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Former Obama lawyer tied to Manafort indicted for Ukraine lobbying violations

Former Barack Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig has been indicted for lying to investigators over his lobbying work in Ukraine in partnership with former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Craig became chief White House counsel at the start of President Obama’s first term, but left in 2010 to work as a lobbyist. According to Thursday’s indictment, Craig made false statements to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) unit, regarding lobbying work he did for the Ukrainian government against former PM Yulia Tymoshenko in 2012.

Craig was at one time reportedly investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ probe, before his case was passed on to the Southern District of New York and then prosecutors in Washington.

That leaves open the question why both Mueller and the SDNY opted not to charge Craig, especially considering Mueller went after Manafort for similar lobbying violations – rather than anything connected to the 2016 presidential campaign – while the SDNY charged him with mortgage fraud. Manafort is now serving more than seven years in prison resulting from two trials that came out of the Mueller probe. He has not yet been tried for the offenses alleged by the SDNY.

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