First person sentenced in Mueller probe gets 30 days in prison

Adjust Comment Print

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sentenced Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan to 30 days in prison Tuesday for lying to investigators, the first punishment to be meted out in Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, 33, was sentenced to 30 days in prison for lying to investigators about contacts with ex-Trump aide Rick Gates.

Lawyers for van der Zwaan - whose wife in the United Kingdom is pregnant - had asked the judge to impose no jail time and a fine.

Van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of one of Russia's richest men and was the 19th person to be charged by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Van der zwaan - a London-based attorney then-employed by the tony firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom - worked with Gates and former Trump campaign chairman on a report released in 2012 about the prosecution of former Ukrainian prime minister Yuliya 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.

"He is literally in limbo", Schwartz said. 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.

The Dutch lawyer is now the first person to be sentenced as part of Mueller's investigation. He said Mueller overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct that occurred years before the 2016 presidential election.

Gates has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and, according to reports, is cooperating with Mueller's probe. Manafort and Gates continued their work for Yanukovych afterward, and van der Zwaan moved on to other things - most notably marrying Eva Khan, the daughter of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, in the summer of 2017.

"His career has been destroyed, he has been separated from his friends and family, and he faces the possibility of missing the birth of his first child. We count on people to turn over documents", Weissmann said.

Mueller's team, while instructed to probe Russian efforts to interfere in the election, is also looking at whether anyone from the President's camapign coordinated with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 contest.

The report prepared by Skadden was used to defend Ukraine's then pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych from worldwide criticism over the jailing of Ms Tymoshenko, a bitter rival who he defeated to become president in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is seeking to have the case against him dismissed.