The Slatest

Mueller’s “Thirteen Angry Democrats” Deep State Operation Is About to Take Down … Obama’s White House Counsel?

Craig and Obama shake hands in front of a presidential seal.
Greg Craig with Barack Obama at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Jan. 21, 2009.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr told a congressional committee in vague terms that he planned to investigate whether the FBI engaged in improper “spying” on the 2016 Trump campaign. Barr’s comments seemed like pandering to the conspiratorial remarks his boss, Donald Trump, has made and continues to make about the FBI’s Russia inquiry, which eventually came to be led by Robert Mueller’s special counsel team; the president has characterized that investigation as a “treasonous hoax” perpetrated by “angry Democrats” and highlighted by Barack Obama’s order to wiretap Trump Tower. (There is no evidence that Obama or anyone else wiretapped Trump Tower. I’m sorry I always have to write these tedious parentheticals about things the president says.)

In other Mueller news, news reports say that an indictment related to the special counsel’s work is expected to be filed shortly in Washington federal court against an individual named Greg Craig, who was … Barack Obama’s White House counsel. (Update, 3:45 p.m.: Craig was indeed indicted on Thursday.)

The backstory is that Craig, after leaving the White House in 2010, joined the law firm Skadden Arps, where he later was involved in the preparation of a 2012 report about Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko that was commissioned by a rival politician, Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych also employed Paul Manafort as an adviser, which is how Mueller became interested in Skadden’s report; this January, the firm admitted in a settlement that it had failed to properly disclose its Ukraine work as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Department of Justice has now charged Craig with two counts of making false statements with the intent of evading FARA requirements. (An attorney for Craig says he is not guilty of any crime.)

Will the indictment of Barack Obama’s actual government lawyer because of work done by Republican prosecutor Robert Mueller dissuade Trump and his enablers in right-wing media from continuing to claim that the special counsel investigation was a scam hoax created by Obama loyalists deep inside the government legal apparatus to target Donald Trump for partisan reasons?

No! It won’t. And now this blog post is over.