As many government employees are on furlough, the federal prosecutors investigating Russia influence in the 2016 elections continued to make filings and take care of business.
The latest news that will cause Donald Trump to lose sleep is that a Joint Status Report Under Seal has been filed in the W. Samuel Patten criminal matter.
Interesting. Government just filed a joint status report under seal for Sam Patten, a Manafort/Kilimnik associate who pleaded guilty in August to failing to register as a foreign agent and admitted to steering foreign funds to Trump's inaugural. He's been cooperating ever since. pic.twitter.com/pgedX5KtcE
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) December 31, 2018
Patten is a lobbyist and political consultant who was a close partner of Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik, as well as working for the parent of Cambridge Analytica and working with Paul Manafort.
“Washington lobbyist W. Samuel Patten, who has been one of the most low-profile but potentially significant cooperators in the special counsel’s office investigation, appears to still be involved with sensitive aspects of Robert Mueller and the Justice Department’s work.”
“In a court filing Monday meant to update a judge on his case and whether he should proceed to sentencing, prosecutors revealed nothing. Instead, they filed the entire status update under seal, giving no public reason for keeping details of his case private.”
In August, Patten pleaded guilty for failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act while representing the Opposition Bloc, a Ukrainian political party. Patten also admitted to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
This particular status report might be trouble for Trump because Patten agreed to cooperate with prosecutors after he admitted to laundering a $50,000 contribution from Kilimnik to the Trump Inauguration Committee. The admission included that he had taken money from Kilimnik and transferred it from a Cypriot bank to his company, then used an unnamed American to get it to the committee.
Although Trump’s lawyers said that Patten’s plea does not have “a single thing” to do with “Trump” or with “collusion,” Patten has been cooperating, and the status report was filed under seal in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Like much in the Mueller investigation, we don’t know all the details about what was filed but it does not look good for Trump.
Since his plea, Patten has been cooperating with prosecutors, including special counsel Robert Mueller, who referred his case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C..
“Government prosecutors were due to file a joint status report with Patten’s defense attorneys on Monday, which could have revealed information about the extent of his cooperation in ongoing investigations and his readiness to be sentenced. The government’s decision to file the document under seal, which prosecutors acknowledged in a brief notice to the court on Monday, suggests they wanted to keep information shielded from the public.”
“It remains unknown what cases, beyond the Mueller investigation, with which Patten is cooperating. Federal prosecutors in New York City are said to be leading separate investigations into foreign lobbying and Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee.”
In short, despite the New Year’s holiday, and even though the government is partially shut down, Bob Mueller and other federal prosecutors are hard at work. And that is very bad news for the President of the United States.