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Attorney pleads guilty to lying to FBI in Russia probe

By Susan McFarland and Danielle Haynes
Attorney pleads guilty to lying to FBI in Russia probe
Attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan walks into the Washington field office of the FBI for processing before offering his plea at the federal courthouse to making false statements to federal investigators in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A New York-based Dutch attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to the FBI and the team of special counsel Robert Mueller amid its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

An indictment unsealed Tuesday accused Alex Van Der Zwaan of "willfully and knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements."

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The indictment said he made false statements regarding his work with a law firm on behalf of Ukraine's Ministry of Justice in 2012 to prepare a report on the trial of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

Van Der Zwaan, who was charged Friday, also communicated with Richard Gates, a business associate of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

RELATED Trump Russia probe: Who's involved, where it stands

Gates and Manafort were indicted in October by a federal grand jury on charges that included conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as foreign agents of Ukraine's former pro-Russian government.

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