Craig Trial To Re-Start After Closed Jury Selection

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The trial of former Obama administration White House counsel Gregory Craig was thrown off-course Tuesday when defense lawyers objected to a jury selection that has played out largely behind closed doors, reports U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., barred the public from sitting in on most questioning of prospective jurors Monday, a step she said would protect the jurors’ privacy in the closely watched case. Prosecutors and Craig’s defense team did not object at the time, but the Justice Department raised concern after the day’s proceedings.

Defense lawyer William Murphy said DOJ’s concerns had taken Craig’s defense team “by surprise.”  “In thinking about it all in hindsight,” Murphy said, Craig’s defense team came to share those concerns. “Are you telling me we need to start over?” Jackson asked. “Yes,” Murphy replied. Jackson is summoning between 120 and 125 new jurors for questioning that will begin Wednesday. Craig was charged in April with misleading the Justice Department about his work for Ukraine during his time as a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prosecutors allege that Craig deceived the Justice Department to avoid disclosing his Ukraine work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law requiring the disclosure of foreign influence in the U.S. Craig’s trial is expected to stretch past Labor Day.

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