Law Firms

Greg Craig, former White House counsel and lead lawyer on Ukraine report, leaves Skadden

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Former White House counsel Greg Craig with former President Barack Obama in 2009./Pete Souza (Wikimedia Commons.)

Greg Craig has retired from Skadden and his name has been scrubbed from the law firm’s website.

Craig, a former White House counsel during the Obama administration, was lead lawyer on a controversial Skadden report assessing the fairness of a trial of a Ukrainian prime minister. He worked on the report with Skadden associate Alex van der Zwaan, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Craig was of counsel at Skadden.

Craig, 73, told Barron’s that he left Skadden because he wanted to pursue “an early professional passion” as a senior adviser to the Truman Center’s national security project. Other publications with stories on Craig’s departure include the National Law Journal, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Big Law Business, Above the Law and the Associated Press.

Skadden was hired in 2012 by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice to prepare the report. It concluded that Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a political rival to Urkaine’s then-leader Viktor Yanukovych, was denied counsel at critical stages of her trial but her conviction was supported by evidence.

Prosecutors had said van der Zwaan lied about his communications with “person A” and with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, who has pleaded guilty to failing to disclose his Ukrainian consulting work and offshore holdings.

Federal prosecutors filed a document on Monday alleging that Gates and Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, used offshore accounts to pay an unidentified law firm handling a report on the Urkainian opposition politician, according to the National Law Journal. Manafort is fighting charges that he laundered money he received for Ukrainian work.

Skadden has previously said it is cooperating with the special counsel. Craig has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

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