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Ex-White House Counsel Accused Of Lying About Ukraine Lobbying Work

Greg Craig was a White House counsel to former U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)
Greg Craig was a White House counsel to former U.S. President Barack Obama (file photo)

Greg Craig, a former White House counsel in President Barack Obama's administration, has been indicted on charges of making false statements and concealing information about work he performed in 2012 for Ukraine in a case that originated in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia announced the charges on April 11.

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.

Tymoshenko had been convicted in 2011 on corruption charges and sentenced to seven years in prison.

The report was used by Yanukovych to justify Tymoshenko's pretrial detention to the European Court of Human Rights.

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-Russian 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.

"Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge," they said.

Yanukovych was one of the main lobbying clients of Manafort, who is currently serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence for lobbying violations and financial crimes.

Manafort’s case was the first to be brought by Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and interactions between Russian officials and Trump associates.

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

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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