Special counsel Robert Mueller announced on Tuesday that Dutch-based attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan agreed to sign a cooperation deal and plead guilty to making false statements to federal officials about past communications with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates and an unnamed individual.
JUST IN: Russia-linked lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan arrives at court for a plea hearing pic.twitter.com/BKznEoTOVw
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 20, 2018
Gates, who is the right-hand man of former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, is currently working on a plea deal with the Mueller team after he was indicted with various charges related to his lobbying work with Ukraine.
Van Der Zwaan, 33, is a London-based lawyer who served as an associate for the New York-based law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom before leaving the firm last year. He was apart of the legal team hired by Paul Manafort in 2012 to produce a report justifying the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, the main political rival of Manafort’s client, pro-Russia Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
That report was also crafted by two Obama administration officials, Greg Craig and Clifford Sloan, The Daily Caller News Foundation noted.
The law firm has been under heavy scrutiny. Tymoshenko filed a complaint in 2013 with then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over the payments to Skadden Arps for the report.
Van Der Zwaan also deleted he exchanged with an unnamed law firm in September 2016.
Last year, Van Der Zwaan married German Khan, the daughter of a Ukrainian-Russian oligarch with a net worth of $9.3 billion.
His wife’s father is suing BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS over the Steele dossier, which claimed that Khan assisted Russia in their meddling in America’s presidential election.
Van Der Zwaan has never worked for Donald Trump and the guilty plea likely has nothing to do with the Trump-Russia collusion theory.