Russian Federation inquiry: Lawyer jailed for 30 days

04 April, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort is being investigated for allegations he colluded with Russia

A London-based lawyer who admitted to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's team in November 2017 was ordered Tuesday to serve 30 days in prison, the first sentence imposed since Mueller was appointed almost a year ago.

Van der Zwaan's ties to former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Manafort's former deputy and longtime associate Rick Gates brought him into Mueller's orbit.

Van der Zwaan was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and serve two months of supervised release after he gets out of prison, and he will likely be deported to London before his wife is due to give birth in August. Manafort was President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

Van der Zwaan, who speaks French and Russian and graduated from King's College London in 2006, is married to the daughter of Russian billionaire German Khan.

Four of the other defendants - Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and California resident Richard Pinedo - have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with Mueller.

Unlike other defendants in the Russian Federation investigation, van der Zwaan has not entered into a cooperation deal with Mueller's office. He helped put together a dubious report clearing Yanukovych for jailing his political rival in 2011, then lied to Mueller's investigators about conversations he later had about the report with Gates and a person only identified as "Person A" by the special counsel's team.


The subject of the recorded phone call, prosecutors said, was a 2012 report prepared by van der Zwaan's law firm about the jailing of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Manafort is the only figure tied to the Trump campaign and charged by Mueller who hasn't struck a plea deal.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges against him.

The charges against Van der Zwaan and Gates are not related to Trump's campaign.

Mueller also cited business ties between Manafort and the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Van der Zwaan awaited his sentencing for the last month while gripped with "boredom and anxiety" while living in a hotel, Schwartz said.

Mueller's charges allege that van der Zwaan and Gates talked with a businessman who was also a Russian intelligence agent during the last months of the campaign.

Van der Zwaan's apology and his lawyer's explanations for his client's actions appeared to ring hollow for the judge. Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing related to Russian election interference.

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