Put this down for the least shocking thing of the day.
Former Barack Obama general counsel Greg Craig has been found not guilty by a Washington D.C. jury after he was accused of misleading the DOJ about his foreign lobbying activities. Craig was the only Democrat pursued by Robert Mueller, who would eventually hand the case off leading to prosecution.
This via Law.com.
Greg Craig Found Not Guilty Of Deceiving DOJ About Ukraine Work https://t.co/Haj2niTdOB
— Law.com (@lawdotcom) September 4, 2019
The verdict from a jury of nine men and three women came after nearly five hours of deliberations and capped off a three-week trial that gripped the legal community and K Street lobbying groups. The trial served as an early test of the Justice Department’s stepped up enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a decades-old law requiring the disclosure of lobbying, public relations work and other influence efforts for overseas powers. Craig was not charged with failing to register under that law, commonly known as FARA.
Well, K Street can breathe easy. It seems things are back to the status quo now that Trump associates aren’t in the cross hairs. Why didn’t Mueller and the DOJ squeeze him to garner a guilty verdict as he did others, instead going incredibly easy on, not even charging him under FARA? I’ll let you speculate on that yourself.
What Craig did was fairly clear. We know he was working for the Ukrainian government and we know he didn’t register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It’s the exact same thing Paul Manafort was nailed for (although he had other charges on top of the FARA violations). Instead of just admitting it, Craig covered up his role in preparing the report for the Ukrainians, thereby avoiding disclosure of the $4 million paid to his law firm.
The trial reexamined a legal project Craig led for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine in 2012, when he was a prominent partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Craig was retained by the Ukrainian government to conduct a purportedly independent review of the widely criticized prosecution of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a political rival of the country’s president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.
In January, months after Craig retired under a cloud of legal scrutiny, Skadden agreed to pay $4.6 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department resolving claims that the firm failed to register under FARA.
Craig, 74, was accused of concealing the extent of his role in the public release of the Tymoshenko report when the Justice Department inquired about whether he needed to register as a foreign agent. Prosecutors argued that, by avoiding FARA’s disclosure requirements, Craig was able to conceal the fact that the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk had paid Skadden more than $4 million to prepare the Tymoshenko report.
As I said though, none of this is surprising. This is why all the talk of charging Comey or McCabe does nothing to excite me. You will never secure a conviction in Washington D.C. or New York in cases that involve such highly political figures with sympathies on the left. These people are unofficially above the law and they know it. You can expect the same, corrupt lobbying activities to continue. Well, unless you are connected to Donald Trump, then you better watch your back at all times.
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