By Jack Davis
attorney who served as White House counsel in the Obama administration
is under investigation for his role in dealings linked to the case
against Paul Manafort, according to a report from CNN
, citing sources “familiar with the matter.”
Manafort, who briefly served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, was
the target of an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to defraud the United
States and conspiring to obstruct justice, both having to do with
dealings in Ukraine that took place years before his involvement with
the Trump campaign.
Friday that attorney Greg Craig, who was White House counsel from 2009
to 2010, is under scrutiny over whether he lobbied for Ukrainian leaders
without registering as a foreign agent.
The investigation also touches on the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher & Flom LLP, where Craig was a partner at the time.
Craig’s actions were taken after he left the White House, according to the report.
Connections between Manafort, the firm and Craig were revealed in filings in the Manafort case.
Craig’s attorney William Taylor III said his client did nothing wrong.
“Greg Craig was not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Taylor said in a statement, Law.com reported.
Craig himself would not comment on the investigation.
This is not the first controversial case for Taylor, who represented
Fusion GPS, the firm involved in the production of a dossier of
discredited claims against Trump.
NBC News reported
that Craig was the supervisor of Alex van der Zwaan, a Skadden lawyer
who has pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and about communications
concerning the Ukrainian politician for whom Manafort was also working.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Justice Department have not yet
decided if they will file charges against either Craig or the law firm,
The law firm was paid more than $4.6 million, which Manafort sought to hide, the court filing said.
that the law firm is also facing questions of conflict of interest in
the issues surrounding former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Skadden lawyers, which would have included Craig, may have violated
their ethical responsibilities through their actions, said Rebecca
Roiphe, who provides instruction on legal ethics at New York Law School.
“Skadden could face some problems with disciplinary authorities in D.C.,
assuming this is as bad and as baseless as described,” she said.