Former Obama Official Indicted in Charges Related to Mueller Probe

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Former Obama Official Indicted in Charges Related to Mueller Probe

Two Counts of Making False and Misleading Statements to Investigators

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Greg Craig, a former White House counsel for President Barack Obama's administration was indicted Thursday on two counts of making false and misleading statements to investigators - including Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team - in connection with his work on behalf of Russia-backed former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

From Fox News:

Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Yanukovych and Ukraine's government to write a report to assess whether the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko -- a criminal case that was criticized widely as an abuse of power -- was a "fair trial."

Craig is the first prominent Democrat to be indicted in a case arising from Mueller's now-completed probe into Russian election interference. Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in New York last year after uncovering possible wrongdoing while he investigated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work.

The Washington-based lawyer was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for allegedly falsifying and concealing “material facts” and making false statements both to Mueller and to the DOJ National Security Division's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.

The FARA Unit is responsible for enforcing foreign lobbying laws that require the disclosure of certain overseas activity, including public relations work for foreign entities. At issue were Craig’s 2012 lobbying and media contacts on behalf of Yanukovych, while Craig was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Yanukovych and Ukraine's government to write a report to assess whether the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko -- a criminal case that was criticized widely as an abuse of power -- was a "fair trial."

WIBC host Tony Katz offered perspective Friday morning.

Katz:

"There is no crime in being someone who is good at what you do - lawyer or otherwise - and working for a foreign government. There is an issue - if not a 'crime' - in not reporting that, in not registering as such. The law firm that he is associated with paid a fine of $4.6 million dollars, which was essentially what they got paid for the report.

What Craig and the law firm worked on was a report that made the then Ukrainian Prime Minister look like a REALLY good guy. 

What has got people bothered here is that this is an Obama official indicted and wrapped up in a conversation that they claimed Robert Mueller was the worst person in the world for. And so if you're a progressive, you're saying to yourself, okay, 'It's Greg Craig today; who is it tomorrow?'  You've got Obama administration officials connected to the Russians? Just top line, right? You don't even need anything more in terms of depth. You've got Democrats connected to the Russians? You've got Democrats connected to Ukraine? Just like Paul Manafort? 

It's bad for their visuals for sure."

Click the link below to hear Tony's full commentary.

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