Ex-Obama WH counsel charged with lying in lobbying probe

Staff Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig was indicted Thursday on charges of making false statements and concealing information in a federal foreign lobbying investigation that intersected with the Russia probe.
Craig, 74, was charged in a two-count indictment that accuses him of willfully concealing material facts from the Justice Department about work he performed for the Ukrainian government. The indictment, announced by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, came a day after Craig’s lawyers said he expected to be charged in the probe spun off from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
In a video statement, Craig said the prosecution against him was “unprecedented and unjustified” and that he’s confident a judge and jury would agree.
“I did not participate in a scheme to mislead the government or conceal material facts,” he said.
His attorneys had called the case a “a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion” and said the Justice Department’s national security division pushed to indict Craig despite federal prosecutors in New York declining to bring charges, an assertion that couldn’t immediately be verified. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
Craig’s indictment is part of a Justice Department crackdown on unregistered foreign lobbying and consulting. Federal prosecutors in New York have been investigating two prominent Washington lobbying firms in a similar probe, and Justice Department officials in Washington have been increasingly willing to prosecute people who they believe intentionally conceal their lobbying work from the government.
The scrutiny of Craig stems from an investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his work on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine...To read more, please refer to our print or online edition.

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