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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Who is Alex van der Zwaan?

In the news: Former Skadden Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Investigation

The son-in-law of a Russia-based billionaire admitted on Tuesday to lying to investigators about his communications with a former Trump campaign aide. The guilty plea by the defendant, a former lawyer at a powerful New York-based law firm, broadened the scope of the special counsel’s inquiry into Russia’s election interference.

The lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen, acknowledged in federal court in Washington that he lied to prosecutors about a September 2016 conversation with Rick Gates, the former Trump aide, over work they did together for a Ukrainian political party aligned with Russia. He also admitted that he deleted records of email exchanges that prosecutors had sought. He faces up to five years in prison but said in court that he expected to serve six months or less ...

Long story short: Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, had earlier been an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych, who, after being elected, jailed his opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko (think Hillary/ & 'lock her up'). Because this looked sort of, you know, bad, he had his minion Manafort hire a law firm, Skadden, to write a report justifying the jailing of Tymoshenko. Van der Zwaan worked for Skadden and provided info from the report to a PR firm and to Rick Gates, Manafort's bud and the most recently flipped Mueller witness. Mueller interviewed van der Zwaan, he lied, and now he's been indicted. Oh, and van der Zwaan is married to the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan, one of the guys mentioned in the notorious Steele dossier on Trump.

Rachel Maddow with the details ...


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