Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty in Special Counsel Probe Asks for Leniency

Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty in Special Counsel Probe Asks for Leniency

Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty in Special Counsel Probe Asks for Leniency

For those keeping score, van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, German Khan, one of the owners of Alfa Bank, and had extensive dealings with Manafort on his earlier work for the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine. Van der Zwaan said his last communication with Gates had been an "innocuous text message" in mid-August 2016 and that he hadn't spoken with Person A since 2014, when in reality he spoke with both Gates and Person A about the Tymoshenko report in September 2016 "and surreptitiously recorded the calls".

The court papers, which call for the judge to give jail-time to a lawyer who has admitted lying to Mueller's probe, say that in September and October 2016 Gates was "directly communicating" with "Person A", a former officer with the GRU-Russia's military intelligence.

These new details were revealed in a court filing about the upcoming sentencing of Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who worked with Gates and Manafort.

Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates allegedly was in contact with someone tied to Russian intelligence in 2016. Last month, Mr. Gates pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators and has agreed to cooperate with Mr. Mueller's investigation.

Although Manafort has denied knowingly communicating with Russian intelligence during the campaign, he also said that he and Kilimnik, in 2016, discussed the Trump campaign and hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee.

In a federal court filing Tuesday, Mueller described the associate of Gates and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as "Person A" and said Gates was aware of the person's links to the GRU intelligence service.

That Person A has had ties to Russian intelligence is not terribly surprising.

The connection between Gates and the former intelligence officer, identified only as "Person A" in the records filed late on Tuesday, is significant because criminal charges against Gates and Manafort relate only to their lobbying work for Ukraine prior to the 2016 USA presidential election and do not delve into their activities during the campaign. Why those six words were added in this filing when they didn't appear in a previous filing is the $64,000 question. Kilimnik told The Post in June that he has "no relation to the Russian or any other intelligence service".

Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates had repeated contact with someone tied to Russian intelligence during the 2016 election campaign, according to prosecutors. Mueller's team took interest in his work, and interviewed Van Der Zwaan on November 3, 2017.

It might not mean much - but if it didn't, why would van der Zwaan (and possibly Gates) try to keep it from investigators and risk an obstruction of justice charge?

CNN reported past year that the Federal Bureau of Investigation examined whether there was a computer server connection during the 2016 presidential campaign between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization, though there isn't any indication that van der Zwaan is connected to that matter. We also know that Manafort had been in contact with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign and met him at least twice.

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