How Mueller's Latest Indictment Relates to the Steele Dossier
06:37, Feb 21, 2018
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Van der Zwaan is also accused of lying to investigators about why he did not provide Mueller's office with a September 2016 email between him and another person referred to in the charge as "Person A".
Specifically, it notes Van Der Zwaan may have deleted emails connected to his most recent communications with Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide who was indicted previous year on charges of conspiracy to launder money and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
On Friday, Mueller issued indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations that he claimed had attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Additionally, according tocourt documents, the special counsel's office concludes that he misrepresented his involvement in an worldwide law firm's report on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2012. That page has since been taken down. The firm was employed by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice to compile a report about the trial of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The New York Times reported in September that Manafort arranged for Skadden to do the work - and that prosecutors were asking questions about it.
Prosecutors say van der Zwaan made false statements about an interaction with Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide.
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Those of you following along at home will remember Russia's Alfa Bank popped up prominently in the Steele Dossier-and figured in news reports that the FBI was investigating unexplained connections between the Trump Organization and computer servers owned by the bank.
The report defied the view held by the United States and the European Union that the case against her was politically motivated. The Skadden team working on the report was lead by Gregory Craig, who had previously worked for presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Manafort too has been indicted by Mueller on money laundering and tax-related charges. The case "sends a signal to both Paul Manafort and Rick Gates: cooperate or risk greater trouble in the future".
The indictment against Van Der Zwaan, which name-drops Gates, may suggest that the reports are correct and the former Trump aide is cooperating with the special counsel. According to a report a year ago in the Kiev Post, van der Zwaan served as a go-between for the Skadden team that went to Ukraine.
Gates joined Trump's campaign in June 2016 after then-candidate Trump hired Manafort to chair his presidential campaign. Manafort is contesting the charges and the Tuesday indictment was said to be a part of the case the special counsel was building against him.
The Ukrainians asked the U.S. Justice Department for help in questioning Manafort and Skadden lawyers who worked on the report. CNNreported last week that Gates has been in plea negotiations with the special counsel for about a month. Ukrainian prosecutors confirmed that Skadden refunded $567,000 to Ukraine, saying it had been overpaid.
And court records filed on February 16 show a California man had pleaded guilty to identity fraud in connection with a so-called Russian "troll factory" that created fictitious accounts on Facebook and other social media in what USA authorities call an effort to sow discord in American politics.
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