DC Lobbyist Who Cooperated With Mueller Asks For Probation On Foreign Lobbying Charge

Sam Patten. (Facebook)

International political consultant W. Samuel Patten asked for a sentence of no jail time in a Monday court filing, arguing that his extensive cooperation with the government and remorse for his crimes warranted a probationary sentence.

Patten, who pleaded guilty to an illegal foreign lobbying charge in August 2018 in a case brought by D.C. federal prosecutors, apologized for his actions while going out of his way to distinguish himself from Paul Manafort.

“People have not done things to me. I could have registered under FARA for my Ukrainian client the moment my efforts to serve him triggered the registration requirement,” Patten wrote in a letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson. “I could have told my client ‘no,’ when he asked me to buy him tickets to the Inauguration party, but I was too eager to please and I broke a rule in doing so.”

Patten’s cooperation agreement has attracted interest in part because of the role he played in buying tickets to the Trump inaugural on behalf of his Ukrainian client Serhiy Lyovochkin and business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI believes to be a Russian intelligence asset.

Patten emphasized the length of his cooperation with federal prosecutors in his plea for leniency, including those with the Mueller investigation.

“Over the course of that cooperation, which will be described in sealed pleadings, Mr. Patten earned the trust of the government and became a reliable and valuable resource,” the sentencing memorandum reads. 

Though the memorandum offers scant new details on the underlying criminality that led Patten to this juncture, he does claim that he acted out of “loyalty to friends, clients, and his own self-interests.” 

Patten struck a markedly different tone in his memorandum and accompanying letter than that of Manafort, repeatedly expressing contrition while openly comparing his regret at times with Manafort’s lack of remorse.

“Unlike the Manafort case and those cited above, Mr. Patten was not hired to lobby in the United States,” the memorandum reads. “While that does not mean he cannot now be found to have violated FARA, it does show a substantial difference between his state of mind and that of the other defendants.”

Patten also adds that he “knew better and should have taken his FARA responsibilities more seriously. It is no excuse that the government historically has been reluctant to enforce FARA’s criminal penalties.”

That’s a marked contrast with Manafort’s pre-sentencing assertions that “but for the appointment of the Special Counsel and his Office’s decision to pursue Mr. Manafort for a rarely prosecuted FARA violation, Mr. Manafort would not have been indicted in the District of Columbia.”

Patten will be sentenced by Judge Berman Jackson, who also sentenced Manafort last month, on April 12.

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