Attorneys for former Obama White House counsel Gregory B. Craig told reporters on Wednesday that the lawyer anticipates he will soon face federal charges for some of the legal work he did for the government of Ukraine in 2012 and for subsequently failing to register as a foreign agent.
The case, initiated during the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, relates to Craig’s time working for the white-shoe D.C. law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. In 2012, Craig was hired by the Justice Ministry of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to review the prosecution of a political rival. According to the Ukrainian government, Skadden was paid $12,000 for the work, but prosecutors reportedly have said that Paul Manafort helped route over $4 million to the law firm via an offshore account.
Last September, the special counsel’s office transferred Craig’s case over to prosecutors in D.C., where Craig’s attorneys expect he will be indicted at the request of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
In 2018, a different Skadden lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his work on a report on Viktor Yanukovych’s rival and served 30 days in prison. Van der Zwaan allegedly handed a copy of the opposition research to Paul Manafort to help him lobby for Yanukovych and later deleted emails linking the two. But van der Zwaan is Dutch, and did not serve in the Obama administration, making the likely indictment of a former White House counsel a major political victory for President Trump and Attorney General William Barr, as the AG prepares a counter-investigation into the formation of the special counsel.