Special counsel Robert Mueller has charged an attorney for making false statements to the FBI and his office, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged Feb. 16 with “willfully and knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to both the special counsel’s office and FBI investigators.
The false statements were related to his work as an attorney employed by a law firm working on behalf of Ukraine's Ministry of Justice in 2012 to prepare a report on the trial of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko, according to the indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Van Der Zwaan — who is the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan — is an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, a prominent international law firm based in New York City. However, his professional page on the law firm’s website has already been removed.
According to the indictment, Van Der Zwaan lied about his communications with top Trump campaign aide Richard Gates. He also lied about his communications with an unnamed “Person A.”
Gates, who has also been charged by Mueller, is reportedly set to plea guilty and testify against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Van Der Zwaan was charged with a criminal information, which means he is expected to plead guilty. He is due in federal court in Washington Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, Mueller — who was appointed in May 2017 — indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller's probe is also looking at possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, as well as obstruction of justice by the president.