It was revealed on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller had charged a well-connected lawyer with lying to investigators about communications he had with former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates in 2016.
According to court documents, Alex Van Der Zwaan — the son-in-law of German Khan, a Ukrainian-Russian billionaire and businessman — was charged on Feb. 16 with making “materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations” to FBI agents and the special counsel.
Mueller’s team interviewed Van Der Zwaan regarding his firm’s work in 2012 with the Ukraine Ministry of Justice. He allegedly lied to investigators about his last communications with Gates, who was indicted in October for consulting work he did with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in Ukraine.
The latest incident follows news that Gates has reached a plea deal with the special counsel and is set to testify against Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.
Gates would be the third person in President Donald Trump’s circle to agree to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The charges also come four days after 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities were charged with meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The president viewed the indictments as vindication against those alleging that his campaign colluded with Russians during the 2016 election. “The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!” the president said in a tweet shortly after the announcement.
“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted.”