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Former Obama White House counsel set to stand trial

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/20/2019 Daniel Jativa
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Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig is set to go on trial in August after he was charged with lying to the Justice Department about his ties to the Ukrainian government.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia set an Aug. 12 trial date on Friday. The investigation by federal authorities into Craig was one of the 14 referrals that stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations of the Trump campaign colluding with agents of the Russian government.

Craig, 74, is charged with failing to register as an agent on behalf of Ukraine after he spent years as a lobbyist defending Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s jailing of a political opponent. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, calling the prosecution "unprecedented and unjustified."

The former White House counsel came up during Mueller's investigation because of the work that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was doing in Ukraine at the same time as Craig. According to federal officials, Manafort took part in financially backing a report written by Craig in Yanukovych's defense in 2012.

Craig’s then-law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, entered into a $4.6 million settlement with the Justice Department in January over its work in Ukraine. The settlement blamed Craig for providing the Justice Department misleading information.

Craig was White House counsel in 2009-2010 and worked as a senior legal adviser to President Bill Clinton during his impeachment investigation.

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