A veteran Republican lobbyist with reported ties to a Russian national whom special counsel Robert Mueller indicted in June pleaded guilty Friday to foreign lobbying violations.
Samuel Patten, a self-described international political consultant, was accused of acting “as an agent of a foreign principal, to wit, the Opposition Bloc (a Ukrainian political party) and its members, without registering” as a foreign lobbyist, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC.
Appearing before a federal judge in Washington, DC, on Friday morning, Patten, 47, pleaded guilty to those charges and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.
The case against Patten was referred by special counsel Robert Mueller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney Office confirmed to ABC News.
According to media reports, Patten has business ties to Konstantin Kilimnik, who was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year alongside former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
On his website, Patten advertises having worked for “multiple political parties and office-holders in Ukraine.”
According to prosecutors, Patten launched a lobbying firm with an unnamed Russian national in 2015 and began working on behalf of the Ukraine’s Opposition Bloc –- a group for whom Manafort also lobbied -– travelling frequently to Ukraine and accepting payments through an offshore account in Cyprus, as Manafort had.
As part of his work for the Ukrainians, Patten contacted and attempted to meet with members of Congress and their staff in an effort “to promote the interests” of his clients in Ukraine, according to court documents.
Manafort was recently convicted of eight counts of financial crimes in a federal case brought by Mueller’s team. Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, said his client was “disappointed” with the verdict and “weighing his options.”
Patten’s attorneys and government prosecutor’s will have until Oct. 31 to file a joint status report.