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United States v. Craig

United States District Court, District of Columbia

August 6, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GREGORY B. CRAIG, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMY BERMAN JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On April 11, 2019, a grand jury indicted defendant Gregory Craig for two offenses arising out of statements he made to the National Security Division of the United States Department of Justice in 2013. Indictment (“Ind.”) [Dkt. # 1]. The statements related to his possible obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 22 U.S.C. §§ 611-621 (“FARA” or “the Act”), in connection with work he performed for the government of Ukraine. Id. Craig and his law firm were engaged to prepare a report, and the alleged false statements and omissions set forth in the indictment concern the extent of his participation in any public relations effort within the United States associated with the December 2012 release of the report. Ind. ¶¶ 7-46. Count One alleges that Craig engaged in a scheme to “knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal, and cover up . . . material facts” in his communications with the Division's Foreign Agents Registration Act Unit (“the FARA Unit” or “the Unit”) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1), and that he did so to avoid registering as a foreign agent and making the disclosures required under the Act. Ind. ¶¶ 47-48. Count Two alleges that he made false statements of material fact in an October 11, 2013 letter furnished to the FARA Unit under the provisions of the Act, and that he omitted material facts necessary to make those statements not misleading in violation of sections 612 and 618 of FARA, 22 U.S.C. §§ 612 and 618(a)(2). Ind. ¶¶ 66-67.

         The indictment sets forth the defendant's alleged “manner and means” of carrying out the scheme to conceal charged in Count One: (1) withholding information from attorneys within his law firm; (2) drafting false and misleading descriptions of his media contacts to be distributed within the law firm and also provided to the FARA Unit; and (3) omitting material facts “regarding his acts in furtherance of Ukraine's media plan” and his own contacts with reporters in his communications with the FARA Unit. Ind. ¶ 50. In a section entitled, “Execution of the Scheme, ” the indictment sets forth the specific false statements and omissions allegedly made by the defendant to his firm's general counsel and in letters to, and a meeting with, the Unit. Ind. ¶¶ 51-65.

         The defendant has filed two motions to dismiss, one for each count in the indictment. Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Count One [Dkt. # 19] (“Def. Count One Mot.”); Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Count Two [Dkt. # 20] (“Def. Count Two Mot.”).[1] This opinion concludes that Count Two must be dismissed, but Count One will proceed to trial.

         With respect to Count Two, while the Court can fairly square the plain language of 22 U.S.C. § 618, FARA's false statement provision, with the government's application of that provision to the October 11, 2013 letter the defendant submitted to the Department of Justice FARA Unit “Re: FARA Registration, ” it finds, after application of the full range of tools of statutory construction, including an analysis of the statute as a whole, that the legislature's clear intent cannot be discerned. Given this ambiguity concerning the breadth of the provision and the documents to which it was intended to apply, the rule of lenity requires the dismissal of the count.

         With respect to Count One, the question posed in the motion to dismiss is whether the indictment alleges a scheme to conceal something that Craig would have had a legal duty to reveal. The answer is yes: the Foreign Agents Registration Act creates the duty and puts individuals on notice of their specific disclosure obligations. The statute applies to anyone acting as a “foreign agent, ” and that term is statutorily defined to include individuals who are engaged not in just political advocacy, but also, certain public relations activities in the United States in the interests of foreign entities or individuals. 22 U.S.C. § 611(c). Foreign “agents” are not spies - what they do is legal. But they are required to register, which simply means they must disclose their activities and who paid for them. Id. § 612(a). Registration entails the completion of a government form that asks specific questions about the registrant's own public relations activities and any participation of public relations firms, in addition to other information. Id. Thus, this indictment, which alleges that Craig carried out a scheme to conceal his potential status as a foreign agent, by making a series of false or misleading statements and omissions allegedly obscuring the true timing and full nature of his public relations activities on behalf of Ukraine, states an offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1) that comports with Circuit precedent and the Constitution's due process clause. FARA places individuals on notice of a duty, arising out of both a federal statute and the government forms used to implement it, to reveal the very information Craig is charged with concealing.

         Also, the statute is not the sole source of the duty. In this case, the government agency charged with implementing FARA initiated an inquiry, and it asked focused questions, probing Craig's role in the public relations effort surrounding the release of a report that Craig and his law firm prepared for the government of Ukraine. The legal work - the creation of the report - was not the issue; the FARA Unit asked about statements made to the press about the report. The questions were posed for the stated purpose of enabling the agency to ascertain whether Craig or the firm was obliged to register as a foreign agent as a result of those activities, and Craig responded to these inquiries for the stated purpose of persuading the FARA Unit that he was not. Moreover, after the Unit informed Craig of its decision that he and his firm were bound to register, he embarked on an active effort to persuade the agency to change its position. Thus, this case is not United States v. Safavian, 528 F.3d 957 (D.C. Cir. 2008), the appellate decision that forms the foundation of Craig's motion. Unlike the defendant in that case, Craig is not charged with failing to volunteer information based on some undefined set of obligations. And he was not answering questions without any guideposts about what was or was not important: they are in the statute, they are in the registration form, and the FARA Unit laid out what it needed to know.

         The indictment alleges that Craig was engaged in ongoing communications with a law enforcement agency for the specific purpose of determining whether he was subject to a clearly defined statutory requirement to disclose public relations activities and identify their sponsor. Once he chose to answer the Unit's questions about facts directly related to that inquiry and the underlying duty, and then again when he took up the banner of persuading the agency that its decision was wrong, he was obliged to be both truthful and complete. The facts the indictment alleges he omitted were the facts necessary to make the registration determination; the indictment sets forth sufficient facts to allege that they were - contrary to the defendant's argument - the very sort of facts he was being asked about, and they were the facts that a foreign agent would ultimately have to disclose. Finally, it was the omission of those facts that allegedly made what he did say false or misleading, so they are appropriately included in the indictment for that reason alone. For these reasons, set forth in more detail below, Count One will not be dismissed as a matter of law for lack of a duty to disclose.

         The Court also concludes, based on the D.C. Circuit's decisions in Bramblett v. United States, 231 F.2d 489 (D.C. Cir. 1956), and United States v. Hubbell, 177 F.3d 11 (D.C. Cir. 1999), that Count One is not barred by the statute of limitations.

         STATUTORY BACKGROUND

         The Foreign Agents Registration Act is a disclosure statute. It requires anyone engaged in political or public relations activities in the United States on behalf of a “foreign principal” to register with the Attorney General to disclose the agency relationship. Ind. ¶ 3, citing 22 U.S.C. §§ 611-12. Section 612 of the Act requires any person acting as an “agent of a foreign principal” to file a registration statement, 22 U.S.C. § 612, and “agent of a foreign principal” is defined to mean anyone “who directly or through any other person . . . engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal” or “acts within the United States as a public relations counsel . . . for or in the interests of such foreign principal.” Id. § 611(c)(1)(i), (ii). The Act defines “political activities” to mean

any activity that the person engaging in believes will, or that the person intends to, in any way influence any agency or official of the Government of the United States or any section of the public within the United States with reference to formulating, adopting, or changing the domestic or foreign policies of the United States or with reference to the political or public interests, policies, or relations of a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party.

Id. § 611(o). And it defines “public-relations counsel” as

includ[ing] any person who engages directly or indirectly in informing, advising, or in any way representing a principal in any public relations matter pertaining to political or public interests, policies, or relations of such principal.

Id. § 611(g).

         The purpose of the Act is to prevent covert influence over U.S. policy by foreign principals. Ind. ¶¶ 3-4, citing 22 U.S.C. §§ 611-12. Simply put, the statute ensures that the public is informed of the true source or sponsor behind the information being disseminated for its consideration. Agents are required to submit a registration form to the FARA Unit, which is part of the National Security Division within the Department of Justice, and to file regular supplements. Ind. ¶ 3, citing 22 U.S.C § 612.

         THE INDICTMENT

         For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the Court is required to accept the facts alleged in the indictment as true.[2] The recitation of alleged facts that follows supplies the backdrop for the assessment of defendant's legal challenges of the charges against him, but it should not be read to signal the Court's point of view about the accuracy of the allegations or the defendant's guilt or innocence in this case. The facts have yet to be proved, and the defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until the government proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

         In early 2012, the government of Ukraine, a foreign principal under FARA, engaged defendant and his law firm to prepare a report concerning the 2011 trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Ind. ¶¶ 5-7. Tymoshenko's trial and conviction in Ukraine garnered criticism from Western governments and the media, and the firm was retained to conduct an independent inquiry into whether Tymoshenko had received a fair trial in accordance with Western standards of justice and prepare a report with its findings. Ind. ¶¶ 6-7. The indictment alleges that with the help of an American lobbyist, Ukraine planned to utilize the report as part of a larger strategy to improve its international public image. Ind. ¶ 7.

         From the start of the project, Craig was aware of FARA's requirements. Ind. ¶ 8. On or about February 13, 2012, he emailed the co-author of the report, also a partner at the firm, saying, “I don't want to register as a foreign agent under FARA. I think we don't have to with this assignment, yes?” Ind. ¶ 9. According to the indictment, Craig was concerned that registration as an agent of Ukraine could affect efforts by the lawyers involved to obtain government employment in the future. Ind. ¶ 8. Also, registration would have required the firm to disclose that a private Ukrainian citizen had paid more than $4 million for the firm's services on the report, and that the firm had also been hired by Ukraine to assist in a second prosecution of Tymoshenko for other charges. Id. The indictment alleges that Craig feared these revelations would undermine the perceived independence of the report. Id.

         Neither the amount of the fee nor the source of the funding for the report was a matter of public record at that time, and the indictment details Craig's involvement in keeping it secret. In April of 2012, he prepared and signed a formal engagement letter with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice that falsely stated that the total fee for the work would only amount to approximately $12, 000 U.S. dollars and made no mention of the $4 million from the private individual. Ind. ¶ 13.

         After completing the formal engagement letter, Craig continued to discuss the registration question with other lawyers in the firm, focusing particularly on Ukraine's interest in public relations. On or around April 17, 2012, an associate within the firm relayed advice from a partner with FARA experience:

In his view, our work writing a report evaluating the Ukrainian proceedings would not trigger FARA obligations. However, if we were to perform public relations work aimed at the US, if our London lawyers were to do so, or if we were to subcontract with a PR firm to do so, then we would be obligated to register under FARA.

Email of Apr. 17, 2012, Ex. 1 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-1] at 1; Ind. ¶ 15. In response to this advice, the firm attorney who co-authored the report told defendant:

I think our engagement should not include PR advice. . . . [S]omebody else can hire the PR team and manage that. I say this for two reasons. First, it will create a FARA problem. Second, I actually think it's much better for our representation to be “rule of law” advisers, not “rule of law”-and-PR advisers. Including a PR component as part of our representation has the potential to undermine our work. We're in this representation as lawyers, not spin doctors, and I think it's important that we are able to say that. In any event, the FARA issue looks insurmountable.

Email of Apr. 17, 2012 at 1; Ind. ¶ 15. Defendant responded: “Good advice.” Email of Apr. 17, 2012 at 1; Ind. ¶ 15.

         The indictment goes on to allege that on or around April 30, 2012, defendant gave the Ukraine's American lobbyist the names of four public relations firms that he thought could handle media messaging and strategy for the report's release, including a PR firm he had worked with previously. Ind. ¶ 17. Defendant advocated for Ukraine to retain that firm, [3] and Ukraine did with the help of the American lobbyist. Ind. ¶ 18.

         Defendant also communicated with the American lobbyist about the message to be communicated at the time of the report's release, discussing concerns that a draft of the report might be leaked and the need to ensure that the report would be viewed as independent: “The worst thing that could happen to the project, to this law firm, to your guy and to me would be to have someone on your side falsely leak a story that ‘[Law Firm] Finds Tymoshenko Guilty' ‘[Law Firm] Report Exonerates Ukraine.' That kind of story would be a disaster. We have to join arms to get something just a little more nuanced. Yes?” Ind. ¶ 21.

         With respect to the funding for the report, the indictment alleges that a bank account in Cyprus controlled by the lobbyist was used to pass the more than $4 million in payments from the private Ukrainian to defendant's law firm - facts the defendant did not disclose publicly. Ind. ¶ 23. When the media began to question the publicly reported $12, 000 fee for the report, defendant communicated with others at his firm and worked with the lobbyist to create a backdated letter and false invoice from defendant's firm to the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice for $1, 250, 000, allegedly so that it would appear that the Ministry, and not the private Ukrainian, had paid for the report. Ind. ¶¶ 24-27.

         In late August, the public relations firm's strategy documents for the release of the report were forwarded to defendant. Ind. ¶ 28. The documents included a statement that “[the Law Firm] cannot proactively lead in communications, given their restrictions by FARA registration and disclosure.” Id. They also included “a spreadsheet titled ‘Master Control Grid,' which stated that on the day before the Report's public release, Craig would provide ‘[m]edia briefings' to select journalists to be later identified.” Id.

         In September of 2012, as defendant and his firm finalized the report, the lobbyist sent defendant a draft PR plan in preparation for the report's release, writing, “I wanted to get this document to you to bring your thinking into the process.” Ind. ¶ 30. The draft plan stated that the release would “provide an opportunity for the independent endorsement of the Government message that the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko (YT) was not politically motivated and that her conviction was based on evidence before the court.” Id. And it proposed taking several steps before the public release of the report: leaking the report to a media outlet, having a former Congressman at a U.S.-based lobbying firm retained by Ukraine brief a selected journalist, and arranging for Craig to brief the journalist as well. Id.

         On or around September 23, 2012, defendant met with the lobbyist, a senior executive of the PR firm, and others in New York to discuss the report's release. Ind. ¶¶ 31-32. At the meeting, defendant agreed to provide a copy of the report and a briefing to a selected reporter, and he suggested the name of a particular reporter he knew. Craig also agreed that he and others would “background, ” or speak off the record to reporters concerning the report's release, Ind. ¶ 31, but he emailed the lobbyist and the PR firm the next day to tell them that providing background to reporters was against firm policy. Ind. ¶ 32.

         About a week later, on or around October 2, 2012, defendant contacted a reporter he knew (“Reporter 1”) to ask whether the reporter would be willing to discuss the report with a former Congressman who was working on behalf of Ukraine. Ind. ¶ 33. The two did not talk at that time because the release of the report was delayed. Id.

         Two months later, the report was finalized and scheduled to be released on December 13, 2012. At that point, the manager of the PR firm emailed Reporter 1 to ask if he would be interested in receiving a copy of the report and an exclusive briefing with defendant Craig prior to its official release. Ind. ¶ 37. Defendant also sent an email: “I just learned that the Ukrainians intend to release our report . . . on Thursday . . . and that [they] have determined that you should be given first look at it. . . . [I]f you are interested, I would be happy to get you a copy . . . and even happier to talk to you about it.” Ind. ¶ 38. Defendant then spoke with Reporter 1 on or around December 11, 2012, he personally hand-delivered a copy of the report to Reporter 1's home in Washington, D.C., and he reported in an email to the PR firm: “[w]e told [Reporter l] that it was his if he wanted to use it. He agreed to get back to us with an answer tomorrow. Tomorrow is not too late for [another U.S. reporter] or for [another major U.S. newspaper].” Ind. ¶ 39.

         On or around December 12, 2012, defendant received an email containing six questions in advance of a scheduled telephone interview with Reporter 2, a Moscow-based colleague of Reporter 1, and he sent an on-the-record quote to Reporter 1 in Washington to use in an article. Ind. ¶ 40. The quote read: “We leave to others the question of whether this prosecution was politically motivated. Our assignment was to look at the evidence in the record and determine whether the trial was fair.” Id. Later that evening, an article written by Reporter 1 and Reporter 2 was published. Id. It included the quote defendant emailed to Reporter 1 and stated that the report would be released the following day. Id.

         On or about December 12, 2012, defendant also gave an interview to a newspaper reporter from the United Kingdom who had been identified in the media plan prepared by the PR firm. Ind. ¶ 41. Paragraph 42 of the indictment alleges that “[a]s a result of these acts in furtherance of Ukraine's public relations strategy regarding the Report, Craig had an obligation under FARA to register as an agent of Ukraine.” Ind. ¶ 42.

         On December 13, 2012, the government of Ukraine officially released the report, and defendant's law firm then responded to inquiries from two other media publications. Ind. ¶¶ 43-44. That day, the American lobbyist congratulated Craig with an email with the subject line: “Well Done.” Ind. ¶ 45. He wrote, “The pro has emerged again. The initial rollout has been very effective and your backgrounding has been key to it all.” Id.

         Less than a week after these events, the Managing Director of the law firm heard from the FARA Unit. See Ind. ¶ 51. In a letter dated December 18, 2012, “Re: Possible Obligation to Register Pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, ” the Chief of the Unit drew the firm's attention to a newspaper article and wrote: “[i]t has come to our attention . . . that your firm may be engaged in activities on behalf of the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Ukraine, which may require registration pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act.” Letter of Dec. 18, 2012, Ex. 3 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-3]; see Ind. ¶ 51. She asked the firm to provide the Unit with several categories of information “[i]n order that we may determine whether your organization is required to register, ” including “a description of the activities the firm has engaged in or the services it has rendered to the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Ukraine.” Letter of Dec. 18, 2012; see Ind. ¶ 51.

         It was defendant who answered on behalf of the firm. Writing on or about February 6, 2013, “to respond to your letter . . . dated December 18, 2012, ” Craig described the engagement and emphasized that it was an explicit component of the assignment that the firm would not provide any services that would be covered under FARA or would require registration. Ind. ¶ 53; see Letter of Feb. 6, 2013, Ex. 4 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-4] at 2. The indictment notes that the letter made no reference to defendant's contacts with U.S. media surrounding the release of the report or his involvement in the PR firm's media plan. Ind. ¶ 53.

         On April 9, 2013, the FARA Unit acknowledged receipt of defendant's February 6 letter and its enclosures “responding to our letter of December 18, 2012, concerning your firm's possible obligation to register pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act.” Letter of Apr. 9, 2013, Ex. 5 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-5] at 1; see Ind. ¶ 54. Its letter of April 9 advised the defendant: “[w]e have reviewed the materials, and need additional information to determine whether your firm is obligated to register under the Act.” Letter of Apr. 9, 2013 at 1. The Unit posed a number of questions related to any funding the firm received beyond the $12, 000 and the existence and identity of any additional funding sources, and the letter included a series of questions concerning public relations:

(1) To whom, if anyone, did your firm release or distribute the report and when? . . .
(5) What [had been the law] firm's understanding of what would happen to the report when it was released to the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice?
(6) Did you or anyone in your firm have any media interviews or comments to the media, public, or government officials about the report and the findings of your firm?

Letter of Apr. 9, 2013 at 2; Ind. ¶ 54.

         Throughout April and May 2013, defendant and the co-author of the report prepared a response to the FARA Unit's questions, with defendant drafting that portion of the response describing his contacts with the media and the timing and intent of those contacts. Ind. ¶ 55.

         Defendant signed a letter dated June 3, 2013 that responded to the FARA Unit. Ind. ¶ 56; Letter of June 3, 2013, Ex. 6 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-6] at 1 (“The purpose of this letter is to reply to the questions in your letter of April 9, 2013.”). He answered question 1:

In addition to giving the report to representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the law firm on December 12-13, 2012 provided a copy of the report (1) to Ms. Tymoshenko's legal team in Ukraine, and to a member of her legal team in the United States . . . (in response to his request); (2) to a representative of the individual in Ukraine who helped fund the project . . .; (3) to [Reporter 1]; [and the other reporters with whom the firm communicated after the report's public release].

Letter of June 3, 2013 at 2. He answered question 5 by stating: “[t]he law firm viewed the distribution of the report as a matter that would be decided by the Ukraine Government in its sole discretion. The law firm did not advise the Ministry on that issue.” Letter of June 3, 2013 at 3. In response to question 6, he wrote:

The law firm issued no statements and made no comments to the media, the public or government officials about the report. Gregory Craig provided brief clarifying statements about the report to [Reporter 1] and [the other reporters with whom the firm communicated after the report's public release]. One purpose of the statements was to correct misinformation that the media had received - and was reporting - from the Ministry of Justice and from the Tymoshenko legal team in Ukraine. Neither the law firm nor its lawyers sought to influence American public opinion or U.S. government policy.

Letter of June 3, 2013 at 3. The letter did not identify the private Ukrainian or state how much the firm had been paid for the report. See Letter of June 3, 2013; Ind. ¶ 57.

         On or around September 5, 2013, the FARA Unit notified defendant and the firm that it had determined the dissemination of the report required registration.

Our review of the documentation concludes that [the law firm] was an agent of the Ministry and was engaged in political activities in the United States for the Ministry. You indicate that your firm was paid by the Ukraine to produce an independent report on the Tymoshenko prosecution, and that the report was disseminated to news media by your firm. You further state that you spoke with representatives of the media to correct misinformation regarding the report. The dissemination of the report to the media and your communications with the media were political activities as defined in 22 U.S.C. § 611(o) of FARA. Furthermore, by engaging in these activities for the Ministry, [the law firm] acted as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, and information-service employee as defined in Section 611 of the Act. We have determined that your actions in contacting the media were activities meant to influence the U.S. public with reference to the political or public interests, policies or relations of Ukraine. Accordingly, [the law firm] must register under FARA as an agent of the Ministry.

Letter of Sept. 5, 2013, Ex. 7 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-7] at 1; see Ind. ¶ 58.

         On or around September 19, 2013, defendant spoke to the law firm's General Counsel and advanced the position that the firm should resist registering under FARA. Ind. ¶ 59. He also sent an email to the General Counsel containing the following statements, which the indictment alleges are false and misleading:

         Just for the record:

(1) [The Law Firm] did not “disseminate the report to the news media.” Three media outlets who were not able to obtain a copy of the report from the Ministry in Kiev, contacted us and asked us to provide them with a copy. The report was a public document.
(2) At no time did [the Law Firm] “contact the media.” Quite to the contrary, we were approached by the media - asked for interviews, asked for background commentary, etc. - and we did not respond. The only time we responded was to correct misinformation.
(3) To the best of my recollection, our statements to the press were not about Ukraine. They were to correct misinformation. The statements were about our report and us.

Id.

         The following day, on September 20, 2013, defendant transmitted a draft of a letter responding to the FARA Unit to the General Counsel. It included statements that:

• When Craig gave the report to Reporter 1 and the two publications with which the law firm had communicated after the report's public release, it was because Ukrainian authorities had already publicly released it “much earlier in that day, but these three outlets - for some reason - had not been able to obtain copies of the report. They approached the firm, asked us if we could provide them with a copy, and we did so.”
• “No one in this law firm initiated any contacts with the media.”
• “[M]y contact with [the three journalists] was for the sole purpose of defending my law firm and correcting misinformation.”

Ind. ¶ 60.

         The letter was not sent. Ind. ¶ 60. Instead, defendant and the firm's General Counsel met in person with the FARA Unit Chief and members of the staff on October 9, 2013. Ind. ¶ 61. The indictment alleges that in that meeting, Craig made false and misleading statements that were consistent with the statements made to the General Counsel, in particular, “that his media contacts were solely reactive and for the purpose of correcting misinformation.” Id.

         Two days later, at the request of the FARA Unit, defendant put his position in writing. He sent a letter “Re: FARA Registration” setting out information “[i]n further consideration of the issues raised in your letter of September 5, 2013.” Letter of Oct. 10, 2013, Ex. 9 to Def. Count One Mot. [Dkt. # 19-9] at 1; Ind. ¶ 62. According to the indictment, the letter reiterated some of what defendant said at the October 9 meeting, and it included the following statements:

[T]his law firm provided a copy of the Tymoshenko Report (“the Report”) to certain U.S. media outlets. This was done in response to requests from the media. The firm did not provide copies of the Report to any other media outlets in the United States.
With respect to statements appearing in [two publications], those statements were intended to correct mischaracterizations of the Report, some of which were attributable to Ukraine. . . .
In responding to inaccuracies in U.S. news reports - some of which were directly attributable to Ukraine - the law firm did not consult with Ukraine, did not inform Ukraine, did not act under instruction from Ukraine ...

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