Donald Trump Mocks New York Times for Hiding Obama Lawyer Indictment

Leroy Wright
April 13, 2019

The case intersected with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe because former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in the financing of a report Craig authored for the Ukrainian government. The case is part of a foreign lobbying investigation spun off from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

President Donald Trump once again took aim at The New York Times newspaper, criticizing it for only printing on page 16 the story about the indictment of former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig.

In a videotaped statement uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Craig asserted that the report was "independent", and denied helping Ukraine spin the information it contained.

Patten, 47, pleaded guilty in August for acting as an "agent of a foreign principal ... without registering under the Department of Justice's Foreign Agent Registration Act", related to his work on behalf of a Ukrainian political party. The sentencing comes as federal prosecutors in NY continue to investigate foreign donations to the presidential inaugural committee and as the Justice Department has been cracking down on foreign lobbying violations.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she was most troubled by Patten's lies to the committee and likely would have given him a short prison sentence under other circumstances. Jackson imposed a sentence earlier this year that led to Manafort facing about seven years in prison. He will be subjected to 36 months probation, a fine of $5,000, and required to complete 500 hours of community service.

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Mr. Patten, who spoke briefly at the hearing, said he "fully recognized" that he committed serious criminal conduct. In court papers, Patten's attorney, Stuart Sears, said his client wasn't part of a larger scheme to funnel foreign money to the inaugural committee and isn't a Trump supporter.

It was not clear why Mueller - who prosecuted other Trump officials, including Manafort, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos for making false statements - did not handle the Craig case himself, and opted instead to farm it out to prosecutors in NY.

Putting the Manafort-Craig connection aside, it's worth noting that Alex van der Zwaan, another Skadden associate, pled guilty to lying to investigators previous year about the nature of his talks with former Trump aide Rick Gates.

Mr. Patten is a former business partner of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national indicted by Mr. Mueller and accused of having ties to Russian intelligence. Charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington.

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