Lobbyist gets probation in case spun off from Russia probe

Lobbyist gets probation in case spun off from Russia probe

Patten was charged with illegal lobbying as well as conspiring to circumvent the US law that bans foreign donations to election campaigns and presidential inaugurations.

On Thursday, Greg Craig, the former White House counsel during the Obama administration, was also charged with violating foreign lobbying laws related to his work in Ukraine.

According to reports, 47-year-old Patten pleaded guilty in August last year to contacting U.S. legislators and news media organisations on behalf of a Russia-aligned political party in Ukraine called the Opposition Bloc without reporting that work to the Justice Department, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), among other offenses.

NBC News reported that Patten paid a straw purchaser, on behalf of these two individuals, $50,000 for the tickets. He also withheld documents from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.A condition of his probation is that he continues to participate in a mental health treatment program.

Patten, 47, who pleaded guilty last August, has contributed to additional, still unknown investigations, highlighting the constellation of cases to grow out of Mueller's work and how some aspects of the Russian Federation probe continue.

But she credited him for cooperating with the government and for taking responsibility for his actions, something the judge said "doesn't happen every day in this courtroom".

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Before his guilty plea, Patten had worked as a political consultant across the former Soviet Union, and formed a political consulting firm with Konstantin Kilimnik, who the USA government suspects is a Russian spy. Jackson imposed a sentence earlier this year that led to Manafort facing about seven years in prison.

Instead, Judge Amy Berman Jackson pegged Patten with 36 months of probation and a $5,000 fine.

Though the details of Patten's cooperation remain unknown, federal court filings suggest that he has provided information relevant to multiple ongoing criminal investigations. In court papers, Patten's attorney, Stuart Sears, said his client wasn't part of a larger scheme to funnel foreign money to the inaugural committee and isn't a Trump supporter. For that help, prosecutors urged leniency and said Patten was willing to testify against Manafort over related charges.

Both Patten and Manafort worked closely with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects has ties to Russian intelligence. In his sentencing memo, Patten's lawyers write, "at no point did Mr. Patten know, believe, or suspect that Kilimnik was connected in any way to Russian intelligence".

Kilimnik himself was indicted in USA court on charges of witness tampering but has not appeared in a US court.

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