First person sentenced in Russia probe gets 30 days

04 April 2018, 01:32 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Alexander van der Zwaan, former lawyer who lied in Mueller investigation, gets 30-day sentence, $20G in fines

A Lawyer Who Admitted Lying To The Special Counsel's Office Was Just Sentenced To One Month In Jail

A Dutch lawyer with direct knowledge of contacts between Russian intelligence and a top official in US President Donald Trump's campaign became the first person sentenced in special prosecutor Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation Tuesday.

Last month, the lawyer pleaded guilty and told prosecutors he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his past links with Rick Gates - a Manafort protege who held a senior position in the Trump campaign.

He said Mueller, who was assigned to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct that occurred years before the 2016 presidential election.

Van der Zwaan has no known ties to the Trump campaign but court documents say he and Gates held discussions with a business associate and former Russian intelligence officer during the final months of the 2016 campaign.

Van der Zwaan had faced a maximum of five years in prison and a quarter-million-dollar fine for lying to investigators, though federal recommendations had put his likely sentence between zero and six months. "These were lies", Jackson told van der Zwaan as he stood before her.

His wedding to art critic Eva Khan featured in Russian Tatler magazine previous year.

"He is literally in limbo", Schwartz said.

During this same time period, Manafort and Gates were working for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych - a Kremlin-backed leader with dubious democratic credentials.

Rosenstein's memo was one part of a larger court filing Mueller's office submitted Monday as a defense of its investigative strategy on Manafort so far. He said Mueller overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct that occurred years before the 2016 presidential election.

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The judge added that she was disappointed he did not write a letter to the court on his own behalf to express remorse, and said it would not deter others if she merely let him "write a check and walk away".

Gates has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and, according to reports, is cooperating with Mueller's probe.

He made the false statements to Mueller's investigators in November.

Van der Zwaan last June married Eva Khan, the daughter of Khan.

His lawyers had asked that he be able to return to London by August, when his wife is due to deliver their first child.

The subject of the recorded phone call, prosecutors said, was a 2012 report prepared by van der Zwaan's law firm about the jailing of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Prosecutors say in their court filing that given their mandate to investigate links between Trump associates and Russian Federation, it was logical and appropriate to investigate Manafort for ties to Russia-backed politicians and oligarchs.

The report prepared by Skadden was used to defend Ukraine's then pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych from worldwide criticism over the jailing of Ms Tymoshenko, a bitter rival who he defeated to become president in 2010.



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