FILE PHOTO: A former White House Counsel under President Barack Obama Greg Craig leaves the U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed one of two counts in an indictment against Greg Craig, a lawyer in former President Barack Obama’s administration, who was charged with lying about work he performed in 2012 for Ukraine.
In a court filing U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed one count alleging that Craig had made false statements in an October 2013 letter to the government in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Jackson denied Craig’s motion to dismiss the other count, which alleges that he had knowingly engaged in a scheme to mislead the Justice Department’s FARA unit in order to avoid registering as a foreign agent and making related disclosures.
Craig was indicted in April in a case that grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. His lawyers filed motions to dismiss both counts against him.
Craig has been accused of lying to the FARA unit about his work on a legal review in 2012 that largely vindicated the prosecution of a political enemy of Viktor Yanukovich, the Russian-aligned president of Ukraine at the time.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the New York law firm that produced the report, agreed in January to turn over the $4.6 million it was paid and retroactively register as a foreign agent, as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.
Skadden had produced the 187-page report at the behest of Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign who is currently serving a 7-1/2-year prison sentence for lobbying violations and financial crimes.
Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Susan Thomas and Leslie Adler