A month after Manafort’s departure, van der Zwaan communicated about the report with Gates and two seconds unidentified person, lawyers said on Tuesday, and then lied about it when the FBI and Mueller’s office afterward requested information about the exchanges.
Mueller, in his probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 general elections, accused 13 Russians on Feb. 16 of a sophisticated disinformation campaign that targeted U.S. voters. Three others, including former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty and are cooperating.
Van der Zwaan was an associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher& Flom. The information doesn’t say whether he is cooperating with lawyers or why he allegedly lied to the government.
Last year, van der Zwaan marriage the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan, according to the London Tatler. Khan is a stockholder of Alfa Group, a Russian banking and investment fear, and a board member at LetterOne Holdings, the investment vehicle set up by the founders of Alfa Group. A spokesman for Khan didn’t immediately render a comment.
Neither van der Zwaan nor his lawyer immediately responded to calls and emails striving comment.
In a statement, Skadden said: “The firm aborted its job of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter.”
The case against van der Zwaan shows that Mueller is proceeding methodically and increasing pressure on key eyewitness, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said in a statement. The lawsuit” sends a signal to both Paul Manafort and Rick Gates: cooperate or danger greater difficulty in the future .”
Van der Zwaan was one of the lawyers who worked on the 2012 report , commissioned by the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which largely protected the department of public prosecutions and conviction of the country’s former “ministers ” Yulia Tymoshenko. The report eluded the belief held by the U.S. and the European Union that the lawsuit against her was politically motivated.
Van der Zwaan is accused of mislead researchers about the last time he talked with Gates when he was questioned Nov. 3 by U.S. authorities regarding the work. He told researchers that his last contact with Gates was an innocuous text message in mid-August 2016, when they actually spoke the following month about the Tymoshenko report in a call the lawyer secretly recorded, the information says.
Prosecutors say van der Zwaan lied about his talks with someone else, who they identified only as Person A. The lawyer told investigators he last spoke with Person A in 2014, when in fact they spoke in September 2016 during the secretly recorded bellow with Gates.
Van der Zwaan also deleted and failed to produce emails sought by the special advise and a statute firm, attorneys said.
Skadden’s $ 12,000 cost for its 2012 report on Tymoshenko was modest, merely below the amount that required public bidding. The following year, with no further project done, Ukraine sent Skadden$ 1 million.
After the pro-Russian government was run out of township in 2014, the new authorities began investigating misuse of funds by the Yanukovych government.
The Ukrainians asked the U.S. Justice Department for help in questioning Manafort and Skadden lawyers who worked on the report. Among those the Ukrainians sought to interview was van der Zwaan, a Russian speaker.
The Justice Department asked Skadden for information and documents related to its work for the Yanukovych government, the New York Times is available in September. In a previous statement, Skadden bureaucrats said it had returned the remaining balance of Ukraine’s payment, which they said had been held in escrow for future study. Ukrainian prosecutors confirmed that Skadden refunded $567,000 to Ukraine, saying it had been overpaid.
Manafort was involved in recruiting Skadden to prepare the report on behalf of Ukraine, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The Skadden team was headed by Gregory Craig, a partner who had worked as President Barack Obama’s White House counsel from 2009 to 2010 and for President Bill Clinton during his impeachment.
Craig couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Manafort and Gates are accused of failing to register as agents in the U.S. for political consulting they did in Ukraine for pro-Russian politicians. Manafort is accused of laundering money to buy houses, autoes, clothes and landscaping services. Both humen have pleaded not guilty.
The indictment also alleges that offshore accounts links with Manafort and Gates paid more than$ two million between 2012 and 2014 to two companies that lobbied members of Congress and their staffs about Ukraine sanctions and” the propriety of incarcerating his presidential competitive .”
The case is U.S. v. van der Zwaan, 18 -cr-3 1, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia( Washington ).