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First sentence handed down in Russian Federation meddling probe

Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who was educated in London, was sentenced to 30 days in prison and $20,000 in fines for lying to federal agents.

The 33-year-old Van der Zwaan admitted to lying about his last contact with Gates and the Russian identified by prosecutors only as "Person A" - but whose biographical details match up with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime associate of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign has claimed its first scalp.

In 2016, after Manafort became chairman of Trump's election campaign and took Rick Gates as his deputy, van der Zwaan and Gates both had communications with a person they knew as a former official of Russia's GRU intelligence agency, prosecutors said. Van der Zwaan is the first person to be convicted and sentenced as a result of the special counsel's investigation.

But Van der Zwaan's apology and Schwartz's explanations for his client's actions appeared to ring hollow for the judge. Mr Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Whether he committed any crimes "arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych".

Rosenstein's memo was one part of a larger court filing Mueller's office submitted Monday as a defense of its investigative strategy on Manafort so far.




Van der Zwaan's story is convoluted, and involves a Ukrainian internal political dispute from a decade ago.

"It is unusual conduct in the least to make a false statement and then provide proof of the false statement", Schwartz said.

"It is a message that needs to be sent, particularly because you are an attorney", she said.

Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which typically precedes a guilty plea.

Mueller's team questioned van der Zwaan last November during its investigation into Manafort and Gates, according to Newsweek. He asked for no jail time, saying that his career had already been ruined and he might miss the birth of his child this summer if he were incarcerated.

Prosecutors alleged that van der Zwaan falsely told federal investigators that he last communicated with Gates in mid-August 2016 through an innocuous text message. Manafort and Gates continued their work for Yanukovych afterward, and van der Zwaan moved on to other things - most notably marrying Eva Khan, the daughter of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, in the summer of 2017.

The report prepared by Skadden was used to defend Ukraine's then pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych from global criticism over the jailing of Ms Tymoshenko, a bitter rival who he defeated to become president in 2010.

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