Robert Mueller dismisses Paul Manafort's claim of going beyond his mandate

President Donald Trump is having trouble hiring people to represent him in the Russia investigation.       Spencer Platt  Getty Images
President Donald Trump is having trouble hiring people to represent him in the Russia investigation. Spencer Platt Getty Images
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04 April, 2018

Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty in February to lying about his conversations with Rick Gates, who was Donald Trump's deputy campaign manager in 2016, and an unnamed person who prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence.

He struck a plea deal in February. Mr Trump has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Mueller has also indicted 13 Russians for their work to influence the 2016 presidential election through online social media.

Van der Zwaan was charged with "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations" to federal investigators about his work for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Meagher, & Flom LLP and Affiliates in 2012.

The firm, which is co-operating with the investigation and which fired him previous year, worked with former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and his ex-colleague Mr Gates at a time when they were both political consultants in Ukraine. They also said that a London-based lawyer who worked with Gates has told prosecutors that Gates knew the man had formerly been an officer with Russian intelligence.

His wedding to art critic Eva Khan featured in Russian Tatler magazine previous year.

The billionaire Khan, who showed up in a recent list of Russian oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin, has sued Steele for libel. Alfa Bank, which he co-founded, is the largest non-state owned bank in Russian Federation, according to Forbes.

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Van der Zwaan's wealth and family connections were apparent as he awaited his sentence during the two-hour court appearance.

"What I did was wrong". "I apologize to the court for my conduct".

Van der Zwaan does not have any known ties to the Trump campaign, but according to the special counsel, he had a meeting with Gates and a business associate identified as Person A before the end of the 2016 campaign. "We count on people to turn over documents", Weissmann said.

The Skadden report has been controversial in Ukraine in part because its findings seemed to contradict the global community's conclusion that Tymoshenko had been unjustly jailed.

In the Washington, D.C. indictment, Manafort faces charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and failure to disclose foreign lobbying. It came not long after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia, condominium and served him a search warrant in late July.

"This was lying during the course of a federal investigation", she added, noting that being able to "write a check and walk away" would not fit the seriousness of the crime or send the right message.


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