Defense lawyers for former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig urged a federal judge Friday to bar prosecutors from telling jurors he played a role in convincing his former law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, to hire the daughter of Paul Manafort to land future business from the longtime Republican political consultant.

In a court filing, the defense lawyers dismissed Craig’s favor to Manafort as “spurious evidence,” and they said it would create a “massive distraction” for jurors as they consider whether Craig, a former Skadden partner in Washington, misled the government about his past work for the Russia-aligned government of Ukraine to avoid disclosing his work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA.

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