In November 2017, Alex van der Zwaan admitted that he lied to Robert Mueller and his team of investigators. On April 3, 2018, he was sentenced to 30 days in prison.
In February van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to making false statements concerning his phone calls, and emails with Richard Gates, a former aide for the Trump campaign. He looked the judge in the eye and said, “What I did was wrong. I apologize to the court, my wife, and my family.”
Van der Zwaan was fined $20,000 and sentenced to two months of supervised release.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she took into account he was a lawyer and should have known better. She believes the lies were intentional. Moreover, “put his personal interests ahead of justice.”
Prosecutors told the judge the defendant not only lied but tried to cover up his misstatements. He did this by trying to dispose of incriminating emails.
They believe having van der Zwaan spend time in prison would serve as a deterrent. However, there was no recommendation as to the length of time.
While Mueller is investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election, this case arose during questioning about the defendant and Paul Manafort’s work in the Ukraine more than 10 years ago.
This case may be a loud statement by Mueller and his team that obstruction of justice will be handled accordingly, according to NBC News.
Written by Cathy Milne and Jeanette Smith
NBC News: Attorney Alex van der Zwaan, first person sentenced in Mueller probe, gets 30 days in prison
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