Dutch Attorney Implicated in Mueller Probe Sentenced to 30 Days in Prison
A Dutch attorney was sentenced to 30 days in prison as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.
Alex van der Zwaan, who pleaded guilty in February to lying to investigators, became the first person sentenced in the sprawling probe of Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election.
“What I did was wrong,” van der Zwaan told the court. “I apologize to my wife and to my family.”
Van der Zwaan was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and serve two months of supervised release after he gets out of prison, and he will likely be deported to London before his wife is due to give birth in August.
His attorneys asked for a lenient sentence so van der Zwaan could be with his wife during a difficult pregnancy, and Mueller’s team offered no recommendations on a sentence.
“We count on people to tell us the truth,” said prosecutor Andrew Weissman. “We count on people to turn over documents that are called for and responsive."
The London-based attorney has no known ties to the Trump campaign, but he held discussions with Trump campaign associate Rick Gates and a business associate identified in court documents as a former Russian intelligence officer.
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.
Van der Zwaan’s father-in-law German Khan is a co-founder of Alfa Bank, which fell under FBI investigation for attempting repeatedly to link up to a computer server in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.
FBI investigators concluded the Trump Organization server appeared to be controlled by the marketing firm Cendyn, which was blasting out emails promoting Trump-branded hotel properties.
Khan and Alfa Bank showed up repeatedly in the dossier produced by former British spy Christopher Steele, who misspelled the bank as “Alpha Bank.”
The billionaire Khan, who showed up in a recent list of Russian oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin, has sued Steele for libel.