Robert Mueller charges lawyer with lying in Russia election meddling probe

Robert Mueller, the man leading the Russian election meddling investigation, has charged a lawyer with making false statements to his team. 

Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged with “willfully and knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to investigators. 

Mr Van Der Zwaan was an attorney with a law firm which worked with Ukraine’s justice ministry in a case against the politician Yulia Tymoshenko. 

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The lawyer had communications with Robert Gates, a Donald Trump campaign aide who was charged alongside colleague Paul Manafort by Mr Mueller’s team last year. 

Alex Van Der Zwaan arrives at Federal District Court in WashingtonCredit:
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

There have been reports over the weekend that Mr Gates has struck a bargain with investigators and is prepared to plead guilty – though nothing has been announced. 

Mr Van Der Zwaan was charged on February 16 in federal court in Washington and news of the move emerged on Tuesday. 

It is unclear exactly how Mr Van Der Zwaan fits into Mr Mueller’s wider investigation, which is looking into how Russia interfered in the US election of 2016. 

Mr Van Der Zwaan, 33, worked in London with the New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.