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Gregory Craig Pleads Not Guilty to Lying to Justice Dept.

Category: Political News,Politics

WASHINGTON — Gregory B. Craig, a White House counsel in the Obama administration, was arraigned on Friday and pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to the Justice Department and withheld information about work he did for the government of Ukraine.

Mr. Craig appeared in federal court in Washington a day after he was indicted on the charges, which grew out of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Craig was arraigned before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, who released him on relatively unrestrictive terms, ordering that he continue to reside at his current address and not travel outside the Washington metro area.

William Murphy, a lawyer for Mr. Craig, asked to revisit the terms of Mr. Craig’s release on Monday, when Mr. Craig will appear before Judge Amy Berman Jackson of United States District Court in Washington for another hearing. Mr. Murphy also said he planned to ask that Mr. Craig be allowed to keep his passport.

The indictment alleged that, while a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Mr. Craig took on work on behalf of the government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine. The work was brought to Mr. Craig by Paul Manafort, then a political consultant for Mr. Yanukovych and later the campaign chairman for President Trump in 2016. The charges stated that Mr. Craig lied in order to avoid registering with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and withheld information about the full scope of his activities.

At the heart of the case is whether Mr. Craig’s interaction with a reporter for The New York Times triggered the requirement for him to register under the foreign lobbying law.

Mr. Craig is a prominent Democrat and a veteran of the Obama and Clinton administrations. Earlier on Friday, Mr. Trump complained on Twitter that the indictment had not received sufficient attention from the news media, despite the “very serious charges” it described.

Mr. Craig maintained his innocence in a video shared on YouTube on Thursday. He and his lawyers left quietly after the hearing without giving comment.

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