Robert Mueller charges lawyer with lying to investigators in Russian Federation probe

A police car is parked outside Jackson Township Middle School Tuesday Feb. 20 2018 in Massillon Ohio. A school official in Ohio says a middle school student apparently shot himself after bringing a gun to school. Police say Jackson Middle School near

Alex Van der Zwaan admitted to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators and FBI agents about his contacts with a former Trump campaign associate and another person about his work for Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

Mueller charged Manafort and Gates in October with conspiracy, fraud and money laundering related to lobbying work they did for a Russian-friendly political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The latest court papers do not name the law firm that Mr van der Zwaan worked for, though a 2012 report on former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko that it cited was penned by the prominent worldwide law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

The charge against van der Zwaan make no reference to Trump's campaign or the 2016 election.

In truth, the charge alleges, he spoke with Mr Gates and Person A in September 2016 about the report, and "surreptitiously recorded the calls".

Though Manafort was not mentioned by name in the court document about van der Zwaan, the history between Manafort and the law firm suggests that the special counsel has cast a wide net in investigating Manafort's business relationships around the world.

Prosecutors said van der Zwaan also misled them about his interaction with the former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates.

Van Der Zwaan, who worked as an attorney for law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was hired in 2012 by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice via lobbyist Paul Manafort to prepare a report on the trial of Tymoshenko.

On Friday, Mueller's team also indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies with meddling in the 2016 election through a social-media campaign in which they falsely posed as Americans to promote Trump, disparage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and sow discord among voters. If Gates agrees to cooperate in the probe, that could put more pressure on Manafort and others who worked in the Trump campaign.

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The son-in-law of a Russian oligarch has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Manafort was under investigation long before he joined the Trump campaign.

Last year, van der Zwaan married the daughter of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, according to the Russian editions of Forbes and Tatler magazines.

A Skadden spokeswoman said in an email that the firm fired van der Zwaan in 2017, and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with the matter. He is facing a recommended sentence ranging from zero to six months in prison when he is sentenced April 3. According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates "used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report".

The charges against Van Der Zwaan were announced Tuesday morning.

The filing is further evidence of Mueller's investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Gates and their work for Russian-allied clients.

Gates is expected to reverse his not guilty plea in the coming days and to eventually testify against Manafort, according to reports over the weekend.

Khan and his partners are suing Buzzfeed News over its publication of a dossier of allegations about ties between Trump and Russian Federation.

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