A business associate of a key figure in the investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been charged with failing to register as a foreign agent, federal prosecutors in Washington said Friday. That case is set to go on trial in the District of Columbia next month.
But Patten's admission once again brings the Russian influence campaign closer to Trump himself. His plea explicitly states he must cooperate "fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly" with Mueller's team - a fact that could prove crucial to prosecutors as they prepare for Manafort's second trial next month on charges of money laundering, illegal lobbying and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a plea agreement made public Friday, prosecutors outlined other crimes that the lobbyist, Sam Patten, admitted to but wouldn't be charged with.
Patten's personal website describes him as a "strategic advisor" who has worked in politics on four continents.
Mr. Patten's work for the Opposition Bloc was done in conjunction with Konstantin V. Kilimnik, a Russian national who served as Mr. Manafort's longtime deputy on the ground in Kiev.
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Prosecutors disclosed that the inauguration tickets were worth $50,000 and were purchased with funds that flowed through a Cypriot bank account.
"I would think that Manafort would have been useless there without [Kilimnik]", he told the paper.
Manafort also worked with the Ukrainian Opposition Bloc around that time.
The Justice Department is charging a Washington lobbyist with failing to register as a foreign agent in a case linked to political work done by Paul Manafort.
Patten's work in Ukraine dovetails somewhat with that of Manafort. Kilimnik also is a co-defendant in a pending case against Manafort in Washington that accuses them both of witness tampering.
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Patten has not figured large in the sprawling Mueller investigation, which is examining whether President Donald Trump's 2016 election team colluded with Russians to tilt the election toward Trump, and whether Trump has since obstructed the investigation.
Kilimnik is not referred to by name in the court papers filed on August 31, which state only that Patten worked with a Russian national on political consulting, identified as Foreigner A. But the details match up with much of what is known about Kilimnik's work in Ukraine and elsewhere. A company Patten co-owned with a Russian national received more than $1 million for the work, the USA said.
He worked closely with the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, whose center-right party, the Union of Right Forces, pushed for free market and democratic reforms. And he worked in Kazakhstan, where he consulted for multinational companies like Coca-Cola and Texaco and reopened the country office for the International Republican Institute, a nongovernmental civil society group that promotes democracy and elections.
Judge grants request to delay second trial amid reports of plea deal talks with Mueller; Fox News legal analyst Mercedes Colwin reacts on 'Outnumbered Overtime'.
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