A proposed evidence list submitted by special counsel prosecutors over the weekend indicates Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Greg Craig, former of counsel at the firm, will be featured in the Washington, D.C., trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The list—which includes invoices from Skadden in 2012 and 2013, and communications with Craig and another Skadden partner, Ken Gross—previews the prosecution’s plan to put a heavy spotlight on Manafort’s past Ukrainian lobbying efforts.
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The proposed items are part of the government’s case against Manafort in the District, where the former Trump campaign chair and longtime lobbyist is fighting charges that he conspired to launder money, tampered with and conspired to tamper with witnesses, failed to disclose his past foreign lobbying work and made false Foreign Agents Registration Act statements to the U.S. Manafort’s jury trial is set to begin Sept. 17.
The list, which was submitted over the weekend, includes about 2,000 exhibits—about five times the amount of evidence they presented during the trial in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort’s work with Skadden did not come up in the Virginia trial, where he was found guilty last week of eight counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose a foreign bank account.
In the D.C. indictment, prosecutors allege that Manafort retained a law firm—widely known to be Skadden—to write a report on the prosecution of one of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s political rivals, Yulia Tymoshenko. Craig, who previously served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama, oversaw that 2012 report.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are looking into Craig, as well as two lobbyists who worked on public outreach efforts with Manafort—former U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, who heads Mercury Public Affairs, and Tony Podesta, who led the now-shuttered Podesta Group and is brother to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chair, John Podesta.
Meanwhile, Gross was involved in advising Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group about their FARA filing requirements.
Manafort allegedly used at least $4 million from an offshore account to pay Skadden for the report. They also paid $1 million to one of the public relations companies to “create and implement a roll-out plan for the report,” as Manafort and his longtime business associate Rick Gates sought to sway public opinion of Viktor Yanukovych, the former prime minister.
The government’s proposed exhibit list also appears to dig into some of Manafort’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, including email exchanges showing “Hill Targets” and the names of multiple lawmakers. Other items include invoices from domestic vendors who worked for Manafort. Those were prominently featured in the Virginia trial, as prosecutors sought to show how Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to finance a luxurious lifestyle in the U.S.
The U.S. believes its case-in-chief will last around “ten to twelve trial days,” the filing says.