A political consultant with ties to Cambridge Analytica, Sam Patten, is in court this morning for an arraignment and plea hearing. It seems, like many D.C. insiders peripherally caught up in the Russia probe, he failed to file Foreign Agent Registration Act documents while working for foreign politicians, including in Ukraine.
Patten, a former Bush administration official, hasn’t spent much time in the spotlight — but some reporters have dug into his past.
Patten has ties to Konstantin Kilimnik, the Ukrainian political operative who special counsel Robert Mueller has accused of being a Russian intelligence agent, and has worked alongside Paul Manafort in Ukraine advising pro-Russia politicians. Patten and Kilimnik have known each other for nearly two decades: They first met working for the International Republican Institute, a conservative foreign policy group, in Moscow in the early 2000s.
In February 2015, as the 2016 campaign season began to ramp up, Patten and Kilimnik founded Begemot Ventures International, a D.C. political consulting firm. Cryptically, “Begemot” is the Russian word for “hippopotamus.”
Notably, Patten also helped Cambridge Analytica develop its microtargeting operation, and worked with the firm on campaigns abroad.
To dig deeper, read these two pieces:
- The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay: “Accused Russian Intel Asset Teamed Up With GOP Operative“
- The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand: “A Suspected Russian Spy, With Curious Ties to Washington“