Mueller reveals Manafort and Gates associate had Russian intelligence ties

JUNE 21 2017 FILE

According to the Times, Dowd talked about the idea as special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE was building cases against Flynn and Manafort.

Lawyers for Manafort are seeking to dismiss the charges, arguing they have nothing to do with Russian interference and fall outside the scope of what Mueller is supposed to investigate, among other things.

Previous court documents filed by Mueller's team have described Person A as "a longtime Russian colleague ... who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service".

Justice Department lawyers in the civil case have said Mueller is well within his authority to bring the case.

Tuesday's filing from Mueller's office says the fact that "Gates and Person A were directly communicating in September and October 2016 was pertinent to the investigation".

Van der Zwaan, 33, worked for Manafort and Gates while with the global law firm Skadden Arps.


Mr. Manafort has vowed to fight the charges.

The new document is a sentencing memorandum for Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who pleaded guilty in February to lying to federal investigators about his conversations with Mr. Gates in 2016 about work the two men did in Ukraine. "He thereafter deliberately and repeatedly lied", as well as "withheld and otherwise destroyed documents requested by the Special Counsel's Office through his counsel relating to his work with Manafort, Gates, and Person A" including a September 12, 2016, email "that the government had obtained through other means".

Update: And of course, the biggest issue here is that Gates himself admitted to van der Zwaan that he knew of Kilimnik's relationships with Russian intel at the time.

Van der Zwaan is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3 and faces as many as six months in prison under a plea agreement with Mueller's office.

The filing identifies the ex-spy only as Person A. The description of him by prosecutors, a person living in Moscow and Kiev who worked with Manafort and Gates in Ukraine, matches that of Konstantin Kilimnik.

Mr. van der Zwaan was an attorney at a firm that worked with Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates to prepare a report used to defend Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, from global criticism over the prosecution and incarceration of one of his political rivals. Mueller is now apparently directly disputing that using Gates's own words. It also says that Kilimnik worked for 10 years in the Moscow office of the International Republican Institute, a US government-funded nonprofit.

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