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Dutch Lawyer Becomes First Person Sentenced In Mueller Probe

04 April 2018

He was wrapped into the special counsel's investigation last fall after his firm, Skadden Arps, began to cooperate in an investigation of Manafort and Gates' alleged contact with Ukrainians and Russians during the 2016 election.

The brief filed Monday night publicized that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a memo on August 2, 2017, authorizing Mueller to investigate claims that Manafort "committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials".

The special counsel's filing followed Manafort's escalation of attacks against Mueller.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort leaves court last October.

Additional sections of the two-and-half-page memo were blacked out by prosecutors, indicating that Rosenstein authorized other specific lines of investigation that remain a secret.

The van der Zwaan case could add to the pressure the investigation is putting on Trump, his family and top aides.

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Van der Zwaan and Gates are two of the four men who have pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion. Mr Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

A court filing Monday night revealed an August 2 memo that showed the Department of Justice's backing authorized Mueller to go after Manafort for allegedly working with Russian Federation to interfere in the election "in violation of United States law".

Van der Zwaan also deleted emails rather than turning them over to authorities, including one from Person A directing him to communicate using an encrypted application, and others showing he explored leaving the law firm to work directly for Gates and Manafort in about 2012 and 2013.

Trump has denied "collusion" between his campaign and the Kremlin and has repeatedly called the investigation a "witch hunt".

During Kilimnik's time working for Manafort in Kiev, he was a liaison for Manafort to the Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, with whom Manafort had done business.

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Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has become a particular target of Trump's ire, has supervised the Russian Federation probe since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself because he was an adviser to Trump's campaign.

"We're not talking about a traffic ticket", US District Judge Amy Jackson told Van Der Zwaan, emphasizing that his behavior had taken on greater importance because of gravity of the investigation that he had been dragged into. The memo was also written a few days after the July 27 arrest of George Papadopoulos, who had served as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign.

Authorities said van der Zwann misled them in a November 2017 interview about his work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy chairman Richard Gates.

Mr Trump has insisted there was no collusion.

However, Mueller's team has offered hints that investigators continue to scrutinize possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian Federation.

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.

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Dutch Lawyer Becomes First Person Sentenced In Mueller Probe