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Firm Tied To Jared Kushner's Middle East Contact Comes Under Mueller Investigation

Firm Tied To Jared Kushner's Middle East Contact Comes Under Mueller Investigation”

The Dutch national is the first person sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Van der Zwaan faced a recommended sentence ranging from zero to six months in prison and asked for no prison time for one count of lying to investigators, a felony. But Mueller's team has not previously identified Manafort, who was intimately involved in the campaign's operation for five key months, as a specific target of that investigation. John Dowd, Trump's former attorney, called for Mueller's probe to be shut down.

He's the first person charged in Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation to be punished by a court.

Jackson said she did not know if van der Zwaan was motivated to join Manafort and Gates for excitement, the money, or was engaged in a deeper "coverup", but that in lying "he put his own interests ahead of the interests of justice" in an investigation of national and global importance into whether the USA democratic process was corrupted. Given that his co-defendant and associate Rick Gates already pleaded guilty and made a deal to cooperate with Mueller, Toobin thinks it's very likely that Manafort will do the same.

Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which typically precedes a guilty plea.

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In the filing, Mueller's prosecutors sought to refute arguments by Manafort's lawyers that they went beyond the original appointment authority outlined in the special counsel regulations.

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Van der Zwaan's apology and his lawyer's explanations for his client's actions appeared to ring hollow for the judge.

His attorneys asked for a lenient sentence so van der Zwaan could be with his wife during a hard pregnancy, and Mueller's team offered no recommendations on a sentence.

"This was lying during the course of a federal investigation", she added, noting that being able to "write a check and walk away" would not fit the seriousness of the crime or send the right message. Manafort has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing related to Russian election interference.

How does this tie into Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation?

Van der Zwaan worked with Gates and Manafort during his tenure in London at the prestigious law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which fired him past year.

President Trump has said that the charges against his former employees have no bearing on his campaign's work and repeatedly claims that "no collusion" occurred.



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