politics

Mueller Describes Encrypted Talk in Russian, Deleted Emails

Mueller Puts Heat on Manafort, Charges Former Skadden Lawyer

The lawyer who pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements gave no indication in court he’s cooperating with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

New details show that the lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, was communicating with someone in Ukraine in September 2016 at the behest of Rick Gates, who has also been charged by Mueller over his unregistered lobbying in Ukraine and money laundering.

Court filings in van der Zwaan’s case say that he communicated with Gates and an unidentified person in Ukraine about a criminal case that could be brought in Ukraine. Some of those communications were in Russian and on encrypted messaging platforms. The lawyer also briefed a senior partner at his law firm, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLC, and secretly recorded these calls and took notes.

When van der Zwaan was interviewed with U.S. officials in November 2017, he didn’t disclose those communications, prosecutors said, adding that he deleted and otherwise failed to produce emails.

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