FOREIGN AGENTS

Skadden Law Firm Settles With DOJ Over Manafort Work on Behalf of Ukraine

Law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom—which worked for the Ukrainian government with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort—has settled with the Justice Department, agreeing to pay over $4.6 million and register as a foreign agent, according to a DOJ release. As part of the settlement, the law firm has acknowledged that a partner misled prosecutors about the extent of its work for Ukraine. “A partner then at Skadden made false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit, which led it to conclude in 2013 that the firm was not obligated to register under FARA,” prosecutors said. “The facts, when uncovered, showed that Skadden was indeed required to register in 2012, and, under the Agreement, it will do so retroactively.”

According to the DOJ, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice hired the firm—with the assistance of Manafort—to write a report on the 2011 trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, a top political opponent of Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine. The Justice Department also said the firm had agreed to advise Ukraine on a “second, potential future prosecution” of Tymoshenko. In a statement, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said the firm’s report for Tymoshenko was “part of a Ukrainian foreign influence campaign.” A former lawyer at Skaaden, Alex Van Der Zwaan, spent 30 days in jail after he was charged with making false statements to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.