Mueller Unveils New Charges in Russia Probe

by Garry Watts February 20, 2018, 19:08
Mueller Unveils New Charges in Russia Probe

It was revealed on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller had charged a well-connected lawyer for lying to investigators about communications he had with former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates in 2016.

Prosecutors charged Alex van der Zwaan with making false statements to federal agents on Friday.

Gates, along with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, was indicted by Mueller a year ago for money laundering and conspiracy against the United States.

The law firm where a lawyer charged by special counsel Robert Mueller used to work says it fired him past year and has been cooperating with authorities. He is also the son-in-law of German Khan, a Ukrainian-Russian billionaire and businessman. The firm was employed by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice to compile a report about the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 after being convicted by the Ukrainian government of abuse of power.

Van der Zwaan is also accused of deleting and failing to produce emails to the special counsel's office and a law firm referred to as "Law Firm A", including emails between him and Person A in September 2016.

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Deputy Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, center, departs federal court in Washington, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP issued a statement Tuesday after news broke that Alex van der Zwaan had been charged with lying to investigators.

It was reported in September that Mueller was interested in Skadden's involvement in the report. She was freed after Yanukovych's ouster in 2014. Around that time, Manafort was in the spotlight for the work he and Gates did in Ukraine.

Paul Manafort was involved in recruiting Skadden to prepare the report on behalf of Ukraine, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News.

The new charge was announced Tuesday, just days after Mueller brought charges against 13 Russian nationals accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates joined the Trump campaign in early 2016, when Manafort became the campaign chairman. Trump says there was no collusion and Russian Federation denies meddling with the election.

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