Dutch lawyer, Alexander van der Zwaan, who pleaded guilty to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, was became the first person punished by a court during the course of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. Mr. van der Zwaan was sentenced last Tuesday morning to 30 days in jail.
The Dutch lawyer was also ordered by District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to pay a $20,000 fine. Van der Zwaan came off very apologetic during his sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. He told the court, “What I did was wrong. I apologize for my conduct.”
The special counsel didn’t request any specific sentence for for a Alexander van der Zwaan, however, his attorneys asked Judge Berman Jackson to keep their client out of jail. During sentencing, Berman Jackson said she had considered only fining van der Zwaan.
The judge said she decided on the jail time because:
“I’ve thought about it, but I just can’t say, ‘Pay a fine at the door and go… we’re not talking about a traffic ticket. This is lying in a federal criminal investigation.”
Former deputy to Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, was Van der Zwaan’s connection to the Russia probe. Mueller indicted both Gates and Manafort in October for money laundering and illegal lobbying. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos were also charged with lying to Mueller’s investigators, and both pleaded guilty.
So far, Manafort is the only figure tied to the Trump campaign who’s been charged by Mueller that hasn’t struck a plea deal, as far as we know.