Robert Mueller is zeroing in on someone with ties to Cambridge Analytica

Pgiam via Getty Images

Pgiam via Getty Images

Paul Manafort's former associate was also head of International Republican Institute's Moscow office from 2001 to 2004, worked with the late opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, served as Eurasian program director at a Russia-focused advocacy group, and worked as a legislative adviser and speechwriter for two US senators. 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.

Prosecutors contend Patten should have disclosed the work, which included lobbying and public relations assistance meant to "influence United States policy", with the Justice Department pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Mr. Kilimnik is not named in Friday's charging papers against Mr. Patten, but is identified as "Foreigner A", a Russian national who formed a company in the United States with Mr. Patten.

Manafort is set to stand trial in DC next month for failing to register as a foreign agent and other charges.

According to his statement of the offense, Patten knew that he was violating federal law by acting as an unregistered foreign agent operating within the U.S. While working for another client, Patten had previously filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act but intentionally failed to register his lobbying work for the Opposition Bloc.

W. Samuel Patten entered his plea in federal court in Washington, copping to disclosure crimes as prosecutors laid out his business connections to Manafort, the Ukrainian, and an American with ties to Russian intelligence.

Patten appeared in federal court in Washington on Friday. He was released on his own recognizance Friday without a sentencing date.

Court papers say Patten orchestrated a $50,000 payment to the inauguration committee through a third party to circumvent restrictions on foreign donations to the inaugural committee - a so-called "straw purchase".

Berman Jackson also spoke on the rarity of a foreign lobbying prosecution. The charge is a felony that is punishable by a statutory maximum of up to five years in prison, and potential financial penalties. The oligarch then repaid Patten through a Cypriot bank account.

Patten admitted to arranging for a United States citizen to act as a straw purchaser to pay $50,000 for four tickets to the inauguration of President Donald Trump on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, who reimbursed Patten through a Cypriot account.

He headed the International Republican Institute's Moscow office from 2001 to 2004, and provided technical assistance to a range of political parties and non-governmental organizations, according to the website.

Patten and Konstantin Kilimnik, another Manafort associate, launched what is believed to be "Company A" in 2015.

The work involved setting up meetings in January 2015 with officials in the executive branch and members of Congress, to influence USA policy.

In 2014, Patten also worked with Cambridge Analytica, the British consultant that hijacked Facebook personal data for 87 million users that was used in Trump's 2016 campaign.

Even though Trump and his legal team have indicated that they would wait until after special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation wraps up, the pardoning of Paul Manafort reportedly is, and will continue to be on the table.

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