Judge dismisses one of two charges against former Obama White House counsel

Judge dismisses one of two charges against former Obama White House counsel
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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed one of two charges against former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, who was indicted earlier this year on charges that he made false statements to investigators and concealed information about his work for Ukrainian officials.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, dismissed the charge against Craig for making a false statement to the Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit, according to a court filing in Washington, D.C.

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She wrote that there is ambiguity surrounding whether the federal statute can be applied to the document Craig submitted in October 2013 that allegedly contained materially false information. Craig served in the White House from 2009-2010.

The remaining charge alleges that Craig engaged in a scheme to conceal his work that began in 2012 for the Ukrainian government under now-former President Viktor Yanukovych. Craig's attorneys unsuccessfully requested the charge be dismissed.

Craig's trial is scheduled to begin Monday. He has pleaded not guilty.

The former Obama administration official was indicted in April for allegedly making false statements to investigators and withholding information about work related to Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter He who must not be named: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper Schiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment MORE’s lobbying in 2012 on behalf of pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

That same year, Manafort hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where Craig worked at the time, to draft a report about defending the Ukrainian government’s imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko was a political opponent of Manafort’s client, Yanukovych.

Manafort went on to become Trump's campaign chairman in 2016. He was later convicted on various criminal charges.

Craig left Skadden Arps in 2018, and earlier this year the firm agreed to register as a foreign agent as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.

Craig was reportedly investigated by now-former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE before his case was referred to the Southern District of New York and then back to federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C. He was the first known major Democratic figure to be charged in one of the probes stemming from Mueller’s investigation.