Consultant Pleads Guilty To Violating Lobbying Laws Over Ukraine Work

Consultant Pleads Guilty To Violating Lobbying Laws Over Ukraine Work

A ME native and a business associate of a key figure in the investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty Friday to failing to register as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian political party.

Patten pleaded to the count before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The charges are spelled out in a criminal information, which often precedes a guilty plea.

"Justice Department prosecutors alleged that Patten, through an entity referred to as "Company A", partnered "50-50" with a Russian national for lobbying work conducted on US soil, which included "[advising] the pro-Russian Ukrainian party Opposition Bloc" and a "prominent Ukraine oligarch". The former Trump campaign chairman was found guilty earlier this month by a jury in Alexandria, Va., on on 8 of 18 counts of bank and tax fraud.

Beginning in or around 2014 to the present, PATTEN worked with a Russian national (Foreigner A) on lobbying and political consulting services.

Prosecutors contend Patten should have disclosed the work, which included lobbying and public relations assistance meant to "influence United States policy", with the Justice Department pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Samuel Patten, 47 was charged and pleaded guilty Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Patten was charged after Mueller's office referred his case to prosecutors in Washington, DC.

In court, Patten conveyed the air of a solemn man aware of what he had done.

Patten stood with his attorney, Stuart A. Sears, and after surrendering his passport and was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing.

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Court papers say Patten orchestrated a $50,000 payment to the inauguration committee through a third party to circumvent restrictions on foreign donations to the inaugural committee - a so-called "straw purchase".

Manafort's Washington trial is scheduled to start September 24. From 2014 until now, according to Bloomberg, Patten lobbied on behalf of a Ukrainian political party, and on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch.

In January 2015, Patten and Kilimnik tried to coordinate meetings between his clients and lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Committee on Foreign Affairs, State Department officials, and multiple members of the US press corps, prosecutors allege. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony charge and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Patten, who served in the State Department under George W. Bush, headed the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute in the early 2000s.

Kilimnik and Manafort were indicted in June on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Manafort's relationship with Kilimnik stretches back years.

Patten, according to the filing, contacted members of Congress and the executive branch, as well as members of the media, on behalf of his clients.

Intriguingly, Patten is also tied to the controversial political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Also in attendance was Scott Claffee, a trial lawyer in the Justice Department's National Security Division.

He also became the latest official linked to Trump or his political circle to reach aan agreement to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

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