Lawyer sentenced to prison for lying to special counsel investigators

Lawyer sentenced to prison for lying to special counsel investigators

Alex van der Zwaan, 33, - who worked with Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort - was also sentenced to two months of supervised release.

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.

According to the Associated Press, van der Zwaan's attorneys sought for him to pay a fine and leave the country as a sentence.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has secured the first sentence in his probe into Russian election meddling, but the sentence has nothing to do with the 2016 election or Russian interference.

"Van der Zwaan was charged by Mueller's team with making false statements to investigators in an interview about his time working for a law firm hired by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice in 2012, when he helped produce a report on the trail of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko", writes Fox. This is Manafort's first court appearance since his longtime deputy Rick Gates pleaded guilty last week in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

During interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, van der Zwaan told the feds that he last spoke to Gates in August 2016, but it was later revealed that he spoke to Gates in September 2016.

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Gates and Manafort were indicted a year ago on charges related to laundering tens of millions of dollars and failing to register as agents acting on behalf of a foreign government. In addition to authorizing the Russian Federation collusion investigation of Manafort, Rosenstein also specifically authorized Mueller to investigate any crimes related to payments Manafort received from the Ukrainian government during the tenure of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Van der Zwaan's archived biography at the law firm stated that he represented Millhouse Capital and Evraz Holding, the private London investment firm and Russian steel and mining conglomerate owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and defended Ukrainian banking, energy and mining oligarch Gennadiy Bogolyubov against separate claims by a fellow Ukrainian billionaire, Viktor Pinchuk, and a Russian oil company, TatNeft.

The criminal case against van der Zwaan is not directly related to Russian election interference, the main focus of Mueller's probe.

U.S. intelligence agencies say Russian President Vladimir Putin himself was behind a hacking and disinformation effort to disrupt the election and increase Trump's chances of winning.

Van der Zwaan last June married Eva Khan, the daughter of Khan. His lawyers had asked the US District Court judge in Washington to let him return to London by August, when his wife is due to give birth.

Weissmann noted Tuesday that van der Zwaan had lied to his law firm and to former White House counsel Greg Craig, the senior partner with whom he worked before he was sacked, about his interactions with Gates. A version of the memo filed in court showed that Rosenstein signed off on an investigation into whether Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials", as well as into Manafort's work as an worldwide political consultant in Ukraine before joining Trump's campaign in 2016.