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First Person Sentenced In Robert Mueller's Russia Investigation

04 April 2018

A Dutch attorney who lied to federal agents investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in prison in the first punishment handed down in special counsel's Russian Federation investigation.

Alex van der Zwaan, who worked with Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort while he practiced law at a large global firm, admitted to lying and failing to turn over emails to Mueller's team in February.

Manafort, who was indicted past year on a series of felony charges related to his work in Ukraine before joining Trump's campaign, has not been charged with any crimes connected to the presidential race.

Van der Zwaan received a 30-day prison sentence as well as a $20,000 fine and two months probation.

That person is believed to be Manafort employee Konstantin Kilimnik, though he denies and links to Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, which is believed to be behind the hack of Democratic emails in 2016. Manafort was President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

Gates pleaded guilty in February and has been cooperating in Mueller's probe. He also had lied years ago about helping Gates to spin an independent report he worked on in favor of Gates' and Manafort's political clients in Ukraine. "Because investigation of those matters was authorized, so was prosecution". Van der Zwaan later returned to the special counsel's office on December 1 to "correct the record", his lawyers wrote. Late Monday night, Mueller said in a court filing that a separate memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein specifically detailed his mandate, and he's consulted with Rosenstein over the course of the investigation.

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"To the extent the Court seeks to take into account the circumstances of van der Zwaan's wife's pregnancy, consideration of that circumstance would not preclude a term of incarceration", the special counsel's office wrote.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion.

Van der Zwaan does have a prominent connection to Russian Federation beyond his work with Gates and Manafort - his father-in-law is Alfa Bank co-founder German Khan, one of the country's richest men.

None of the charges so far directly relate to the issue of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Van der Zwaan worked with Gates and Manafort during his tenure in London at the prestigious law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which fired him previous year.

A court filing Monday night revealed an August 2 memo that showed the Department of Justice's backing authorized Mueller to go after Manafort for allegedly working with Russian Federation to interfere in the election "in violation of United States law".

First Person Sentenced In Robert Mueller's Russia Investigation