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m3n4.net September 21, 2018


New Charges In Russia Investigation Target Lobbyist For Ukraine Political Group

03 September 2018, 01:53 | Tara Lloyd

Pgiam via Getty Images

Pgiam via Getty Images

Patten was charged by a criminal information, which indicates that he waived indictment and will most likely plead guilty to the charge against him.

When asked whether Patten worked with Manafort directly, the US attorney's office declined to comment. In 2015, Patten and his company began advising the Opposition Bloc, a Ukrainian political party in which Paul Manafort acted as political consultant before serving as Donald Trump's campaign chairman in 2016.

The Justice Department alleges that between 2014 and 2018, Patten acted on behalf of the Ukrainian political party, Opposition Bloc, a Russia-allied political group.

Patten, 47, was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) by failing to register with the United States government as an agent for a foreign country.

Patten was a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a man US authorities said has ties to Russian intelligence. They said "foreign B" then attended the Inauguration with Patten. Their names made headlines past year when it emerged that Manafort may have been trying to use his elevated role on the Trump campaign to resolve a longstanding financial dispute with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch and aluminum magnate. Manafort was found guilty of bank and tax fraud and failing to declare his foreign bank accounts by a federal jury in Virginia last week.

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He added no new details when describing Patten's criminal offense, though he added the words a few times that Patten "was working as a foreign agent of the opposition bloc". He previously worked on the microtargetting operations of Cambridge Analytica during the 2014 election cycle, the Daily Beast reported in April.

Manafort still faces more charges, including obstruction allegations against him and Kilimnik for alleged witness tampering.

Mueller's team has accused Kilimnik of having ties to Russian intelligence services.

They say that staring in 2015, Patten and a Russian national lobbied and provided political consulting for the Opposition Bloc and its members, including an unnamed prominent Ukrainian oligarch.

The criminal charging document does not name Manafort or any of his colleagues in the USA and Ukraine, though Patten may be connected to those efforts.

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Patten pleaded to the count before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The description of the oligarch, including his attendance at Trump's inauguration and the placing of an op-ed in February 2017 by Patten, appeared to match that of Serhiy Lyovochkin, an Opposition Bloc lawmaker and Yanukovych's former chief of staff.

He also worked in Georgia, where he said he advised the Free Democrats, a political party headed by former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

Patten's long friendship with Kilimnik-which stems from their time working together at the International Republican Institute in Moscow between 2001 and 2003-would likely be enough to draw scrutiny from Mueller, who appears to have homed in on Kilimnik as a potentially significant link between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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