Mueller Charges New Defendant: Alex Van Der Zwaan

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan.  The charge however is another false statement indictment and is not tied to Russian collusion. Rather Van Der Zwaan was interviewed in rather to dealing concerning Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice in 2012.  The expected guilty plea certainly adds to the prosecution cases but remains far removed from the Trump campaign. It is more likely related to the Paul Manafort prosecution.

Van Der Zwaan was charged with “willfully and knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to both the special counsel’s office and FBI investigators.  He was interviewed due to his work on a report on the trial of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.  Both Paul Manafort and Richard Gates have been tied to Ukranian interests.

Van der Zwaan is also accused of deleting or withholding emails sought by the Special Counsel’s office.

As I have discussed earlier, Manafort had a reputation for dubious associations and clients — making his selection as Trump campaign chair baffling.  For almost ten years, he was a consultant to Ukraine’s Party of Regions and its leader, Viktor Yanukovych.  The party was viewed as being supported by Russians interests and took an anti-Nato and anti-West stance. Yanukovych would ultimately flee to Russia as people rose up against corruption.

Manafort made millions in his association with the party.  Those payments between 2004 and 2014 are the focus of Manafort.

As NBC News previously reported, federal officials say that the money Manafort earned from both the party and the oligarchs — and what he did with it — are part of what has drawn the attention of investigators. New details keep emerging as U.S. and Ukrainian officials piece together Manafort’s contacts and payments in Ukraine from 2004 to 2014.

Yanukovych is a remarkably sleazy character with prior criminal convictions and a long line of corruption allegations.  There is also an attempted assassination of one of his political opponents. Frankly, few of us were surprised that Manafort found him and his party to be an attractive potential client.  Manafort worked to try to return Yanukovyck to power.

Manafort even reportedly came up with the POR’s slogan for the 2006 election, “A Better Life Today.”

 

 

117 thoughts on “Mueller Charges New Defendant: Alex Van Der Zwaan”

  1. Yanukovych, not a nice fellow, but a legitimately elected head of a sovereign state.
    the US INTERFERED in that Ukrainian election if it ever did!
    Running off a head of state by instigating riots?
    It’s no wonder foreigners hate America!

    And the powers that be like Mueller, supreme hypocrites of the Deep State, punish Americans that dare to do legal business with unpopular regimes, with these kinds of vague charges like conspiracy and money laundering and wire fraud that are imprecise and easy to charge.

  2. The right wing will support child predators, foreign agents, lifelong conmen if they share the same prejudices. Likewise they will attack law enforcement itself like the FBI or DOJ if it is ‘their guy’ under investigation. The conservative canard of American values and morality melt away and these people become ‘defense attorneys’ grasping for any straw that exculpates ‘their guy.’

    Just look at the representatives of Christ that give Trump a ‘mulligan’ for lies, sexual assault and presumably any criminal behavior bc Trump ‘punches the left in the mouth’ instead of turning the other cheek or forgiving the left. The Right is comprised of opportunistic hypocrites of the lowest sort.

    1. Darrin Rychlak, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who noticed the cravenness that you mentioned above. Of course, I already knew that a good many people, here and elsewhere in the country, see that cravenness plain as day. I’m beginning to suspect that the simple fact that the craven ones deny their cravenness is the very thing that makes them so craven in the first place. But then, they say I’m wrong about that as well as everything else.

  3. If Americans would place the nation’s interest over their party’s interest – we have an amazing opportunity. Every one of us should write our member of Congress and tell them that:

    “Congress should file a Writ of Mandamus asking the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court to overturn rulings like ‘Terry v. Ohio’ – rulings that amended the U.S. Constitution illegally – without a constitutional amendment”.

    In 1968 dissenting Justice Douglas warned in “Terry v. Ohio” that:
    “To give the police greater power than a magistrate is to take a long step down the totalitarian path…but if it is taken – it should be the deliberate choice of the people through a constitutional amendment”

    Alexander Hamilton, who largely designed America’s Independent Judiciary – including the U.S. Supreme Court – believed “constitutionality” should always supersede “legal precedent”. Always!

    Why this matters: rulings like “Terry v. Ohio” that illegally amended the letter & spirit of the Fourth Amendment – without a constitutional amendment – also destroyed the constitutional rule of law in America. It also created the very real “Slippery Slope” that was further exploited after 9/11. The so-called “War on Drugs” destroyed the Fourth Amendment in the late 1960’s, the so-called “War on a Tactic” after 9/11 destroyed the remaing Bill of Rights. This also facilitated FBI abuses. In the past few years we have exploited and abused the “Espionage Act of 1917” to be used against “non-spies” like journalists and legal whistleblowers while the U.S. Supreme Court does nothing – refusing to provide Judicial Review.

