First person sentenced in Robert Mueller's Russia-Trump probe

Attorneys for the defendant had pushed for a sentence of probation, noted that Van der Zwaan's wife is due to give birth in August.

Last month, the lawyer pleaded guilty and told prosecutors he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his past links with Rick Gates - a Manafort protege who held a senior position in the Trump campaign. He said Mueller overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct that occurred years before the 2016 presidential election. Mr Trump has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But his sentence does not shed much light on the central question of Mueller's inquiry: Russian interference in the 2016 election.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson also ordered Van der Zwaan to pay a $20,000 fine and undergo two months of supervised release upon his release from prison.

According to a two-page indictment released by the special counsel's office February 20, the Ukraine-connected attorney misled authorities about his most recent contact with Gates; deleted and failed to produce emails Mueller's team had requested; and misrepresented his involvement in an global law firm's report on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2012.

Though prosecutors did not take a position on whether van der Zwaan should be locked up, they stressed that he had lied "repeatedly" to investigators.

During interviews with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, van der Zwaan told the feds that he last spoke to Gates in August 2016, but it was later revealed that he spoke to Gates in September 2016. Alfa Bank, which he co-founded, is the largest non-state owned bank in Russian Federation, according to Forbes.

Van der Zwaan addressed the judge directly on Tuesday, saying in a brief statement: "What I did was wrong". "I apologize to my wife and to my family".

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ABC News reported that Ukraine-based Konstantin Kilimnik is the associate with whom van der Zwaan and Gates met, although he denies it. Kilimnik worked with Manafort previous year to improve the latter's image in Ukraine, which violated a court-imposed gag order.

The Skadden report has been controversial in Ukraine in part because its findings seemed to contradict the global community's conclusion that Tymoshenko had been unjustly jailed.

Mueller's team argued during van der Zwaan's sentencing that the judge needed to be tough to make sure witnesses cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Manafort has been charged with financial crimes like tax and bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy against the US.

Manafort was unaware of the memo's existence before it was publicly revealed Monday night, and the second stipulation throws a wrench into his claim that Mueller overstepped his mandate by charging him with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors included that detail in a memo defending the scope of their investigation, which so far has resulted in criminal charges against 19 people and three Russian companies.

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