Rick Gates Testifies Against Obama’s White House Counsel Greg Craig – And Throws Tony Podesta Under the Bus!
Greg Craig, Rick Gates
Paul Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates on Thursday testified against Obama’s White House counsel Greg Craig at his trial for his Ukrainian lobbying efforts.
Greg Craig was indicted by a federal grand jury in April on charges stemming from Mueller’s probe related to work he did for Ukraine in 2012.
Craig, 74, served as legal counsel for Obama from 2009 to 2010 and worked as senior legal counsel to Bill Clinton during his impeachment.
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment on April 11 on charges of making false statements and concealing information about his Ukrainian lobbying efforts.
Craig was a partner in the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which entered into a multi-million dollar settlement with the DOJ over its work in Ukraine.
Greg Craig worked with Paul Manafort in Ukraine — Craig is the first top Dem charged in a case stemming from Mueller’s witch hunt.
Shortly before Greg Craig’s trial began this week, Obama-appointed Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed one of two counts federal prosecutors filed against Craig.
Rick Gates’ appearance Thursday was the first court appearance since he took the stand a year ago in a Virginia court at Manafort’s trial.
At issue in Thursday’s trial is whether Greg Craig was honest with the DOJ in his role in the release of a report on former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of Ukraine, to veteran New York Times reporter David Sanger.
While Craig isn’t charged with failing to register as a foreign agent, a key issue at the trial is whether he was honest with Justice Department officials about his role in release of the report, which included providing an advance, embargoed version of the review to the veteran New York Times national security reporter David Sanger.
Gates maintained, however, that the decision to go to The Times through Craig had the desired effect.
“The overall strategy worked. … The article wasn’t the greatest, but at least it was viewed neutrally, so it did have an impact,” Gates said. “From our viewpoint, the success of it was very great.”
Gates conceded that Craig ultimately refused to participate in many of the rollout-related activities that were part of the various plans, but the Manafort aide was emphatic that Craig’s contact with Sanger was a part of the Ukraine team’s broader effort.
“Did Mr. Craig carry out the role that he had promised to carry out in relation to The New York Times?” prosecutor Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez asked.
“He did,” Gates said.
Gates also testified Thursday that, to his knowledge, Craig was the first to raise the possibility of essentially leaking the report to Sanger.
“Mr. Craig had named a reporter from The New York Times as somebody who … he had a specific relationship with that could help with that effort,” Gates said. “He said Mr. Sanger is a tough reporter but a fair reporter, and we wouldn’t necessarily get a good article, but he’s very credible in the space.”
Gates said Craig never said in detail how he knew Sanger. “He just said historically,” Gates said.
Gates also testified that there was some secrecy surrounding the selection of Sanger, at least for a time.
Greg Craig and his defense lawyers claimed that his contact with the New York Times and the media was not part of a larger coordinated effort.
Legal reporter for Politico Josh Gerstein said that Rick Gates also revealed explosive information about Tony Podesta.
“Rick Gates just testified that he told both Tony Podesta and Vin Weber that the the pro-Ukrainian organization they represented was actually a front group for the Ukrainian government,” Gerstein reported.
Recall, corrupt special counsel Robert Mueller gave Tony Podesta immunity in Manafort’s DC case even though he was doing the same work in the Ukraine and also retroactively filled out a FARA form.
Mueller was investigating the Podesta Group and its lobbying work on behalf of a nonprofit group called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU).
According to Mueller’s indictments of Gates and Manafort, the Brussels-based European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) functioned as a “mouthpiece” for Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s pro-Russian president between 2010 and 2014, reported Fox News.
Tony Podesta however was not named in the indictment last year and he is still freely walking around — PAGING AG BILL BARR!
Read the full report here.
BREAKING: Rick Gates just testified that he told both Tony Podesta and Vin Weber that the the pro-Ukrainian organization they represented was actually a front group for the Ukrainian government. Running story from Greg Craig trial here: https://t.co/hBBLOKGIJB
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) August 22, 2019