DC lobbyist charged with failing to register as a foreign agent

Geraldine Edwards
September 2, 2018

The person identified as "Foreigner B" then went to the inauguration with Patten, who admits he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The plea was the latest development to emerge from Mueller's sprawling criminal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and interactions between Russian officials and Trump's campaign chairman.

Previous reports show Kilimnik isn't the only prominent Russian who attended Trump's inauguration.

"FBI officials were concerned at the time because some of the figures had surfaced in the agency's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation", the Washington Post reported.

Kilimnik has been indicted in absentia alongside Manafort on obstruction of justice charges.

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Mueller's office referred the prosecution to U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu in the District of Columbia, according William Miller, a spokesman for Liu, who declined to comment about the nature of the cooperation or other matters relating to an ongoing investigation.

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 US government as required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Court documents don't refer to Kilimnik by name, but said Patten worked with a Russian national on lobbying and political consulting services.

The charges he pleaded guilty to are failing to register his work as a foreign agent while doing work in Washington for a Ukrainian political party.

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. Attorney Andrew Weissmann for the special counsel's office and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Omer Meisel were present in court. Mueller and his team have accused Kilimnik of having ties to Russian intelligence.

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At the time Mueller filed the witness-tampering charges against Manafort, he also filed similar charges against Konstantin Kilimnik, who served as Manafort's point man in Ukraine. Patten, and Foreigner A, set up a company in the United States that was paid more than $1 million to work on behalf of Opposition Bloc. That company, identified as "Company A" in the court document, is Begemot Ventures International, a company created by the two men in February 2015, according to corporate records filed in Washington.

Patten is a longtime Republican operative with ties to Cambridge Analytica and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman convicted on a variety of federal tax and bank fraud charges earlier this month.

Patten admitted to working with a Russian national to lobby members of Congress and the executive branch on behalf of the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc between 2014 and 2018 without disclosing the work to the US government as required by law.

Even though the case was not brought by Mueller, President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called it an "irrelevant indictment" from the special counsel's team.

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