Mueller charges lawyer with lying about interaction with Trump campaign aide
- Author: Rogelio Becker Feb 20, 2018,
Feb 20, 2018, 19:43
Van der Zwaan is also accused of lying to investigators about why he did not turn over a September 2016 email between himself and another individual referred to in the charge as "Person A" to Mueller's office.
Van Der Zwaan has a plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at US District Court in Washington, DC.
Last year, Van Der Zwaan married the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan, according to the London Tatler. He allegedly lied to investigators about his last communications with Gates, who was indicted in October for consulting work he did with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Ukraine.
Prosecutors alleged that van der Zwaan falsely said that his last communication with Person A was a conversation in 2014 when they "discussed Person A's family", when he spoke with Person A in September 2016 about the Tymoshenko report.
He also "deleted and otherwise did not produce" emails sought by the special counsel and a law firm - thereby withholding information from the probe, which has already led to multiple guilty pleas, and last week unveiled an indictment of 13 Russians working for a troll farm attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election. Her trial and subsequent conviction were criticized by human-rights groups and deemed politically motivated by the USA, the UK, German, Italy, Spain, and other European countries.
The firm's $12,000 fee was modest, just below the amount that required public bidding.
The following year, however, with no further work done, Ukraine sent Skadden $1 million. In a previous statement, Skadden officials said it had returned the balance of Ukraine's payment, which they said had been held in escrow for future work.
The charges arose from consultant work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates "used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report".
Manafort and Gates are accused of directing a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests.
There have been reports over the weekend that Mr Gates has struck a bargain with investigators and is prepared to plead guilty - though nothing has been announced.
Alex van der Zwaan, the lawyer, is well-connected and represents the interests of a number of Russian oligarchs.