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Dutch lawyer sentenced in Mueller probe

04 April 2018

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.

Alex van der Zwaan, who worked with Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort while he practiced law at a large worldwide firm, admitted to lying and failing to turn over emails to Mueller's team in February.

Manafort, 68, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and tax and bank fraud charges related to his lobbying work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Van der Zwaan could have faced up to 5 years in prison, but has been sentenced to only 30 days and will pay a $20,000 fine.

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Mueller's team revealed the existence of the August 2, 2017, memo in filings seeking to counter arguments by Manafort's attorneys that the special counsel probe has exceeded its legal authority.

A Dutch attorney was sentenced to 30 days in prison as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges across two indictments stemming from the Mueller probe - one in February and another in October.

Van der Zwaan's attorney, William Schwartz, sought to paint a sympathetic portrait of his client for the court, describing his time in the U.S.as "untethered", with no job, routine, or friends. But it has revealed new details about the government's case against Manafort and opened a window into the intersecting universes of worldwide law, foreign consulting work and politics. Prosecutors said the communication "was pertinent to the investigation".

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Van der Zwaan that he should have known better as he stood before her in a Washington, D.C., courtroom. Media reports have speculated that Person A's description matches longtime Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik, but Kilimnik has denied ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort has pleaded not guilty. Late Monday night, Mueller said in a court filing that a separate memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein specifically detailed his mandate, and he's consulted with Rosenstein over the course of the investigation.

But in their new filing, prosecutors revealed that Rosenstein - who appointed Mueller - wrote a memo last August that outlined the scope of Mueller's appointment.

President Trump has said that the charges against his former employees have no bearing on his campaign's work and repeatedly claims that "no collusion" occurred.

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Dutch lawyer sentenced in Mueller probe