Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in prison and must pay a $20,000 fine for lying to federal investigators about his contacts with senior Trump campaign official Rick Gates as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
Van der Zwaan, 33, received the first sentence in Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election.
“What I did was wrong. I apologize to my wife and my family,” van der Zwaan said in court Tuesday prior to receiving his sentence from Judge Amy Berman Jackson in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. “I await your judgment.”
Jackson sentenced van der Zwaan to 30 days in prison, the $20,000 fine and two months of supervised release.
“We’re not talking about a traffic ticket,” Jackson said. “This was lying to a federal officer in connection with an investigation.”
Jackson said she would allow van der Zwaan to collect this passport and return home to London, following his prison sentence. But it is unclear at this point whether van der Zwaan will be forced into Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) proceedings, which could delay him from leaving the country.
Jackson seemed to have little sympathy for the argument that van der Zwaan needed to return to his wife, who is pregnant, citing the family’s considerable wealth.
“This glass was dropped on a very thick carpet and it has cushioned the blow,” Jackson said.
Van der Zwaan was charged by Mueller’s team with making false statements to investigators in an interview about his time working for a law firm hired by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice in 2012, when he helped produce a report on the trail of Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.
Van der Zwaan is accused of lying about his last communication with former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates, who was indicted in October along with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges related to their work in Ukraine.
The court document notes that Van der Zwaan said he “did not know why an email between him and Person A in September 2016 was not produced to the Special Counsel’s Office” and that his last communication with Gates was in August 2016. It also says he claimed that his last communication with an unidentified “Person A” was in 2014.
But Mueller's team said that van der Zwaan spoke with Gates and Person A in September 2016, and that he deleted "and otherwise did not produce emails" sought by Mueller’s office -- including an email between him and “Person A” in September 2016.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.