First person sentenced in Robert Mueller's Russia-Trump probe

04 April, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Tina Rodriquez
  • Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives at federal court in Washington in 2017

Van der Zwaan is the first person to receive punishment in relation to the probe into alleged dealings between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

Van der Zwaan, who told the court he was sorry for his actions, also was sentenced to two months of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Mueller's team questioned van der Zwaan last November during its investigation into Manafort and Gates, according to Newsweek.

"This was more than a mistake. It was more than a lapse or misguided moment", Jackson said.

Van der Zwaan, 33, is married to the daughter of prominent Russian billionaire German Khan, founder of the privately owned Alfa Bank.

Van der Zwaan, who was sacked past year by the high-powered worldwide law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, admitted in February to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Gates and the person with ties to Russian intelligence.

In particular, they argued that prosecutors' knowledge of Manafort's Ukraine work did not arise directly from Mueller's probe but instead grew out of separate Justice Department inquiries dating to 2014.

However, van der Zwaan's sentence is not connected to the Russian interference, it's only related to him lying about a relationship with Manafort It is not believed that van der Zwaan had any connection to Russia.

The media may hype the van der Zwaan sentencing as proof that Mueller is "working up to the head of the snake" as part of his quest to take down President Trump. "This glass was dropped on a very thick carpet and it has cushioned the blow", Jackson said.

In court Tuesday, van der Zwaan said, "What I did was wrong".

Mueller indicted van der Zwaan for making false statements of FBI investigators. The attorneys pushed Jackson to allow van der Zwaan to return to London as soon as possible where he lives with his wife, who is going through a hard pregnancy.

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. "This is not an isolated instance of bad judgment or criminal conduct", prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said. Just last week, the government revealed that van der Zwaan and Gates spoke during the 2016 presidential campaign with a man Gates had previously described as having ties to the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.

Van der Zwaan was a London-based associate of a high-powered law firm called Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom in the early 2010s.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Gates pleaded guilty on February 23 to conspiring to defraud the United States and lying to Mueller's office, and is now cooperating with the probe.

The White House has denied any discussion of terminating Mueller.

At the time, Gates and Paul Manafort, another ex-Trump campaign aide, were employed by then Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected in a possibly rigged election and was supported by the Kremlin. "We're not talking about a traffic ticket".


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