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Lawyer Linked To Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Sentenced


Alex van der Zwaan arrives for his sentencing in Washington on April 3.
Alex van der Zwaan arrives for his sentencing in Washington on April 3.

A Dutch attorney who once worked closely with U.S. President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been sentenced to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine for lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators about contacts with an official in Trump's 2016 campaign.

Alex van der Zwaan, the son-in-law of Russian billionaire German Khan, is the first person to be sentenced in Mueller’s probe into interactions between Russian officials and associates of Trump.

Van der Zwaan was also sentenced to two months of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty in February to lying to federal agents about his contacts with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates and a person prosecutors have since revealed has been assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence.

"What I did was wrong. I apologize to this court, and I apologize to my wife," van der Zwaan said at the sentencing hearing on April 3.

His attorneys had pushed for him to pay a fine and return to London as soon as possible where he lives with his wife, who is pregnant with their first child.

But U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said incarceration was necessary.

"This was more than a mistake. It was more than a lapse or misguided moment," Jackson said, adding that being able to "write a check and walk away" would not fit the seriousness of the crime or send the right message.

Van der Zwaan was a lawyer in London for U.S. law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2012 when he carried out work for the Ukrainian government through Gates and Manafort.

More than a dozen people -- including Manafort and Gates -- have been indicted by the special counsel.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP