Obama lawyer expects Mueller-related indictment – POLITICO
A former White House counsel for President Barack Obama expects to be indicted as part of an investigation related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election, according to Gregory Craig’s lawyers.
The potential charges against Craig, who served under both Obama and President Bill Clinton, would be over work he did for the Ukrainian government, his lawyers, William W. Taylor, III and William J. Murphy, said in a statement.
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Craig had prepared a report concerning Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s jailing of one of his political opponents, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The report was meant to be used by President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who had been lobbying for Yanukovych at the time, to defend the former president. Craig would be the first current or former Democratic official to be indicted as a result of the Mueller investigation, which ended last month.
Since the special counsel’s investigation, lobbyists have come under increased scrutiny for failing to register as foreign agents, including Manafort.
But Craig’s lawyers disputed that their client’s work qualified as foreign lobbying, saying he served as “an independent expert on the rule of law, not as an advocate for the client.” Still, Craig’s comments to The New York Times in a 2012 story raised questions of whether he was doing unregistered work as a foreign agent, the Times reported.
“Mr. Craig repeatedly refused requests that he participate in Ukraine’s media and lobbying campaign to promote the Tymoshenko Report,” his lawyers wrote. “He spoke to reporters at the New York Times and was quoted on the record when the report was about to be released. He did this not at the direction or on behalf of Ukraine but to make certain that the Times would accurately summarize the report’s criticisms of the Tymoshenko trial.”
Craig’s lawyers also said the matter had been investigated by federal agents in Manhattan — and that they did not pursue charges against him.
“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,” the statement said.
A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment. Reached late Wednesday, a DOJ spokesman declined to comment on the statement from Craig’s lawyers or the status of the probe into his conduct.