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Sam Patten, former Manafort associate, charged with illegal lobbying

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Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller.
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  • Samuel Patten, a former associate of President Donald
    Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, has pleaded
    guilty to one count of failure to register as a foreign
    agent.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller referred the case to
    prosecutors in Washington, DC.
  • Patten was charged by a criminal information, which
    indicates that he waived indictment and will most likely plead
    guilty to the charge against him.
  • Patten is accused of earning $1 million while illegally
    lobbying on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions in
    the US.

Sam Patten, a longtime Republican operative, pleaded guilty on Friday to
one count of failure to register as a foreign agent in the
District of Columbia. 

Patten is a former associate of Paul Manafort, the former
chairman for President Donald Trump’s campaign, and Konstantin
Kilimnik, a former Russian intelligence officer.

Manafort and Kilimnik were both indicted as part of special
counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Patten was charged after
Mueller’s office referred his case to prosecutors in Washington,
DC.

According to the charging document, Patten
made over $1 million while illegally lobbying on behalf of
Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions and a Ukrainian oligarch
between 2014 and 2018. The document said he did not register as a
foreign agent with the State Department under the Foreign Agent
Registration Act (FARA) while doing his political consulting
work.

Patten was charged via a criminal information, which is a
document that prosecutors use when a defendant waives an
indictment. Legal experts told Business Insider that the decision
to charge Patten with a criminal information indicates that he
will likely cooperate with prosecutors. Patten was set to appear
before US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, DC at
11 a.m. ET on Friday.

According to the court filing, Patten’s illegal lobbying work
included meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and officials
at the State Department.

Patten has a documented history with both Manafort and Kilimnik.
The Atlantic reported in April that Patten
has known Kilimnik since at least 2001, when they worked together
at the International Republican Institute in Moscow. The two men
also worked together to incorporate a political consulting firm,
Begemot Ventures International, in Washington, DC, in February
2015, The Daily Beast reported.

“We’ve known each other for more than 15 years, and we
periodically look for places we can work together,” Patten told
The Atlantic of his relationship with Kilimnik.

Kilimnik and Manafort were indicted in June on charges of
conspiracy and obstruction of justice. According to the charging
document, both men repeatedly attempted to tamper with witness
testimony in Mueller’s Russia probe related to Manafort’s
political consulting work.

Manafort’s relationship with Kilimnik stretches back years.
Their names made headlines last year when it emerged that
Manafort may have been trying to use his elevated role on the
Trump campaign to resolve a longstanding financial dispute with
Oleg Deripaska, a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch and aluminum
magnate.

Manafort has acknowledged that he was in frequent contact
with Kilimnik while serving as the Trump campaign’s chairman,
saying he met with Kilimnik in May and August 2016. Last year, it
also emerged that Manafort emailed Kilimnik in 2016 offering to
give Deripaska “private briefings” about the campaign.

Manafort was recently convicted on eight counts of tax
fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts.
He is set to face a second trial next month in Washington, DC,
over allegations of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying,
and conspiracy.

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