firm declined to register as foreign agents partly because they were concerned it might interfere with their U.S. federal government contracts.

They also would have needed to disclose the $4.6 million they were paid and the subject of their report about the prosecution of the former Ukrainian prime minister.

“These disclosures, as well as the registration itself, would have undermined the report and Craig’s perceived independence,” the indictment says.

Craig is accused by the Justice Department of reviewing a plan to help the Ukrainians with a New York public relations executive. During their meeting, he allegedly said he would try to promote his report to a reporter with The New York Times.

His contacts with the media would require him to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the indictment says. But in responses to the Justice Department, he never mentioned his media contacts.

The indictment was filed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The case is U.S. v Gregory Craig, case number 1:19-cr-00125-ABJ, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In The News

October 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How Horror Films Help Individuals Cope With Scary Situations

WASHINGTON — A study funded by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society at the School of Communication and... Read More

WASHINGTON — A study funded by the Research Program for Media, Communication, and Society at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University in Denmark reveals how watching horror films may have helped individuals cope and prepare for the psychological distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.... Read More

October 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Can Psychedelic Treatments Help People Quit Smoking?

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a $4 million grant to Johns Hopkins Medicine for a three-year... Read More

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a $4 million grant to Johns Hopkins Medicine for a three-year clinical trial to examine if psilocybin-assisted psychotherapies can help people quit smoking. “Psychedelic treatments ... when properly applied can help people get to the roots of... Read More

Pelosi: In 'Good Shape' on Biden Plan, Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told colleagues Wednesday that Democrats are in "pretty good shape" on President Joe... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told colleagues Wednesday that Democrats are in "pretty good shape" on President Joe Biden's sweeping domestic plan and a related $1 trillion infrastructure bill as they race to wrap up talks ahead of his departure for global summits. Her... Read More

Democrats Unveil Billionaires' Tax as Biden Plan Takes Shape

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing past skeptics, Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a new billionaires' tax proposal, an entirely new entry... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing past skeptics, Senate Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a new billionaires' tax proposal, an entirely new entry in the tax code designed to help pay for President Joe Biden's sweeping domestic policy package and edge his party closer to an overall agreement. The... Read More

October 27, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
Letter Urges Passage of National Paid Leave to Combat Drug Addiction

WASHINGTON — When Khrista Messinger, a 46-year-old who works for the City of Charleston, W.Va., requested time off from work... Read More

WASHINGTON — When Khrista Messinger, a 46-year-old who works for the City of Charleston, W.Va., requested time off from work to seek treatment for her substance abuse addiction she was told by her employer that she needed to use her sick leave and vacation time. “I’ve... Read More

October 27, 2021
by Dan McCue
Minneapolis Voters to Decide Whether to Replace Police Department

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Ballot measures normally don’t get too much attention. But Minneapolis residents next week are poised to vote... Read More

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Ballot measures normally don’t get too much attention. But Minneapolis residents next week are poised to vote for or against perhaps the most high profile ballot measure ever — one that could lead to the city’s police department being transformed into a public... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version