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Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty in Special Counsel Probe Asks for Leniency

Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty in Special Counsel Probe Asks for Leniency”

Rick Gates, the former aide, told an attorney for a us law firm that a Russian they worked with in Ukraine was a former military intelligence officer, according to the filing late Tuesday in Washington.

Gates was aware of the operative's links to Russian intelligence, the documents say.

Van der Zwaan is married to the daughter of German Khan, a director and co-owner of Alfa Bank.

A month before the 2016 presidential election, a campaign aide to Donald Trump directly communicated with a man he knew was a onetime Russian spy, according to a court filing by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Van Der Zwaan expressed remorse but asked for leniency in sentencing.

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Had Trump-Russia believers read Mueller's memo more carefully, they might have noticed it specifically states that the conversations between "Person A", van der Zwaan and Gates "concerned potential criminal charges in Ukraine" about a report concerning the corruption trial of a former government official and the compensation Gates and Manafort were paid for their lobbying work, rather than anything pertaining to the Trump campaign or the U.S. presidential election. This individual is also described as being "pertinent to the investigation".

That Person A has had ties to Russian intelligence is not terribly surprising.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Mueller's office agreed not to pursue charges against van der Zwaan in connection with any other false statements he made in November or December 2017, destruction of documents or evidence, or violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act - which requires individuals who lobby on behalf of foreign entities to register with the United States government - in connection with his work for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. But he added that it was "safe to say" that "Mueller is not prone to exaggeration, so they probably have this tightly tied down".

Gates - with van der Zwaan - allegedly worked on talking points around the 2012 report and they also continued, allegedly, to work together into 2016, according to the court filing.

The identity of Person A is unclear. That article landed Manafort in hot water with prosecutors and the judge presiding over the federal criminal case against him. Kilimnik told The Post in June that he has "no relation to the Russian or any other intelligence service".

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Manafort - who is fighting charges from Mueller that relate to his work prior to joining Trump - left the campaign in August 2016 after reports about questionable payments he received from his work related to Ukraine. We also know that Manafort had been in contact with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign and met him at least twice.

Oleg Voloshyn, the spokesman for Ukraine's ministry of foreign affairs under Yanukovych, told Bloomberg previous year that he wrote the op-ed article and sent a draft to Kilimnik in early December.

Mueller's latest court filing - and more that come out of van der Zwaan's case - could help shed light on whether Person A was Kilimnik, and whether Manafort, as one of the highest-ranking members of the Trump campaign, knew that Person A was tied to Russian intelligence. Mueller is now apparently directly disputing that using Gates's own words. Four other people have publicly pleaded guilty so far to charges brought by Mueller's office - including former Trump campaign deputy chair Rick Gates, Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos - but their sentencings are on hold as they cooperate with prosecutors.

Both Manafort and Gates were indicted in October on multiple felony counts including conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements, much of it stemming from their work on behalf of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine. He is cooperating with Mueller's office.

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