    Since the U.S. Constitution was amended illegally to counter illegal wars (as defined by the U.S. Constitution), we should remember that the U.S, Constitution is a “wartime governing charter” designed to be followed during wartime. It was ceated when the United States was a weak nation fighting the then world’s greatest superpower – not an illegal War on Drugs or War on a Tactic.

    Since Americans are so divided today, we could unite the nation by correcting these terrible rulings. It could one good thing voters could do if you love your country. Write your member of Congress today!

  4. Darren, I have a longish comment in moderation. I can’t see anything offensive in it. Could you check it out and wrest it from “the beast” if it passes muster? Thanks!

  5. Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

    Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …”

    Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

    Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

    Democrats: “The ends justify the means.”

  6. This was my comment in another news stories that parallels this situation. It maintained that Meuller could have this investigation wrapped up and done by the end of the year. and then asked What do you think? I was the first to respond and here it is.

    “Why should that end the investigation. There is plenty left to investigate as we all know and the House Intelligence Committee has laid out. The focus may change but that’s as it should be and laser light the Clinton Campaign or as my favorite former TV Talk Show Host used to day

    “shine the unbearable light of truth, justice and the American Way on egg sucking dog liberals.”

    It’s their turn to feel the heat and there are plenty of avenues and threads to follow just as was or is being done with the current avenue.

    Time for Clinton to be ‘blinded by the light’ and you all know the next line.”

    The brief was to Investigation Collusion (not a crime) Russia (for involvement in our political system) and gave wide latitude. Mr. Meuller certainly may take a break at Christmas, he may even change the makeup of his ‘crew’ but stopping when the evidence of exactly what he was charged with investigating is now public knowledge only serves to heighten suspicion the whole thing was intended as a one sided witch hunt from the beginning.

    It does not matter who else may have paid or been involved though, that so far has never been backed by evidence, it only matters that the llight of truth, justice and the American Way shine equally on all involved.

    To do any less would automatically turn that light on those would be seen as getting a free pass and the $200.00 and on it’s own provide a new firestorm of protest at the ballot box against the same group who were rejected almost two years ago.

    It certainly would damage further use of Special this and thats so to Mr. Meuller Suck it up and get it done Marine”. less ‘former’ become ‘ex’

    1. Michael Aarethun. Your rambling incoherent response is not convincing. Here is the DOJ grant of authority to Mueller:

      (a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed t() serve as Specia] Counsel for the United States
      Department of Justice.
      (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI
      Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on
      Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
      (i) any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals
      associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
      (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
      (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
      (c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is
      authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.
      (d) Sections 600.4 through 600. l 0 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are
      applicable to the Special Counsel.
      https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/967231/download

      Do you see ‘collusion’ mentioned? Neither do I. Turley did, but he’s an inveterate liar. “Collusion” is a terminology of art. This authorization is primarily an investigation of Russian/Trump sabotage of the American election of 2016. It also mandates that Mueller prosecute any criminal activity uncovered during the investigation of the primary purpose.

      What you call a ‘witch hunt’ is a criminal investigation. Should Mueller turn his back on any criminal activity he uncovers bc it likely implicates the president, the republican party, and/or republican donors like the NRA? Of course not. That would be a miscarriage of justice.

      But you seem to have no problem with that travesty of justice. In fact, you take it a step further and pray that your political opponent of a year ago, Hillary Clinton, be investigated again…for a 38th time.

      Fine. If HRC did something unlawful, let her be brought to justice…right behind Trump, his administration, the republican party and the republican donors who also violated federal law.

      I see over a dozen indictments, guilty pleas and Russian agents/actors charged. Mueller is doing exactly what he should be doing and Americans should support him.

      1. Darrin Rychlak – there was 2 billion spent by all the candidates in the 2016 election. These 13 Russians spent $100,000. The most was in WI where I think I heard they spent $3k. That does not buy you a lot. Most of the spending was in the hundreds of dollars.

        With that kind of spending and some it being spent after the election, they could not have been effective. I do not care how good they were. Their job was dissension.

  7. Here’s a story about one of Jon Turley’s favorite judges . . .

    FBI had probed convicted ex-Arkansas judge 20 years ago
    By KELLY P. KISSEL | Associated Press
    February 20, 1918

    Joseph Boeckmann later became a district judge at Wynne in eastern Arkansas, then for years preyed on men misfortunate enough to land in his courtroom. The federal government says he deserves a 37-month prison term for a pattern of misconduct that involved him demanding overtly sexual acts — at the prosecutor’s office until he was run off and later from the bench, even though his criminal charges involve only his behavior as a judge.

    “It can be fairly inferred that the defendant’s goal in running for his judicial position was to once again have access to young men in vulnerable positions,” government lawyers wrote before Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. An FBI agent is prepared to detail two investigations into Boeckmann’s having at least seven young men pose for him — some nude — in return for a reduced bond or the outright dropping of criminal charges.

