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US Charges Associate of Indicted Russian With Lobbying Violation

US Charges Associate of Indicted Russian With Lobbying Violation

Patten appeared for a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Friday before Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Patten was charged via a criminal information, which is a document that prosecutors use when a defendant waives an indictment.

Prosecutors with the Justice Department's national security division and the USA attorney's office in the District contended that Patten formed a company with a Russian national, identified only as "Foreigner A", to engage in lobbying and political consulting services. As The Hill noted, Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud earlier this month and is now facing charges for failing to register as a foreign agent, and conspiring to launder money. Mr. Kilimnik was indicted in June on charges of obstruction of justice related to witness tampering in the foreign-lobbying case against Mr. Manafort.

According to the charging document, Patten made over $1 million while illegally lobbying on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russia Opposition Bloc party and a Ukrainian oligarch between 2014 and 2018.

The goal, prosecutors say, was to influence USA policy, but they say Patten never filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The Russian national, who formed a consulting company with Patten, is identified only as "Foreigner A" in court papers.

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As CNN producer David Gelles noted, Patten was charged for acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russian Federation and Ukraine between 2014 and 2017.

According to his statement of the offense, Patten knew that he was violating federal law by acting as an unregistered foreign agent operating within the U.S. While working for another client, Patten had previously filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act but intentionally failed to register his lobbying work for the Opposition Bloc. Andrew Weissmann, a lawyer on Mueller's team who has been leading the Manafort prosecution, was present in court when Patten pleaded guilty. Patten did not speak to reporters at the court, but apologized to family and friends on Facebook after entering his plea.

Patten surrendered his passport and was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing. The individual paid $50,000 for the tickets, after receiving the same sum from a company controlled by Patten and an unnamed Russian national. Patten also drafted an op-ed for Foreigner B that sought to address concerns about Ukraine's ability to work with the Trump administration.

An American lobbyist on Friday admitted brokering access to President Donald Trump's inauguration for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians in a scheme that highlighted the rush by foreign interests to influence the new administration. The company performed political consulting services and advised a prominent Ukrainian oligarch, labeled "Foreigner B", among others. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony charge.

The 35-minute court proceeding was sparsely attended by members of the press and court employees, yet members of Mueller's special counsel's office filled a front row of seats.