After DOJ's FARA unit inquired with the firm about whether it should register as a result of its work, Craig allegedly withheld information about his contacts with reporters from attorneys at his firm and "omitted material facts regarding his acts in furtherance of Ukraine's media plan" from DOJ's FARA unit, according to the indictment.
The special counsel's office used lobbying violations in half a dozen cases brought against high-profile defendants over the course of his investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.
In a letter sent to the Justice Department in October 2013, and obtained by The Washington Post, Craig wrote that his media contacts came in response "to inaccuracies in USA news reports" and that he was "in no way serving as an agent for Ukraine".
Last year, Mueller's team prosecuted Manafort, who admitted that he hadn't properly registered as a foreign lobbyist while working as a political consultant for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose 2010 campaign Manafort helped advise.
But as prosecutors began scrutinizing the work of Manafort and his associates in Ukraine, they reexamined the role of Craig's firm, including whether Craig was honest during his interactions with the Justice Department over his registration requirements in 2013.
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The charges come about three months after Craig's former law firm agreed to pay more than $4.6 million and publicly acknowledge that it failed to register with the government for its work for the Ukraine.
Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Ukraine's government to write a report to assess the merits of the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko - which was widely regarded as an abuse of power.
The indictment also alleges that Craig was deterred from registering out of his desire to hide that a third party - a private individual - paid the firm more than $4 million for the report and that the firm had a "parallel engagement with Ukraine to assist in the prosecution of Tymoshenko on additional charges". The report was also presented to USA government officials, raising questions if it constituted lobbying. After the initial inquiry into Craig and Skadden was opened by Mueller, Craig's case was referred to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY and then again to prosecutors in the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia.
Manafort was sentenced in March to seven-and-a-half years in prison for lobbying violations and financial crimes.
A second attorney at the firm pleaded guilty past year to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his role in the Ukraine report, saying he gave an early copy to Manafort and deleted related emails. Craig's lawyers said they believe the NY prosecutors declined to prosecute the case. Craig is the first former Democrat official to be charged in connection with the Mueller probe.