Mr. Craig left Skadden Arps in April of last year, while the former partner of the firm was pleaded guilty lie to the investigators about his work on the report.
The settlement accused the partner, known as Mr. Craig, of misleading Skadden Arps' two partners and the Department of Justice about his contact with the reporter about the report. The reporter, who is not identified in the colony, is David E. Sanger of The New York Times. The contact with Mr. Sanger should have resulted in a lobbying registration with FARA at the time, said the Ministry of Justice in the regulation.
Craig's lawyers, William Taylor and William Murphy, have stated that Mr. Craig "never acted as a lobbyist, press agent or public relations advisor for Ukraine", and that Mr. Craig "has never sought to mislead the Department of Justice or its former partners. about his actions. "
Mr Manafort commissioned Mercury to assist in the preparation of Skadden Arps' report as part of a lobbying project for the Brussels non-profit group, the European Center for a Modern Ukraine. The Podesta group has also been paid to promote the non-profit organization.
In recent weeks, prosecutors have asked lobbyists working on this account why the red flags were ignored several years ago. Prosecutors focused on an unpublished 2012 e-mail in which Ina Kirsch, a German citizen who was head of the European Center, seemed to admit that Mercury and Podesta lobbying funding came from men and women. affairs that supported Yanukovych's party. , according to people familiar with interrogation.
In the beginning, the firms did not register the work with FARA, but rather disclosed their work according to less stringent rules on lobbying, because they claimed that the European Center was not related to the government of Yanukovych. nor to his political party. But, under the control of the Department of Justice, they changed course and registered for FARA in 2017.
The allies of Mr Podesta, Mr Weber and their companies blamed their problems on Skadden Arps, who – apart from his work on the Ukraine project – also provided lobbying compliance advice to Mercury and Podesta, as well as to Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates admitted in his guilty plea that he had "provided false and misleading statements" to Skadden Arps in an attempt to persuade Mercury and the Podesta group to avoid the registration of FARA.
Mr. Weber's lawyer has already stated that Mr. Weber was willing to register under the law and did not do so solely because Skadden Arps advised Mercury not to do so.