Attorney who whitewashed Tymoshenko prosecution charged with perjury

Robert Mueller

In a charging document filed on Friday, lawyers with Mueller's team stated that Alex Van Der Zwaan, 33, lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about the timing of his last communication with Richard Gates, the indicted business partner of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

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 and Affiliates in 2012.

Alex van der Zwaan, a former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate and son-in-law of the Russian oligarch German Khan, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one charge brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort was indicted in October over allegations that he laundered tens of millions of dollars earned from his work in Ukraine into the United States.

Gates has been to court with one set of attorneys, even though he has also acknowledged hiring veteran criminal defense attorney Thomas Green, who has been in discussions with the Special Counsel over a possible plea deal. When questioned about his firm's work in 2012, Van Der Zwann misled investigators about his communications with Richard Gates.

The report was authored by top NY law firm Skadden Arps, where Van Der Zwaan worked at the time.

Van der Zwaan did not have a lawyer listed on the public court docket.

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller disclosed the accusations against attorney Alex Van der Zwaan early Tuesday, and he pleaded guilty later in the day in a Washington court.

Van der Zwaan's gilt-edged life was based in London, where he worked for Skadden and lived with his wife after they were married last summer in a lavish English countryside wedding featured in the Russian edition of Tatler magazine.

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Manafort and Gates are accused of directing a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests.

It is unclear what role van der Zwaan played in crafting the report.

Manafort worked for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 election, when he was challenged by Orange Revolution opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Manafort, who was Trump's campaign manager for nearly five months in 2016, and Gates, who was deputy campaign manager, were indicted by Mueller's office in October. The two men were accused of using an offshore account to secretly pay $4 million for the report.

Mr Van Der Zwaan also spoke with Mr Gates and "Person A" about the report in September 2016, but deleted and did not turn over emails about the meeting, the documents say.

Bloomberg puts Mr Khan's net worth at $9.7 billion.

Van Der Zwaan is expected to plead guilty in a Washington federal court Tuesday afternoon.

Khan and his partners are suing Buzzfeed News over its publication of a dossier of allegations about ties between Trump and Russian Federation. The firm said it "has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter". The alleged crimes pre-date his work for the Trump campaign.

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