Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sam Patten, a former associate of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was charged on Friday for failing to register as a foreign agent for his involvement with a Ukrainian political party, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: This is yet another person taken down by the far-reaching Mueller investigation. And, as Axios' Mike Allen reported, there is still a lot of evidence the special counsel has — or could have — that we have yet to seen.

The details: Patten's felony charge, which he pleded guilty to, could lead to a maximum of five years in prison, per Bloomberg. The case was referred to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Jessie Liu, spokesman William Miller told Bloomberg.

Patten admitted to helping donate foreign money to President Trump's Inaugural Committee, according to a separate Bloomberg report. Patten "enlisted a U.S. citizen to serve as a 'straw' buyer," in order to get a Ukranian client a ticket to the inauguration. The "straw" buyer bought four tickets for a total of $50,000, per Bloomberg. Patten won't be charged with this, as a part of his plea deal, Bloomberg reports.

  • Patten was paid "more than $1 million for Ukranian opposition bloc work," CNN reports, including meeting with Senate committee members and various lawmakers, as well as members of the executive branch.
  • During the 2014 election cycle, Patten worked with Cambridge Analytica. He also worked "for multiple political parties and office-holders in Ukraine."
  • He also reportedly worked for two U.S. senators, and was appointed as "senior adviser to the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global affairs" in 2008.

Patten had a "long friendship" with a Russian intelligence agent Konstantin Kilimnik, The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand reported in April. Kilimnik also worked with Manafort and Rick Gates — both of whom have been prosecuted in the Mueller probe.

Read the charges:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

Dave Lawler, author of World
49 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!