Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Tuesday dropped one of two criminal charges against President Barack Obama's White House counsel Gregory Craig for allegedly making false statements about his work for Ukraine.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson moved to dismiss one count of making false and misleading statements in a letter to the Department of Justice's Foreign Agents Registration Act department, saying she can "fairly square the plain language" of the law's provision, but "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," Jackson wrote.
Jackson added that this was a "close question," but the Supreme Court has held that ambiguous statutes should be interpreted in favor of the accused party.
"The court cannot overlook the fact that the Supreme Court has been steadfast in insisting upon clarity in the language of criminal statutes," she wrote.
Craig was accused of lying about what kind of work his law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, performed for the Ukrainian government in 2012 and 2013.
A second charge that he worked to "knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal and cover up ... material facts" in his communications with the FARA department will continue to trial.