Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Sam Patten, Manafort associate, charged with violating foreign agents act

Sam Patten, Manafort associate, charged with violating foreign agents act

A business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian consultant indicted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, pleaded guilty on Friday to failing to register as a lobbyist for a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.

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

Patten formed a consulting company in the USA with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian political operative with alleged ties to the country's intelligence services.

Kilimnik is also accused of helping Manafort attempt to tamper with witnesses in his recent trial, where the former campaign manager for President Trump was found guilty of tax fraud. According to the charging document, both men repeatedly attempted to tamper with witness testimony in Mueller's Russian Federation probe related to Manafort's political consulting work.

Patten was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his work with Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc and its members from 2014 to 2018, according to a charging document obtained by CNN and posted online. But they say Patten never filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act or disclosed that he was representing the foreign businessman or the Opposition Bloc.

A company Patten co-owned with a Russian national received more than $1 million for the work, the US said.

The charges against Patten come after Ryan Dickey and Brian Richardson, a pair of "relatively junior" special counsel prosecutors, have left Mueller's team.

Patten, 47, was paid more than $1 million for Ukrainian opposition bloc work including meeting with members of the executive branch, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members and members of Congress, according to a charging document filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday morning. Andrew Weissmann, one of the lead Mueller team attorneys in the Manafort prosecution, was also in the courtroom Friday during Patten's appearance.

Patten was informed in writing of the ban, court papers say. Patten told the publication that his work for Cambridge Analytica was separate from the work of his consulting firm.

In court documents, prosecutors allege that Patten also worked with the two foreigners to help "Foreigner B" make an illegal contribution to Trump's Inauguration.

Patten said previous year that Kilimnik had been essential to Manafort's Ukraine operation, which had been perceived by allies and opponents alike as the savviest of the American consulting operations working in the country. No date has been set for his sentencing.

So Patten brings together a lot of threads. The tickets were given to the oligarch, another Ukrainian, Patten and the Russian national, according to the charging documents.

According to the filing, Patten also drafted op-ed articles for the oligarch and succeeded in having at least one published by a national American media outlet in February 2017. The special counsel's office alleged in a court filing late last month that Kilimnik still had ties to Russian intelligence services in 2016, and that his conversations with Gates in September of that year are relevant to the investigation.

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