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Ex-Obama Aide Denies Guilt In Ukraine Lobbying Case

President Barack Obama's chief White House counsel, Greg Craig, at the White House in 2009

Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information about work he performed in 2012 for Ukraine in a case that originated in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Craig entered the plea on April 12 in federal court in Washington a day after he was accused of hiding the details of his work for the Ukrainian government from the Justice Department.

The 74-year-old denies the charges and says the prosecution against him is "unprecedented and unjustified."

Craig, 74, is accused of lying to the Justice Department about his promotion of a 2012 report aimed at justifying the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister and a political enemy of Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-friendly president of the country at the time.

The scrutiny of Craig stems from an investigation of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and his work on behalf of Yanukovych's pro-Russia party.

Craig's attorneys have said his work was done in his capacity "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 Manafort's lobbying in Yanukovych's favor.

Craig, a prominent Washington attorney who was the first White House counsel to Obama, faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters