Overall, Patten was paid more than $1 million for his Ukrainian opposition bloc work including meeting with members of the executive branch, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members and members of Congress. He also worked with an unnamed Russian — believed to be former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s close associate Konstantin Kilimnik — to place op-ed articles in US media in 2017, the Justice Department says.
Kilimnik was among the alleged co-conspirators that helped Manafort hide his Ukrainian consulting income in foreign bank accounts, according to documents revealed at Manafort’s trial for financial crimes earlier this month. Mueller’s prosecutors charged Kilimnik and Manafort in June in a separate federal court with witness tampering, after Kilimnik reached out to potential witnesses in Manafort foreign lobbying case. Kilimnik has not entered a plea in his case, because he is living in Moscow, prosecutors say. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the foreign lobbying charges, and those criminal allegations do not reach past 2015.
Kilimnik co-ran a company with Patten, called Begemot Ventures International, according to business records. According to the court filing in the Patten case Friday, Patten and Foreigner A “formed a company in the United States and were 50-50 partners. Beginning in or around 2015, Company A, among other things, advised the Opposition Bloc and members of that part.”
As part of his plea, Patten agreed to cooperate with both Mueller’s office and prosecutors from the DC US Attorney’s Office going forward, including turning over documents and testifying at future grand jury hearings or criminal trials.
Lying to Congress
Patten admitted to lying to the US Senate Intelligence Committee in January this year about the inauguration tickets. While testifying, he attempted to hide his connections to the Ukrainian oligarch and the Russian national with whom he worked, prosecutors said.
Patten “intentionally did not provide” the committee documents related to the Ukrainian oligarch’s purchase of four Trump inaugural tickets and lied to the Senate Committee about his foreign lobbying work. He also deleted documents “pertinent to his relationships” with the foreign political interests, according to the Justice Department prosecutors.
Senate intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner said they referred Patten to the Justice Department.
“We can confirm that Mr. Patten produced documents to the Committee and was interviewed by Committee staff,” the senators said in a statement. “Due to concerns about certain statements made by Mr. Patten, the Committee made a criminal referral to the Department of Justice. While the charge, and resultant plea, do not appear to directly involve our referral, we appreciate their review of this matter.”
He added no new details when describing Patten’s criminal offense, though he added the words more than once that Patten “was working as a foreign agent of the Opposition Bloc.”