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A Dutch lawyer with direct knowledge of contacts between Russian intelligence and a top official in US President Donald Trump's campaign became the first person sentenced in special prosecutor Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation Tuesday.
After his lies were called out, van der Zwaan gave investigators recordings of his conversations with Gates, "Person A" and a senior Skadden partner.
"This was more than a mistake".
Jackson also said his signs of remorse were relatively "muted".
In pleading guilty, he admitted he lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about previous communications with Rick Gates, a Manafort protege who held a senior position in the Trump campaign, and that he also withheld and deleted emails. He also had lied years ago about helping Gates to spin an independent report he worked on in favor of Gates' and Manafort's political clients in Ukraine.
Prosecutors say in their court filing that given their mandate to investigate links between Trump associates and Russian Federation, it was logical and appropriate to investigate Manafort for ties to Russia-backed politicians and oligarchs.
The first person has been jailed as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into alleged collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign team and Russian Federation.
Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann did not request a specific punishment for van der Zwann but he did point out that "the defendant is an attorney who after being explicitly warned about the consequences of lying. went ahead and repeatedly lied to the government". "This glass was dropped on a very thick carpet and it has cushioned the blow", Jackson said.
"What I did was wrong", he said.
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.
Mueller indicted van der Zwaan for making false statements of FBI investigators.
Van der Zwaan awaited his sentencing for the last month while gripped with "boredom and anxiety" while living in a hotel, Schwartz said.
Prosecutors alleged that van der Zwaan falsely told federal investigators that he last communicated with Gates in mid-August 2016 through an innocuous text message.
Van der Zwaan, 33, previously worked in the London office of the global law firm Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom and is married to Eva Khan, the daughter of Russian billionaire German Khan, founder of the privately owned Alfa Bank.
Mr Gates and Mr Manafort have been hit with a number of charges, including conspiracy to launder money and acting as "unregistered agents" of Mr Yanukovych and his party. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is seeking to have the case against him dismissed.
Mr Gates pleaded guilty on February 23 to conspiring to defraud the United States and lying to Mr Mueller's office, and is now cooperating with the probe. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos also have pleaded guilty. He earned a light sentence based on his co-operation with Mueller's probe, which is focused on whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "We're not talking about a traffic ticket".