Former Manafort Associate Hit With Lobbying Charges

(CN) – Samuel Patten, an associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was charged Friday with failing to register as a foreign agent for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

The case was referred to the U.S. attorney for Washington by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

According to court documents, Patten’s company received more than $1 million for its Ukraine work from 2015 to 2017, and contacted officials in Congress and the Executive Branch without properly registering as a foreign agent.

He’s expected to appear in court later in the day.

Patten was a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a man U.S. authorities say has ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik worked closely with Manafort, who was found guilty this month of eight financial counts.

Kilimnik also is a co-defendant in a pending case against Manafort in Washington that accuses them both of witness tampering.

According to the filing, Patten formed a lobbying firm to perform work for the Opposition Bloc, a Ukrainian political party that succeeded the Party of Regions.

The Party of Regions is a pro-Russia group which Paul Manafort provided consulting and lobbying services to for several years.

Patten formed the company with a “Russian national” listed only as “Foreigner A.” Based on the description of “Foreigner A” in the charging papers, that individual is most likely Kilimnik.

Prosecutors also claimed Friday that the company Patten formed netted roughly $1 million for its work advising the Opposition Bloc

Like Manafort, the charging document reveals Patten also received payments via wire transfer to Cypriot bank accounts.

Patten’s attorney, Stuart Sears, did not immediately respond to request for comment Friday.

Patten also performed work for Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

The firm, which came under intense scrutiny for its work on President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has since dissolved.

In a related event, late Thursday evening, Paul Manafort’s lawyers filed their first round of objections to the special counsel’s list of proposed exhibits for Manafort’s trial in Washington, D.C.

Spread over roughly a dozen pages, defense attorney Kevin Downing objected to a variety of documents, including emails shared between Manafort and his former associate Rick Gates from 2013 to 2016.

Manafort’s attorneys have also objected to the use of photos from inside Manafort’s homes in the Hamptons and other items more specific to Manafort’s lobbying work like client talking points and other memos.

Manafort’s trial in Washington, D.C.  begins September 24.

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