Alex van der Zwaan will be the first person sentenced in the investigation surrounding Robert Mueller. The lawyer has confessed and pled guilty to directly lying to the FBI. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled over this case, and she expressed the opinion that Zwaan took intentional steps to deceive investigators in their search for information.
The FBI agents were investigating Mueller and the Russian interference in the election of 2016. Judge Jackson noted that this specific investigation was of national and international importance, so Zwaan’s sentencing is also a good indication that other people who have pled guilty in relation to this case could be facing jail time. The judge was also cognizant of Zwaan’s large amount of resources and financial assets. She noted that having Zwaan simply write a check would not be enough of a punishment to deter himself and others from acting in a similar manner in the future. Zwaan’s lawyer stressed that his client came back to the United States in an attempt to correct the record from his previous lies, but others argued the defendant had already been served with a grand jury subpoena at that time.
Zwaan was sentenced Tuesday. His punishment will include a month-long jail sentence and a fine of $20,000. Judge Jackson allowed Zwaan to self-surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and he has requested that he serve his jail sentence in a federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed not to pursue more criminal sanctions against Zwaan for his actions in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, destroying documents and making false statements.