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Greg Craig FARA

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Posted on April 11 2019

Trifecta Thursday...

To help you navigate the potential complex corn-maze I’m about to sprint through, you may find a few previous entries helpful and informative. I should note that the various documents in this current (or previous) entry or my twitter feed are not stashed in a super secret biometrically controlled database.

On the contrary the vast majority of these documents can be found on public databases, at no cost or minimal cost to researchers. You just need to know where and what to look for. Listed below is an abbreviated brief list (links embedded) of the various databases I use for research 

For example: DOJ FARA, SECFEC, HouseLDA, SenateLDAMDSCC, VASCC DESCC, PACER, IRS501c3, CourtListener, Law Library of Congress (LOC)

Granted I’m fortunate enough that my employer pays for access to premium databases such as: WestLaw, LexisNexis, GuideStar

 

As a matter of standard practice I endeavor to bring you as many open source links as possible. The reason I take great pains to provide you the original data source, is in the age of “fake news”, I understand how important document authenticity is. Therefore by taking the extra step of providing you the actual documents, along with my colorful and sometimes snarky commentary. By providing you with documents, this also gives you the opportunity to read the document(s) for yourself and hopefully allows you to formulate your own opinion/assessment.

 

 

 Glossary Of Acronyms:

  • Letter of Engagement (LOE)
  • Retainer Memorandum (RM)
  • Terms and Conditions (Ts & Cs)
  • Government of Ukraine (GoU)
  • Mercury Public Affairs (MPA)
  • New York Times (NYTs)
  • The Daily Telegraph UK (TDTUK)
  • Skadden Arps (Skadden)
  • The Department Of Justice (DOJ)
  • The Department Of Justice Office Of Public Affairs (DOJ-OPA)
  • Southern District of New York (SDNY)
  • District Of Columbia (DDC)
  • Eastern District Of Virginia (EDVA)

 

Greg Craig Indictment

Before I drill down on today’s events, I would be absolutely derelict in my duties if I didn’t disclose and acknowledge the following:

Yes Mr Craig is/was a well respected DC “super” Attorney. This is a stunning and sad fall from grace. Given how well known he is. And yes he was Obama’s White House Counsel.

On November 13, 2009 President Obama fired Greg Craig see Obama White House Archive 

See January 1 2010, Skadden Arps Announcement pdf found here and archive (click on the pdf icon on the upper right hand side)

 

 

July 2012 ACS Greg Craig interview

🇺🇸Pardons and Clemency🇺🇸

This interview is notable for the following reasons: in July 2012 that was five months after he signed a LOE with the GoU and three months after he signed a RM. I’ll dive in to the particulars concerning the RM as it relates to FARA.

 

 

I should probably note that the Greg Craig Indictment took longer than I had previously expected. Although I wasn’t entire surprised the inquiry was moved from the SDNY to DDC. Granted over a year ago (March 10, 2018) when Alex van der Zwaan was charged, entered a plea and subsequently sentenced to prison...like others I took note of the filings and specifically highlighted (both figuratively and literally) the:

 

Person A and Senior Law Partner at Skadden Arps

 

And yes of course it would be easy for me to simply retweet the copious twitter threads I curated, but we know I can’t becuase, well you know. However in early June 2018 in the throws of Manafort’s EDVA case I opted to take a deeper dive into Skadden Arps and Tony Fabrizio and Greg Craig

In January of 2019 I decided to walk you through Skadden Arps “Settlement” and their retroactive FARA Filing. And once again highlighted Greg Craig’s legal exposure. I also highlighted various entries and other tiny details. At the time it may not have occurred to you but the date of the LOE is in fact important.

Why? It’s dated February 20, 2012 and as a standard practice, firms retain client records/files. In the case of Skadden Arps their retention period pursuant to the Ts & Cs of their LOE is seven (7) years. Furthermore Skadden’s retroactive January 2019 FARA Filing notes the following:

 

The Firm became aware that the Government of Ukraine ("GoU”) intended to use the Report in an effort to influence U.S. policy and/or public opinion toward Ukraine. As the Firm drafted the Report, FTI Consulting ("FIT) created a multi-faceted public relations strategy to accompany the release of the Report, which included, among other things, outreach to U.S. media and politicians.

The Firm provided FTI with a copy of the Report prior to its release. The Firm also provided a copy of the Report to Vin Weber, a partner at Mercury Public Affairs, prior to its release and connected Mr. Weber with The New York Times by email.

The Firm provided a copy of the Report to and/or discussed the Report with The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph (UK) prior to its public release. The GoU officially released the Report to the public on MOJ's website on December 13, 2012. After its release, the Firm provided copies of the Report to, and discussed the Report with, certain other news organizations.

 

On the very first page of Skadden’s RM, which reads in part:

It is understood that the Firm's client is the Ministry, which is a department of the Government of Ukraine. The Firm is willing to take on this project with clear understanding that the Firm will have access to all relevant materials and information that the Firm deems necessary to do its job, and that the Firm will be free to reach its own conclusions based on its own independent work. It is Understood that the Firm is not haing retained to engage in any "political activities" - and will not engage in any such activities - as defined in the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). (emphasis added)

 

My day was off the rails busy. In the spirit of expediency I tweeted the DOJ-OPA announcement and subsequently thereafter I tweeted the link to Craig’s indictment. Today was slightly off the rails crazy...but the reality is today’s indictment is literally pages and pages of Skadden’s retroactive January Filing, most of which I drilled down on months ago.

...indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for willfully falsifying and concealing material facts from the FARA Unit, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(1), and for making false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit, in violation Title 22, United States Code, Section 618(a)(2).

The maximum penalties for the charged offenses are, respectively, five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.  The maximum statutory sentence for federal offenses is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  The sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 

 

 

 

Although I do have a rhetorical question. I keenly remember in late Summer Of 2017 (Comey actually confirmed this in part during his May 2017 Senate hearing.

Senator Hirono asked him about Grand Juries) that numerous reports of the Special Counsel’s Office using two Grand Juries, one in EDVA & one in DDC.

So here’s my question in the Greg Craig matter is this the same Grand Jury that the Special Counsel used? Or is this a separate Grand Jury in DC...

In May of 2017 (then) FBI Director Comey and Senator Hirono, see transcript here.

 

HIRONO: So in the investigations that you're currently doing on the Russian interference and the Trump team's relationship, are you coordinating with any U.S. attorney's office in these investigations?

COMEY: Yes, well -- two sets of prosecutors, the Main Justice the National Security Division and the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney's Office.

 

I should probably add, this entry did not bring me any satisfaction. But as I’ve repeatedly stated, when it comes to criminal behavior, I really do not care what political party you identify with. That said this saddened me. Greg Craig was/is known as a legal giant and his fall from grace is both sad and frustrating. 

ps there’s another entity that I’m researching but I’m calling it a night...catch on the flip side of ...xo🌶

 

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