Dutch attorney in Mueller investigation gets 30 days in prison

Lucy Bush
April 4, 2018

A Dutch lawyer was sentenced to 30 days in prison Tuesday and slapped with a $20,000 fine for lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's never-ending Russian Federation probe; becoming the first person to face jail-time in the DOJ's months-long investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election.

It marked the first sentencing of anyone in Mueller's ongoing probe. The attorneys also pushed Jackson to allow van der Zwaan to return to London as soon as possible where he lives with his wife, who is pregnant with their first child.

Mueller and his team questioned van der Zwaan because he and his law firm wrote a report for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine back in 2012.

This case may be a loud statement by Mueller and his team that obstruction of justice will be handled accordingly, according to NBC News.

"It is a message that needs to be sent, particularly because you are an attorney", she said.

The charges against Van der Zwaan and Gates are not related to Trump's campaign.

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She also declined to offer sympathy to van der Zwann after his lawyers said he has been bored in a D.C. -area hotel for months with nothing to do but converse with attorneys.

The 33-year-old Van der Zwaan admitted to lying about his last contact with Gates and the Russian identified by prosecutors only as "Person A" - but whose biographical details match up with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime associate of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

"What I did was wrong", he said.

That's why van der Zwann turned over evidence in December 2017, Schwartz said, and didn't toss it into the river near his onetime office in London.

"The defendant was expressly warned by the government that it is a crime to lie to the Special Counsel's Office, that lying could constitute a federal crime, and that such conduct would carry with it the possibility of going to jail if he were convicted. van der Zwaan stated that he understood".

Gates has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and, according to reports, is cooperating with Mueller's probe.

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Van der Zwaan knew that Person A was a former Russian intelligence officer because Gates told him so, according to prosecutors.

A California man also pleaded guilty to helping Russian hackers obtain bank accounts while they were waging an online assault on the US during the 2016 election. But this sentencing has nothing to do with Trump, the 2016 election, or Russian Federation.

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

During this same time period, Manafort and Gates were working for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych - a Kremlin-backed leader with dubious democratic credentials.

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.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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