Attorney Greg Craig speaks to reporters on the outcome of the courts' decision regarding Elian Gonzalez, in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2000.
He faces charges of making false statement and concealing material information in connection with his Ukraine work.
In January, Skadden reached a settlement with the Justice Department, admitting it should have registered, and agreed to turn over the fees it had earned in exchange for facing no criminal charges.
Craig's lawyers called the indictment "unfair and misleading" and indicated that he will plead not guilty. "Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in NY past year after uncovering possible wrongdoing while he investigated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work" adds the author.
Craig allegedly expressed concern multiple times - including to Manafort - that information about his work would become public.
Craig came under scrutiny in part for contact he had in December 2012 with reporters, particularly at The New York Times, to explain the content of the report.
Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Ukraine's government to write a report to assess the merits of the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko - which was widely regarded as an abuse of power. They said they would fight any prosecution. The report was also presented to USA government officials, raising questions if it constituted lobbying.
As part of his probe, Mueller brought FARA charges against Manafort for his work on behalf of Yanukovych and his pro-Russia Party of Regions.More news: Iran hits back at U.S. after terrorist listing
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Craig's indictment stands as a violation of the DOJ's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) unit, the agency in charge of enforcing foreign lobbying laws. The firm also acknowledged it had been paid $4.6 million for the report and not just $12,000, as the Ukrainian government had said at the time.
It was transferred out of SDNY because, after examining Craig's case, federal prosecutors in NY concluded they had insufficient evidence to bring charges against him, CNN has reported.
In making the announcement, the official, John Demers, pointed to the Skadden settlement - and alluded to the Craig case - as having triggered the department's decision to escalate its enforcement in that area. "Mr. Craig had no interest in misleading the FARA Unit because he had not done anything that required his registration".
Craig appears to have been expecting action by prosecutors for some time; he retained attorney William Taylor III of Zuckerman Spaeder in the autumn of a year ago.
Craig's lawyers challenged claims that he had lied to the government and said that he had not participated in a public relations effort.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and is not evidence of guilt. He also represented former President Bill Clinton during his 1998 Senate impeachment trial.
Craig, 74, was indicted by a grand jury in Washington on Thursday following an investigation that grew out of Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. While Mueller charged multiple Trump affiliates - such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn - with false statements charges, he chose not to charge a prominent Democrat attorney who worked in the Obama White House with any wrongdoing.