The first sentence has been handed down in the Mueller probe. Attorney Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch national, was sentence to 30 days in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for lying to the FBI following a guilty plea.
Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty in February to lying about his conversations with Rick Gates, who was Donald Trump’s deputy campaign manager in 2016, and an unnamed person who prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence.
Appearing in federal court Tuesday, Van der Zwaan told the judge, “What I did was wrong. I apologize to the court for my conduct.”
The special counsel’s office did not take a position on whether Van der Zwaan should face time behind bars, but suggested he should face a clear penalty.
Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 in federal court in Washington with lying to investigators about conversations related to a report he helped prepare on the trial of a Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko. Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which typically precedes a guilty plea.
Van Der Zwaan, identified on his LinkedIn page as an associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, was questioned regarding the firm’s work in 2012 on behalf of the Ukraine Ministry of Justice. He allegedly lied to investigators about his last communications with Richard Gates, who was indicted in October with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort over their consulting work in Ukraine.
The lawyer also allegedly lied about his talks with someone else, referred to by the government as “Person A.” Van Der Zwaan deleted and failed to produce emails sought by the special counsel and a law firm, prosecutors said.
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