Former Obama White Counsel Greg Craig pleads not guilty

Former Obama White Counsel Greg Craig pleads not guilty

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Greg Craig, pictured in the Oval Office, served as White House counsel from 2009-2010. (Pete Souza/White House)

WASHINGTON – Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon to charges related to making false and misleading statements to federal prosecutors about work he performed in Ukraine.

Craig, 74, entered the plea in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson agreed to release Craig on his own recognizance.

He is scheduled to return to court for a status hearing on Monday.

A grand jury indicted Craig on Thursday. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if he is convicted on the two counts.

The indictment was part of Special Counsel Robert S. Muller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

It alleges that Craig misled investigators about lobbying efforts undertaken by his former law firm regarding the firm’s work on behalf of former Ukrainian president Victor Yunukovich, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The firm allegedly was involved in crafting a report that sought to validate Yanukovich’s decision to have the government prosecute and subsequently imprison former prime minister and rival Yulia Tymoshenko. Yanukovich had been one of Paul Manafort’s clients.

Yanukovich was ousted as president in 2015.

Craig served as White House counsel during President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, 2009-2010.

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