Feb 20, 2018

Mueller probe's latest indictment: Alex van der Zwaan

Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan with making false statements to FBI investigators. Van der Zwaan, who was officially charged on Feb. 16 in a federal court in Washington, has a plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. EST.

The details: According to the indictment, the false statements came when Mueller's team probed van der Zwaan's work for the Ukraine Ministry of Justice, and include lying about his interactions with Rick Gates, the Paul Manafort associate and former Trump campaign adviser who was indicted by Mueller last fall.

  • Van der Zwaan was charged with lying to investigators about conversations related to a report his law firm prepared on the trial of a Ukrainian politician, Yulia Tymoshenko.
  • The lawyer also reportedly lied about his talks with someone else, named "Person A” in the indictment.
  • Prosecutors said van der Zwaan also deleted and failed to turn over emails requested by the special counsel and a law firm.

Timing: Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for violating criminal laws to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election on Friday. He also struck a plea deal that same day with Richard Pinedo, who was charged with identity fraud.

Why it matters: As Axios' Mike Allen wrote this morning, Mueller's moving fast. "The indictment is a sneak peek at the level of sweep and color we can expect in a final report, and is a mammoth accomplishment just nine months after Mueller was appointed."

What's next: Gates is expected to plead guilty in the coming days on fraud-related charges.

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