U.S. Lobbyist Sentenced To 3 Years' Probation In Ukraine-Linked Case

Elias Hubbard
April 14, 2019

A Washington political consultant initially entangled in the Russian Federation investigation was sentenced Friday to three years of probation for illegal lobbying and skirting the ban on foreign donations to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee.

The special counsel's office discovered Patten's criminal activity over the course of its investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election, but referred the case to federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C. One of Mueller's top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, attended Patten's sentencing hearing.

Presidential inaugural committees are barred from accepting money from foreign nationals - and CNN has reported that prosecutors continue to investigate finances in the Trump inaugural. Craig denies wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty Friday.

Patten also admitted to orchestrating a scheme to purchase tickets for U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration on behalf of a wealthy Ukrainian client. He also withheld documents from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.A condition of his probation is that he continues to participate in a mental health treatment program.

Prosecutors declined to ask for a specific sentence for Patten but told federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he gave "substantial assistance" to the Justice Department, according to their legal assessment earlier this week.

But she credited him for cooperating with the government and for taking responsibility for his actions, something the judge said "doesn't happen every day in this courtroom".

Jackson said Patten's conduct was also "markedly different" from that of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who carried out a years-long conspiracy to launder money, evade US tax authorities and covertly influence American policy makers on behalf of Ukrainian interests.

Jackson emphasized, just as she did during Manafort's sentencing, that the goal of FARA was to prevent anyone from "undermin [ing] our political discourse".

In addition to the 36 months of probation, the Republican political consultant was sentenced to 500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.

Patten's lawyer Stuart Sears said that over the past year his client has "forfeit his career", instead choosing to assist his country in ongoing investigations.

When imposing Friday's sentence, Jackson reprimanded Patten over his crimes, which had taken place over the four-year period, when he worked on behalf of a Ukrainian political party in the U.S.

Patten was a business partner of Konstatin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian citizen and a Manafort aide who US authorities say has ties to Russian intelligence services.

Sam Patten, a former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court, Aug. 31, 2018, in Washington, DC.

He was also willing to serve as a witness in one of two cases against Mr. Manafort, who had also worked for the Opposition Bloc.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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