According to the New York Times, lawyers for Gregory Craig, a former counsel to the Obama administration, say they expect him to be indicted over the next few days for his work with the government of Ukraine in 2012.
Craig’s involvement with the Russian-allied Ukrainian government was uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign. The case was then transferred to the Southern District of New York, and then again to Washington.
“This case was thoroughly investigated by the SDNY and that office decided not to pursue charges against Mr. Craig. We expect an indictment by the DC US Attorney’s Office at the request of the National Security Division. Mr. Craig is not guilty of any charge and the government’s stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion,” Craig’s lawyers said.
If he’s charged, Craig will be the first Democrat to be indicted as a result of the Mueller probe. It will also be the first new indictment related to the investigation since it wrapped up last month.
Trump’s allies have repeatedly bragged that the Mueller investigation cleared the president of any charges of collusion with the Russian government, though the summary released by Attorney General William Barr specifically does not clear him of all crimes.
Craig decided to not accept a plea deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sources told the Journal that Craig is likely to be charged with making false statements to the Justice Department.
The former Obama lawyer’s firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was hired by the Ukrainian government in 2012 to look into the corruption trial of a former Ukrainian Prime Minister. Craig then told reporters about the law firm’s findings, which some saw as lobbying for a foreign government without registering as a foreign agent.
In January, the firm settled with the Justice Department for $4.6 million, admitting it misled the department about its work in Ukraine.
Sources tell the Journal that Craig’s defense will likely argue that he was speaking to lawyers in a personal capacity, not in order to benefit his client, Ukraine.