Greg Craig, a former partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who had served as President Barack Obama’s first White House counsel, will plead not guilty to charges he lied to the Justice Department to avoid registering as a foreign agent in connection with his work for Ukraine, his defense lawyer told a judge Friday.

Craig’s initial court appearance, before Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in Washington, came a year after he retired amid scrutiny connected to a report he prepared in 2012 for the Russia-aligned Ukrainian government on the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and political rival of the country’s president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.

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