Alex Van Der Zwaan Pleads Guilty to Lying to Federal Investigators

| FEB 20, 2018 | 10:02 PM

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Alex Van Der Zwaan pleaded guilty on Tuesday to lying to federal investigators about his communications with Rick Gates, the also-indicted business associate of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

According to the Associated Press, Van Der Zwaan formally pleaded guilty at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday morning, special counsel Robert Mueller released an indictment against Van Der Zwaan after interviewing him about his firm's work with the Ministry of Justice in Ukraine.

The indictment argued that Van Der Zwaan made “materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations” to Justice Department investigators when they asked about his last communications with Gates.

Mueller's investigation yielded an indictment against both Manafort and Gates in October of last year. Although both initially pleaded not guilty, Gates reportedly just reached a plea deal in which he will admit guilt and testify against Manafort.

Tuesday's was the second indictment in just four days. While it pertained to the special counsel's investigation, it didn't directly relate to election meddling or Trump's campaign.

Last week, the special counsel indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, including the infamous Internet Research Agency, after they allegedly meddled in the 2016 election.

In a series of tweets, President Donald Trump defended himself amid speculation that his team colluded with Russia:

And on Tuesday, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of changing his narrative about election meddling after the 2016 election. “When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems,” he said.