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Former Skadden Arps Associate Charged with Lying to FBI
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Skadden Arps

Summary: Alex van der Zwaan, a former associate at Skadden Arps, is accused of lying to the FBI about his communications and work related to the Russia investigation.

A former Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP associate has been accused of lying to federal authorities by special counsel Robert Mueller. Alex van der Zwaan is married to the daughter of Russian oligarch German Khan.

  
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Van der Zwaan allegedly lied to the FBI about possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. Mueller claims that van der Zwaan made false or misleading statements regarding the email communications between Richard Gates, a former Trump campaign official and an associate of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.

Van der Zwaan was a London-based lawyer for Skadden Arps when he was working on a report seeking the justification to incarcerate a political opponent of Manafort’s client, then-Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych.

Khan is currently suing private research firm Fusion GPS for a dossier claiming ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. The firm’s famous dossier was created by former British spy Christopher Steele. Two other Russian investors with Alfa Bank are suing Fusion for libel, alleging damage to their reputations because of the dossier.

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The charges against van der Zwaan came the same day Mueller released the indictment against 13 Russian nationals. He was officially “charged Friday by an instrument known as an information, which is typically used by prosecutors when their target has already agreed to plead guilty,” according to CNBC. He is expected in U.S. District Court in Washington Tuesday.

He is accused of lying about his final communications with Gates around mid-August 2016 and communication with someone identified as “Person A” in 2014. The communications with Gates consisted of “an innocuous text message” while van der Zwaan talked with Person A about their family. When he was asked about the conversations he claimed to “not know why an email between him and Person A in September 2016 was not produced to the Special Counsel’s Office.” The emails were allegedly deleted by van der Zwaan.



Skadden stated to CNBC, “The firm terminated its employment of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter.”

Multiple sources have covered Skadden Arps involvement in Ukrainian business. Manafort arranged for the law firm to put together a report for Ukraine’s Yanukovych associates to use so they could defend the incarceration of Ukrainian nationalist Tymoshenko. Skadden Arps has since refunded the Ukrainian government $567,000, about half of which the law firm was paid for its work. Skadden claimed the money was being held in “escrow for future work” but the Kyiv Post said, “the transfer only came after the Ukrainian government sent the U.S. Justice Department a letter requesting the repayment.”

Gates and Manafort have previously been charged by Mueller on 12 counts, including alleged money laundering and making misleading statements on finances and previous work. Gates is expected to enter a guilty plea for the fraud charges and may even testify against Manafort.

Manafort’s daughter Andrea Manafort Shand is also a former employee of Skadden Arps.

Do you think Skadden Arps was involved in anything inappropriate regarding their work for Manafort and Ukraine? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the Russian investigation, read these articles:

Source: CNBC

Photo: legalbusiness.co.uk



 

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