Mueller Indicts Lawyer With Ties to Russian Federation for Lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Robert Mueller

The case involves work that van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen, performed in 2012 about Ukraine for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, senior officials in Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. Sign up for the latest Russian Federation investigation updates here.

Van der Zwaan told investigators that he last texted with Gates in mid-August 2016 and his last contact with Person A was in 2014 when he discussed the person's family.

Prosecutors said van der Zwaan also deleted emails rather than turning them over to Skadden, which was gathering documents for the special counsel.

Mr van der Zwaan's father-in-law is Russian billionaire German Khan, the founder of the privately owned Alfa Bank.

The communication between van der Zwaan and Gates came shortly after Manafort resigned from Trump's campaign in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Manafort had accepted off-the-books cash payments for his work in Ukraine. Mueller's office is expected to announce a plea deal with Gates within the next few days, under which Gates has reportedly agreed to testify against Manafort. Manafort left the firm the same year Gates joined, but they reunited in 2006 at Manafort's new consulting company, Davis Manafort. The law firm had been hired by the Ukraine justice ministry in 2012 to prepare a report justifying the prosecution of former Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power and imprisoned, but was later cleared of the charges.

In court, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said investigators spoke with van der Zwaan on November 3 and again on December 1 as part of the special counsel's examination of possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by Manafort, Gates "and others".

The attorney, Alex van der Zwaan, worked in London for the prominent NY law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

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The prosecutors' criminal charge explains how Van Der Zwaan spoke with Gates and an unnamed person in September 2016 about the Ukrainian report and recorded the calls. Instead, Van Der Zwaan's sentencing hearing will be held April 3. Yanukovych had imprisoned Tymoshenko, a political rival, after a gas supply controversy in 2009 involving Russian Federation.

A total of 19 people have now been charged as part of the investigation, including five United States nationals and 13 Russians.

Yanukovych fled to Russian Federation as the demonstrations escalated and grew bloody, and he is now living under the protection of the Kremlin. Manafort worked on behalf of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort's relationship with Skadden dates to years before his work on the Trump campaign.

Trump initially said the announcement cleared him and his campaign of wrongdoing - which is not true - before spending the weekend lashing out at investigators, whom he accused of helping the Russians "create discord, disruption and chaos" within the U.S. And The New York Times discovered in August 2016 that the Party of Regions designated almost $13 million in undisclosed cash payments in Manafort's name.

The scheme is part of the criminal case against Manafort and Gates, who were both indicted in October on 12 counts involving money laundering, conspiracy against the USA and tax fraud.

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