A quintessential DC insider is likely going to jail on a minor charge and it’s good he’s not getting away with it, says John Kiriakou.
By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News
Federal prosecutors reached last month stepped up their investigation of Washington super-lawyer Greg Craig in what they called an “off-shoot” of the Paul Manafort investigation. The accusation against Craig was that he failed to register as a lobbyist for work he did on behalf of the Ukrainian government in 2012. His former firm, the internationally-renowned Skadden Arps, reached a $4.6 million settlement with prosecutors, but Craig may still face charges.
The accusation that Craig violated FARA, or the Foreign Agent Registration Act, is not a big deal in the greater scheme of things. It means that he did some work for a foreign government and didn’t fill out the necessary Justice Department paperwork for it. He also is accused of making false and misleading statements to the department’s FARA unit.
More importantly, it points to the impunity with which Washington big-shots normally operate. Manafort thought he was untouchable because he was the great Republican strategist, the legendary co-founder of Black, Manafort, and Stone, the most important Republican political operatives of the 1980s and 1990s. Craig is the same. He was Barack Obama’s White House Counsel. And he’s former Secretary of State John Kerry’s best friend. Like Manafort (and the Podestas and Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and a whole host of other big muckety mucks) he thought he was above the law.
Craig has made a career of being the go-to guy for Democrats, and especially for Democrats in trouble. First of all, the guy is crazy smart. He got a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a master’s degree from Cambridge and did his law degree at Yale. It was there that he was a classmate of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. His career was made before he even finished his education.
After graduation, Craig joined the Washington law firm of Williams and Connolly, one of…