Alex van der Zwaan, a former Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate and son-in-law of the Russian oligarch German Khan, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one charge brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen who was with Skadden’s London office, lied to investigators about his communications with former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and an unnamed person, according to court documents made public Tuesday.
A Skadden spokeswoman said in an email that the firm fired van der Zwaan in 2017, and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with the matter.
“The conduct to which Alex has pled guilty is contrary to our values, policies and expectations,” the spokeswoman said.
Van der Zwaan is represented by a team from Cooley, including partners William Schwartz, David Mills and Laura Grossfield Birger. The lawyers, who appeared with van der Zwaan in court Tuesday, declined to comment.
Van der Zwaan, who government lawyers said has remained in the United States since speaking with investigators last November, was released Tuesday after his guilty plea. He turned in his passport, and his travel is restricted to the District of Columbia and New York City. He must seek permission to travel elsewhere inside the United States.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia, who is overseeing the case, set a sentencing hearing for April 3 at 10 a.m. Though the charge of lying to investigators carries a maximum of five years in prison, van der Zwaan is expected to face zero to sixth months given his past history and cooperation.
According to the charging document, van der Zwaan lied to prosecutors on Nov. 3 during questioning about his work on a 2012 report prepared by a team at Skadden about the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Gates’ former boss who was indicted along with him last year and pleaded not guilty, reportedly arranged for the law firm to conduct the report. Manafort worked on behalf of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The court document said van der Zwaan falsely told investigators he last spoke with Gates in August 2016, and the unnamed person, referred to as “Person A,” in 2014, when he actually spoke with both Gates and “Person A” in September 2016 and secretly recorded the call, according to the court document.
The document also said van der Zwaan deleted emails sought by the special counsel’s office and a law firm, referred to as “Law Firm A,” including an email between himself and the unnamed person.
According to van der Zwaan’s plea agreement, he will not be prosecuted by the special counsel’s office for other false statements he made, destruction of evidence or violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act related to his work on the 2012 report.
Gates is expected to reverse his not guilty plea in the coming days and to eventually testify against Manafort, according to reports over the weekend.
Skadden partner Gregory Craig, the former White House counsel under President Barack Obama, also worked on the report, as did partners Cliff Sloan and Margaret Krawiec. Associates who worked on the report included Alex Haskell, Paul Kerlin, Kara Roseen and Allon Kedem, who is now a lawyer in the Solicitor General’s Office.
The charges are the latest from Mueller as his activity appears to have increased in the past weeks. Feb. 16, a grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three companies over involvement in the 2016 election. A guilty plea by a California man accused of selling bank accounts was also made public last week.
Read the allegations below: