Business & Lobbying

Lobbyist linked to Manafort released early from probation

Washington lobbyist W. Samuel Patten, who cooperated with investigators in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, has been released from probation two years early.

Patten was sentenced to three years of probation in 2019 for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). He asked to be released this month in light of strains on the system from the coronavirus pandemic, and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., agreed to the request, according to the order filed Tuesday.

Patten pleaded guilty in August 2018 to violating FARA, which requires lobbyists to disclose work for foreign entities. He worked as an unregistered foreign agent for the Ukrainians and was a consultant to Cambridge Analytica.

He cooperated with former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and helped prosecutors build the case against Manafort, who was jailed for crimes uncovered during the investigation, including tax fraud and conspiracy.

Manafort was transferred to home confinement last week due to the threat of the coronavirus in prisons.

Since his sentencing in April 2019, Patten performed 500 hours of community service, paid the imposed fine, participated in alcohol and substance abuse treatment and testing, and underwent mental health treatment, according to his motion for early termination filed earlier this month.

He requested an earlier release "because Mr. Patten has completed all of the terms imposed as part of his probationary sentence, because he has continued to prove that he is a law-abiding citizen ... without any incident or allegations of violating any terms of his supervision, and because his ability to earn a living suffers every additional day that he remains on probation," according to the motion.

Outbrain