Posing nonchalantly, one hand on the lectern, the other in his pocket, Alex van der Zwaan received a sentence of thirty days and $20,000. from judge Amy Berman Jackson. Zwaan, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, is the first person to be sentenced as a result of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
Note that the person depicted in the above sketch is not van der Zwaan’s father, though he was present in the courtroom.
Beginning with the indictments of thirteen Russian nationals last Friday, Special Counsel Mueller’s team have kept the federal courthouses busy, both in DC and Alexandria. In addition to new charges filed this week were two guilty pleas before Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The most significant was Manafort’s partner in crime, Rick Gates, who remained with the Trump campaign throughout the election, and is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
The other guilty plea came from a former Skadden lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, who did work for Gates and Manafort. Son-in-law of a Russian billionaire, the 33 year-old van der Zwaan displayed an air of insouciance in court as he yawned and chewed gum.
Reporters covering this story are clocking some hours and miles as the Special Counsel’s investigation moves into high gear, forcing some to grab lunch while standing in line outside the courtroom. Below is a special bonus tiny sketch of Politico’s Josh Gerstein having a bite on the go.
Three members of the alleged Russian spy ring who resided in Arlington appeared very briefly -about three minutes- in U.S. District Court, Alexandria yesterday for detention hearings that were postponed. Pictured above is Mikhail Semenko standing before Magistrate-Judge Buchanan. The other two, Patricia Mills and Michael Zottoli, are pictured below.
Their detention hearing has been rescheduled for this afternoon.
I had such a short time to sketch them yesterday that I expect when I see them again in court today they will appear quite different to me.
WaPo story here.