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Mueller probe's latest indictment: Alex Van Der Zwaan

Robert Mueller
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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Dave Lawler 6 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.

Haley Britzky 2 hours ago
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Another explosion rattles Austin, unrelated to prior package bombings

Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb.
Police and FBI Agents investigate at the Sunset Valley FedEx store in Austin, Texas, which is linked to the package bomb. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP / Getty Images

Officials are responding to a sixth explosion in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The Austin Police Department said they don't believe it is connected to the previous explosions around the city.

The details: Per the Statesman, the explosion occurred at a Goodwill and one man is being treated for "potentially serious injuries." CBS News' David Begnaud reports that the incendiary device was a flare, "included in a bunch of donated items." Per KVUE in Austin, "the victim was an employee who was looking through donations."