June 22, 2018

Dutch Lawyer Becomes First Person Sentenced In Mueller Probe

04 April 2018, 01:35 | Simon Arnold

President Donald Trump departs the White House in Washington to board Marine One

President Donald Trump departs the White House in Washington to board Marine One

The brief filed Monday night publicized that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a memo on August 2, 2017, authorizing Mueller to investigate claims that Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials".

"He was essentially caught red-handed", the judge said Tuesday.

Van der Zwaan received a 30-day prison sentence as well as a $20,000 fine and two months probation. This was not something that happened to him; this is something he did. "This is something he did", she added. Moreover, "put his personal interests ahead of justice". Van der Zwaan was contrite at his sentencing hearing in federal court in Washington, DC.

"What I did was wrong", he said to the judge, reading quietly from a single sheet of paper after his defense attorney and the prosecutor each spoke. "I apologize to my wife". "I apologize to my wife and to my family for the pain I have caused". However, last week, Mueller's team asked the judge presiding over the case to sentence him to time in prison.

Both Gates and Manafort have been charged in Mueller's probe with lying to investigators and conspiracy, tied to Manafort's work as a lobbyist for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

The special counsel's office did not take a position on whether Van der Zwaan should face time behind bars, but suggested he should face a clear penalty.

Alex van der Zwaan is a lawyer who has worked for the major worldwide firm Skadden Arps, where he was commissioned to work for pro-Russia clients in Ukraine and Russian Federation.

Manafort and Gates were charged with laundering money and other violations in connection with their years of work on behalf of the Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was a political rival of Tymoshenko.

"There's a history of conduct that's either criminal or shows a lack of morality", Weissmann said.

Van der Zwaan's attorneys argued that he had suffered enough already, saying his life had already been destroyed by his "terrible decision" to lie to federal authorities. "We count on people to turn over documents that are called for and responsive". "We're not talking about a traffic ticket", she said.

In extracting a guilty plea and co-operation pledge, Mueller's team has kept most of the details of what Van der Zwaan told them secret. 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.

In March, the USA imposed sanctions on 19 Russians, including 13 people charged by Mr Mueller's inquiry, over accusations of interference in the 2016 election and alleged cyber-attacks.

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