    “The similarity between the accounts given by the young men who the FBI interviewed in the previous case and the young men interviewed as part of the (current) case are striking and demonstrate the defendant’s clear and continuous pattern of abuse dating back at least 20 years,” the government lawyers wrote in asking U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to also consider Boeckmann’s misbehavior as a deputy prosecutor in the 1990s.

    But the ex-judge’s lawyer, Jeff Rosenzweig, said it would be unfair to cite the older claims because Boeckmann’s failing health and memory would make it impossible to refute them. He said home detention would be appropriate for “an elderly, broken, ailing man.”

    Boeckmann, 72, left the bench in 2016 after an Arkansas panel that disciplines judges investigated complaints against him. While negotiating his removal, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission demanded that the judge agree to never seek any elective office again.

    “We were aware that he had been forced out of the prosecutor’s office from a previous investigation,” the commission’s executive director, David Sachar, said Tuesday. “We were surprised to note that, it appeared, the public was not made aware of that and that made it possible for him to run for judge.”

    In 2016, as it investigated Boeckmann’s behavior as a judge, The Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents related to the previous investigations. The FBI denied the AP’s request, citing a right to privacy. The AP was denied again on appeal.

    Prosecuting Attorney Fletcher Long told an AP reporter in 2016 that his office did not have a copy of Boeckmann’s letter of resignation. When asked about the previous investigation, he said he did not recall allegations involving Boeckmann. Long was traveling Tuesday and did not return a call to his office seeking comment.

    The government’s filing said the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Boeckmann in the 1990s because he had agreed to resign as deputy prosecutor.

    The U.S. Attorney at Little Rock then was Paula Casey, who recently retired as dean of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock law school. She said Tuesday she didn’t recall the previous Boeckmann investigations but that any decision in her office to bring a civil rights or public integrity case — or to decline one — would have also gone through the U.S. Justice Department. A message left with the current U.S. attorney’s office was not returned.

  8. Isn’t it interesting Clinton Inc. can spend something in the tune of 1.4 Billion and lose the election, but somehow a few foreign nationals can spend a miniscule proportion of that total and sway 25 % of the electorate in crucial states that Clinton Inc..
    Now thats a great PR firm.

    1. Indeed, it has the same ring to it as the proof Russia wants war with the US because look how close it put the boarders of its country to our military installations.

      1. The above comment was in response to Johnny Unitas-All’s comments about Russian influence getting a huge bang for nothing while Hillary gets nothing for a huge bang in money.

  9. Had James Comey continued as FBI Director and approached the Trump/ Russia investigation in the same way he handled the Hillary email investigation, it’s unlikely that any charges would have been brought.
    There’d have been an upfront understanding and decision within the top levels of the FBI that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring any charges.
    Immunity grants, plenary indulgances, and extending attorney-client privileges to at least two of the subjects of the email investigation were hallmarks of that saga.
    30,000 subpeonaed emails Bleachbitted into oblivion?
    Not a problem.
    The Mueller style is an aggressive “go for the throat” approach targeting those who are even peripherally related to Trump-Russia investigation.
    Those contrasting Comey v. Mueller styles raise some questions about issues like consistency in applying and enforcing the law.
    There are feeble attempts to “explain” those inconsistencies, but those explainations aren’t likely to be effective with a large segment of the population.
    Had Comey take “the Mueller approach” in handling the Hillary & co. email investigation, I think Mueller would have had a much higher level of public confidence in his approach.
    Or if Mueller had taken “the Comey approach”, he would not have encountered the same level of public distrust.
    Regardless of the ultimate outcome of Mueller’s investigations, he and Comey are both likely to face likely to find their reputations badly tarnished.
    Comey doesn’t have that far to fall, but Mueller does.

  10. Maybe Mueller means well but he needs to explain his role in the following:

    1) Luncheon speech by Thomas Drake on March 15, 2013 at the National Press Club (entire footage available on YouTube.com). Everyone, of either party, would enjoy watching this and probably want Thomas Drake for President – inspiring speech.

    2) John Kiriakou serving 3 years in prison for “refusing” to commit felony war crimes.

    3) Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications that served about 2 years in prison for “refusing” to commit the felony crime of warrantless-wiretapping (6 months before 9/11 without a wartime justification). Mueller wasn’t an “accessory-before-the-fact” but didn’t speak up either. Nacchio has always claimed he was imprisoned on trumped up charges.

    Mueller needs to thoroughly explain why he ignored law & order. It’s also a gross conflict of interest for a former FBI Director to investigate another FBI Director from an agency that violated the U.S. Constitution with impunity.

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