A Dutch attorney was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 days in prison for lying to federal agents, in the first formal conviction obtained by Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian election interference and alleged collusion between aides to Donald Trump and Moscow. A federal judge in Washington sentenced Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old lawyer who previously worked with Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Van der Zwaan had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with another former Trump adviser, Rick Gates, and a person the FBI has assessed as being tied to Russian military intelligence.
Although the Dutchman was the fourth person to plead guilty in the Mueller probe, he was first to be formally sentenced. Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have entered plea deals.
A former lawyer at the prominent firm Skadden Arps, Van der Zwaan worked on a 2012 report commissioned by Manafort to defend former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from international criticism.
Van der Zwaan’s sentence could be a guide for what other defendants charged with lying in Mueller’s investigation receive when their cases are resolved, if they have co-operated.