Dutch Lawyer Is the First to Be Sentenced in Mueller Probe

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Posted: Apr 03, 2018 12:00 PM
Dutch Lawyer Is the First to Be Sentenced in Mueller Probe

London lawyer Alex van der Zwaan is the first person to be sentenced in Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The 33-year-old Dutch national pled guilty in February to lying to investigators about his work in Ukraine with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy Rick Gates. Manafort and Gates were indicted earlier this year for money laundering and conspiracy against the United States.

Van der Zwaan could have faced up to 5 years in prison, but has been sentenced to only 30 days and will pay a $20,000 fine.

Mueller, a former FBI director, took control of the Russia investigation back in May 2017. Since then, his team has handed out over 20 indictments, yet has no evidence as of yet to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to defeat Hillary Clinton. In their biggest round of indictments, Mueller's team charged 13 Russian nationals with trying to sway the 2016 election by posing as grassroots activists and meeting with Trump campaign members. But, the investigators note that these campaign associates met with the nationals unaware of their true identities.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a "witch hunt," leading some in Washington to believe he is going to fire him. The president has insisted that is not the case.