Manafort Associate, US Lobbyist Sam Patten Has Flipped, Pleads Guilty, Funneled Illegal Foreign Money To Trump

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An American political consultant who is cooperating with federal prosecutors admitted in court Friday that he steered $50,000 illegal payment from a Russian-backed Ukrainian politician to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee — the first public confirmation that illegal foreign money was used to help fund the January 2017 event.mueller-grand-jury
Patten’s plea and cooperation agreement is connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the election and coordination with the Trump campaign — even apparently reaching into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s inner circle in Ukraine.
This is the first time the Justice Department has publicly charged a person for helping a foreigner secretly funnel money into a Trump political event. Under his deal with prosecutors, Patten is charged only with one criminal count. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony charge. A sentencing date has not been set.
Patten sought tickets to Trump’s inauguration on behalf of an unnamed prominent Ukrainian oligarch, according to court documents released Friday, ultimately paying $50,000 for four tickets. Patten used another
American as a “straw purchaser,” funneling the Ukrainian’s money secretly to the inaugural committee through a Cypriot bank account.

“Patten was aware at the time that the Presidential Inauguration Committee could not accept money from foreign nationals,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.

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Rudy Giuliani, the President’s lawyer, told reporters Friday Patten’s case had nothing to do with his client.
“It turned about to be this irrelevant indictment, where I think Mueller has turned out to be a private prosecutor,” Giuliani said. “What does this have to do with President Trump? Not a single thing. It has nothing to do with collusion, some guy who donated to the inauguration? My goodness,they had 500,000 people donate to the inauguration — every time they get a speeding ticket is Mueller going to do it?”
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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