Former Obama Official Begins Trial in Case Connected to Mueller’s Russian Probe

August 13, 2019 Updated: August 13, 2019
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Former President Barack Obama’s White House counsel went to trial on Monday, Aug. 12, accused of lying to and misleading Justice Department officials about his work with President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

Craig was indicted in April on two counts of giving false statements to DOJ officials related to his public relations work in Ukraine. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, threw out one of the counts Craig is facing Aug. 6—he still faces one count.

The case stems from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, which uncovered evidence of alleged wrongdoing by Craig, but referred the material to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for prosecution. He is alleged to have violated a core component of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

FARA requires people who work in public relations on behalf of a foreign entity to disclose that fact. It is illegal to not register or to provide misleading information to the Justice Department’s FARA unit.

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