Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller smiles as he speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, during his farewell ceremony. Mueller is stepping down in September after 12 years heading the agency. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

This is some of the hard core chickensh** we’ve come to expect of the Mueller investigation:

A former associate of Paul Manafort, Sam Patten, was charged Friday with failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent for his work lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office referred the case to the U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, according William Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu.

From 2014 until now, Patten worked with a Russian national on lobbying and political consulting services, including on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch and a Ukrainian political party, according to a document filed by the U.S. in federal court in Washington.

As part of his lobbying work, he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the U.S. said. The charge is a felony and carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, Miller said. Because it’s a pending case, the U.S. Attorney declined to comment further.

To me these are the key takeaways from this.

This is a petty and vindictive act by a prosecutor who is trying to inflict maximum pain and suffering on anyone he can and to collect scalps so he can claim he did a great job. Historically, FARA violations have been handled as civil violations.
There are no financial crimes alleged in the indictment.
The case is being handed off because has nothing to do with anything.
Tony Podesta, Greg Craig and Vin Weber are known to have lobbied for Ukraine without registering under FARA, their cases were also referred for prosecution, and crickets. The difference is that Patten has the misfortune to work in Manafort’s firm rather than with a firm connected to powerful Democrats.

Right now I’m at the point where I’d be in favor of Trump simply announcing he was going to pardon everyone indicted by Mueller.

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