Alexander van der Zwaan, Lawyer Sentenced In Mueller Probe, Deported

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After serving 30 days in prison over charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Dutch lawyer Alexander van der Zwan has been deported, The Hill reports.

The Belgian-born Dutch attorney pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI about his contacts with a former Trump campaign aide in February this year. Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying about his communications with campaign aide Rick Gates and former campaign chair Paul Manafort, who is currently facing multiple charges for financial crimes. Van der Zwaan served 30 days in prison and paid a $20,000 fine.

The only person indicted in the Mueller probe to serve time thus far, van der Zwan was, according to his lawyers, hoping to leave the U.S. voluntarily, but that is no longer a possibility.

As Bloomberg reported in February, in October 2017 Manafort and Gates were accused of laundering millions of dollars and hiding their lobbying work in Ukraine. After failing to disclose lobbying work on behalf of then-Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, the pair further tried to conceal their previous business with the Ukrainian president. Manafort left Trump’s campaign in August 2018.

Van der Zwaan was drawn into the Trump-Russia investigation because his law firm was preparing to release a report commissioned by Paul Manafort, a future Trump campaign chairman, and his aide Rick Gates. The Dutch lawyer, according to prosecutors, considered working for Manafort and Gates.

In September van der Zwaan communicated with Gates, and then lied to the FBI after being asked about the exchange.

Apart from van der Zwaan, three other individuals have pleaded guilty, following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians. As The Guardian reported, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities, including the notorious state-backed troll farm, the Internet Research Agency.

According to Mueller, the Russian meddling operation included opposing Hillary Clinton, while supporting Donald Trump and coordinating with his campaign.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told CNN that van der Zwaan arrived in Netherlands earlier today. He was turned over to Dutch officials a day after he was released from a low-security federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

A resident of London, van der Zwaan turned himself in to authorities in May this year. After being sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine, van der Zwaan’s attorneys sought leniency because his wife is pregnant and due in August, Politico reported.

At the time, van der Zwaan’s attorneys argued that it was possible their client could be tied up in the deportation process for months, which would lower his chances of making it home to London before his wife delivers.