Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Russian Federation inquiry: Lawyer jailed for 30 days

Steven Clarke | 04 April, 2018, 01:29

Alexander van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's team, was sentenced to 30 days in jail Tuesday morning.

In February Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to making false statements concerning his phone calls, and emails with Richard Gates, a former aide for the Trump campaign.

Van der Zwaan had faced zero to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, and his attorneys had pushed for him to pay a fine and leave the country.

Mueller's office has said "Person A" has maintained ongoing ties to the Russian military intelligence service and had communicated with Gates and van der Zwaan during the 2016 presidential election.

Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged February 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.

The judge said van der Zwaan, unlike some defendants who have come before her, possesses the financial and emotional resources to weather hard times. Prosecutors later revealed van der Zwann coordinated the rollout with Gates and another Manafort ally described as a Russian intelligence agent.

"He is literally in limbo", Mr Schwartz said. The firm had been hired by former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych, a Vladimir Putin ally, in 2012.

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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. But this sentencing has nothing to do with Trump, the 2016 election, or Russian Federation.

Manafort's longtime deputy Rick Gates, 45, was initially charged jointly with Manafort but pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month and is now cooperating with 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 boost Trump's chances of winning.

Weissmann declined to ask the judge to give van Der Zwaan a specific length of sentence.

Last October, Mueller charged both Gates and Manafort with multiple criminal counts, including money laundering, relating to their work in Ukraine.

Prosecutors alleged that van der Zwaan falsely told federal investigators that he last communicated with Gates in mid-August 2016 through an innocuous text message. He admitted to misleading Mueller's prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his discussions with Rick Gates, Trump's former deputy campaign chairman.

The Skadden report has been controversial in Ukraine in part because its findings seemed to contradict the global community's conclusion that Tymoshenko had been unjustly jailed. Manafort and Gates's job was to run cover for this clearly undemocratic prosecution.

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