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

The nature of his cooperation isn't clear. He added no new details when describing Patten's criminal offense, though he added the words a couple of times that Patten "was working as a foreign agent of the opposition bloc".

Patten was a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a man US authorities said has ties to Russian intelligence.

Patten surrendered his passport and was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing.

Patten was a business associate of Kilimnik, a man USA authorities have said has ties to Russian intelligence.

The Patten case came 10 days after Manafort, a longtime Republican consultant who was chairman of Trump's election campaign in 2016, was convicted of tax and bank fraud as a part of Mueller's investigation. He is set to face a second trial next month in Washington, DC, over allegations of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying, and conspiracy.

He worked closely with Manafort for years in Kiev, when they advised Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. Attorney Andrew Weissmann for the special counsel's office and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Omer Meisel were present in court.

The charge was brought by the USA attorney's office in the capital.

Patten admitted to working with the Russian national to lobby members of Congress and the executive branch on behalf of the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc without disclosing the work to the United States government, as required by law.

In 2008, he was appointed as a senior adviser to the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global affairs and has worked as a legislative adviser and speechwriter to two U.S. senators, he said in his online biography. Beginning in about 2015, the company received about $1 million for its work advising the Opposition Bloc and members of that party, including a prominent Ukraine oligarch, identified only as "Foreigner B". He couldn't immediately been reached for comment.

Laws requiring lobbyists to register if they lobby in the United States on behalf of foreign governments and political parties have been loosely enforced for years. It was later adopted by "at least one major USA presidential candidate", the Daily Beast said. Patten told the publication that his work for Cambridge Analytica was separate from the work of his consulting firm.

One of Patten's main benefactors was an unnamed Ukrainian oligarch, according to the documents.

Mueller has said Kilimnik, who once served in the Russian army as a translator, has links to Russian spy agencies.

Patten said past 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. The company's website describes it as "a strategic and political advisory firm that helps its clients win elections, strengthen political parities, build the right arguments before domestic and global audiences and achieve better results".

Prosecutors also say Patten misled the Senate Intelligence Committee during testimony in January by withholding documents concerning the payments from the committee and by giving false and misleading testimony. The special counsel office believes Kilimnik has strong ties with Russian intelligence officials.

  • Jon Douglas