Special Counsel Robert Mueller has imprisoned his first target in his wide-ranging probe into whether the Trump campaign
colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton did anything whatsoever that was even remotely illegal.
Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan, the son in law of a Russian oligarch, has become the first Mueller target to be sentenced on Tuesday, after a judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison and slapped with a $20,000 fine.
Zwaan pled guilty in February to misleading the FBI about conversations he had with Manafort lieutenant Rick Gates and a mysterious "Person A" who was not identified. Axios said it's believed this "Person A" was longtime Manafort associate (and, according to Mueller, a suspected Russian intelligence operative) Konstantin Kilimnik. It has been reported that these conversations were related to a report he prepared for the trial of a Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Mueller didn't recommend a sentence for Zwaan. He faced up to five years and $250,000 in fines. According to his LinkedIn page, Van Der Zwaan was an associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom. He was reportedly questioned regarding the firm’s work in 2012 on behalf of the Ukraine Ministry of Justice.
"What I did was wrong. I apologize to the court for my conduct," Zwaan said in a Washington DC area court.
The judge characterized Van Der Zwaan's crimes as momentary lapses in reason that unfortunately had serious consequences, Sputnik reported.
"This was not a momentary lapse. He was essentially caught red-handed. This was not something that happened to him; this is something he did. He put his personal interest ahead of the interests of justice," the judge said.