Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Trump's Lawyer Proposed Pardons for Flynn and Manafort

Trump's Lawyer Proposed Pardons for Flynn and Manafort

The court declaring is attached to the sentencing of Dutch legal representative Alex van der Zwaan, that begged guilty last month to existing to the unique advice regarding his communications with Gates. He has since pleaded guilty to lying to investigators to avoid trial over charges similar to those against Manafort. Mueller's team has asserted ties between Person A and Russian intelligence in the past, but this assessment marks the first time they have said those ties were ongoing at the time of the campaign.

The possibility of pardons arose as special counsel Robert Mueller was "building cases against both men", which the Times said raised "questions about whether the lawyer. was offering pardons to influence their decisions about whether to plead guilty and cooperate" in the Russian Federation investigation. In documents filed with the court late last night, Mueller specified that a person of interest in the investigation that had contact with Rick Gates and Paul Manafort had connections to Russian intelligence.

The allegations underscore Mueller's interest in Manafort and Gates, who continued to interact with business associates in Ukraine even as they helped lead Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Mr. van der Zwaan originally told Mr. Mueller's investigators that he had not spoken to Mr. Gates since August 2016, but subsequently admitted he had lied after prosecutors confronted him with evidence of conversations.

For those keeping score, van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, German Khan, one of the owners of Alfa Bank, and had extensive dealings with Manafort on his earlier work for the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine. "Focused on preserving his career at Skadden, and fearful that truthful answers could lead to discovery of the recordings (an in particular, the discovery that he had recorded a Skadden partner), Alex made a bad decision: He chose to cut off the inquiry at its inception by lying about the September 2016 conversations with Gates and Person A".

Deripaska has since filed a civil lawsuit in NY state court against Gates and Manafort that accuses them of defrauding him out of an investment deal. Some conservatives have preemptively urged Trump to pardon family members and associates caught up in Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

It might not mean much - but if it didn't, why would van der Zwaan (and possibly Gates) try to keep it from investigators and risk an obstruction of justice charge? Lawyers for van der Zwaan said he should not be sentenced to jail.

Filing shows prosecutors believe a top Trump official remained in contact with a Russian intelligence-linked operative well into campaign.

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