Mueller Unveils New Charges in Russia Probe

FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks during a news conference at the FBI headquarters

Special counsel Robert Mueller revealed another criminal charge on Tuesday in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, this time against a lawyer who had worked with some of President Trump's former campaign aides.

The lawyer, Alex Van Der Zwaan "willfully and knowingly" made "materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations" to the investigators about his conversations with Manafort deputy Rick Gates and an unnamed third person, prosecutors alleged in the new court filings.

Mueller has also charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; Gates; former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos; and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Van Der Zwaan was expected in court Tuesday afternoon to plead guilty to the charges.

Zwaan allegedly also misled investigators about a September 2016 email between him and "Person A", according to the court documents.

He was speaking with investigators about his work with Skadden Arps in 2012 when the firm did work for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to prepare a report on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Skadden released a statement Tuesday morning saying that the "firm terminated its employment of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter".

There have been reports over the weekend that Mr Gates has struck a bargain with investigators and is prepared to plead guilty - though nothing has been announced.

Gates met Manafort almost three decades ago while he was an intern at Black, Manafort, Stone, Kelly - one of the most powerful lobbying firms in DC.

Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency in 2014 amid widespread protests against his Russia-friendly positions and his decision to back out of a deal that would have promoted closer ties between Ukraine and the West, and distanced it from Russian Federation. Mueller's focus on the Skadden case was first reported last September. Van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of German Khan, a Russian bank owner who is suing BuzzFeed News over the publication of an unverified dossier of information concerning President Donald Trump.

The charges come four days after Mueller accused 13 Russians of a sophisticated disinformation campaign using a troll army that targeted the 2016 campaign and sought to sow discord in the U.S.

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