Lobbyist Linked to Manafort Pleads Guilty on Foreign Agent Charge

Robert Mueller Indicts Konstantin Kilimnik and Hits Paul Manafort With Another Charge

Patten appeared before US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who will oversee Manafort's upcoming trial.

Patten was charged by way of a criminal information, a document that can only be filed with a defendant's consent and that typically signals a guilty plea is planned. 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.

Forced into the opposition, the oligarchs formed a political party called Opposition Bloc, which worked with Manafort and Gates in 2014, before largely shifting its political consulting and lobbying business to a company started by Patten and Konstantin V. Kilimnik.

Prosecutors say that Patten "solicited a United States citizen to act as a "straw" purchaser" in order to hide the source of the money for the tickets.

Sam Patten, who worked with Manafort to advise and lobby for Ukraine's pro-Russia Opposition Bloc, was the newest person to be charged out of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's sprawling Russia collusion investigation.

Prosecutors also say Patten misled the Senate Intelligence Committee during testimony in January by withholding documents concerning the payments from the committee and by giving false and misleading testimony.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Patten worked on behalf of the Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc between 2014 and 2018, without disclosing the work to the USA government as required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The case against Patten was referred to the United States attorney's office in DC by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose team has been investigating potential coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign.


Foreigner B, Kilimnik and Patten's client, is a "prominent Ukraine oligarch".

Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor, predicted Patten will be a witness in the D.C. trial.

That alarmed allies of Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, who is generally regarded as more pro-Western, and it emboldened his pro-Russian opponents, who had held power from 2010 to 2014 partly through the efforts of Manafort and his former right-hand man, Rick Gates.

He also worked with an unnamed Russian to place op-ed articles in USA media in 2017, the Justice Department says.

Manafort's name was not mentioned once during Friday's hearing. The straw purchaser, who is not named, then was reimbursed by Patten's company, which in turn received the same amount from Foreigner B via an offshore bank account in Cyprus. Mark Warner of Virginia, confirmed that the committee had made a criminal referral to the Justice Department requesting an investigation into Patten.

Patten surrendered his passport and was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Also in attendance was Scott Claffee, a trial lawyer in the Justice Department's National Security Division.

According to Liu's documents, Patten violated FARA by contacting members of Congress and the executive branch, as well as the media.

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