Dutch lawyer sentenced to 30 days in Mueller probe

"What I did was wrong".

In February, Mueller announced that van der Zwaan, the son-in-law of a Ukrainian-Russian oligarch, had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "I await your judgment".

Van der Zwaan, 33, previously worked in the London office of the global law firm Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and is married to Eva Khan, the daughter of Russian billionaire German Khan, founder of the privately owned Alfa Bank.

While van der Zwaan does not appear to be a major figure in Mueller's probe, his sentencing indicates the special counsel will deal sternly with witnesses who lie to his investigators, with serious criminal consequences, as he scrutinizes the conduct of Trump and others.

Alex van der Zwaan, 33, a son-in-law of a prominent Russian-based banker, pleaded guilty February 20 to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts in September and October of 2016 with a business associate of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and with Manafort's deputy, former Trump aide Rick Gates.

He has been charged with a number of felony counts related to financial offenses - including money laundering, fraud and tax evasion, as well as for failing to register as a foreign lobbyist - in connection with his decade of work on behalf of a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party before joining Trump's campaign.

The specifics of the charges against van der Zwaan are complicated. He is the son-in-law of Ukranian-Russian billionaire German Khan.

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Van der Zwaan told the court he was sorry for what he did.

Since his return in December 2017, Mr van der Zwaan has been walled up in a residential hotel in Washington and unable to return to London, where his wife is undergoing a hard first pregnancy, his lawyer said. According to the indictment, van der Zwaan lied about his interactions with Gates and "Person A", lied about conversations related to a report his law firm prepared on the trial of a Ukrainian politician, and "deleted and otherwise did not produce emails sought by the special counsel's office". Five people have pleaded guilty to various charges Mueller has brought, three of whom have direct ties to the Trump campaign.

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

"It is unusual conduct to make a false statement, and then immediately provide proof of a false statement", Schwartz said, saying for if it were another defendant those tapes "could have found their way to the bottom of the Thames" River in London. A version of the memo filed in court showed that Rosenstein signed off on an investigation into whether Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials", as well as into Manafort's work as an global political consultant in Ukraine before joining Trump's campaign in 2016. He had asked to be home in London by August for the birth of his first child. Gates and Manafort worked closely with Yanukovych before he was removed from power in 2014.

Van der Zwaan covered up his discussions with Gates and a business associate based in Ukraine in September 2016, while the Trump campaign operation was in full swing.

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.

Prosecutors have alleged that Manafort and Gates used an offshore account to secretly pay $4 million for the report.

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