Today Was The Day Robert Mueller Put Somebody IN JAIL
OH HEY WHAT IS UP, AMERICA? Robert Mueller just sent somebody to JAIL!
We told you last week about the handsome Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, whose father-in-law German Khan just HAPPENS to be a big Russian oligarch who co-owns Alfa Bank, you know, the bank that really likes sending Snapchat Sexts with this one Trump Organization server FOR SOME REASON. Van der Zwaan got hisself in a wee spot of trouble, by lying to the FBI about the work he and his law firm, Skadden, Arps, did for Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, back when Manafort was helping a pro-Russian Ukrainian dictator dictate things in Ukrainian. He also may have destroyed (did destroy) some emails, in order to hide conversations he had with Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and "Person A," who is Paul Manafort's business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who is literally a Russian spy. Did Van der Zwaan know Kilimnik was a Russian spy? That would be a big honking YUP, because Rick Gates told him!
By the way, this stuff? A lot of it happened during Trump's presidential campaign, specifically in September and October of 2016.
Well! Today Alex van der Zwaan was sentenced TO DEATH, just kidding, he was sentenced to OFF WITH HIS HEAD! OK we are fooling, but he has to go to jail for 30 days and pay a $20,000 fine. After that, it's two months of supervised release, but since he is a Not American, the judge says he will be free at that point to self-deport his dapper ass outta here.
Van der Zwaan had begged the mean judges to be sweet and let him go to Not Jail, because come on, he came clean about his crimes eventually, and besides his wife is pregnant, and also he has been very lonely lately, so can we just let this one little roller coaster ride full of criminal actions and hilarious loopty-loops slide? Is lying to the FBI and destroying evidence that big of a thing anyway? Um yeah kinda:
Van der Zwaan faced a recommended sentence ranging from zero to six months in prison and asked for no prison time for one count of lying to investigators, a felony. He made his false statements to Mueller’s investigation on Nov. 3, and the Skadden firm said it terminated him that month. [...]
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson acknowledged van der Zwaan’s character and willingness to turn over evidence of his crimes but said that given his means, allowing the defendant to “pay a fine at the door and walk away would not send a message of deterrence. It would do the opposite.”
“It is a message that needs to be sent, particularly because you are an attorney,” Jackson said.
In short, Jackson was saying, "BRO, DO YOU EVEN LAW?" Not at the moment, because Van der Zwaan is fired and going to jail! Also, she didn't think he was really that sorry.
To read the full summation of what Alex Van der Zwaan did, check out this Wonkette post and this Washington Post article. Van der Zwaan isn't the biggest criminal in the Trump-Russia probe, by any means. He is a young lawyer who, when faced with the decision between doing law correctly and doing dirty shit for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and their Russian spy buddy and then lying to authorities and destroying evidence, chose the latter. But he is important in that, light sentence notwithstanding, he's obviously already helped with the investigation to the point that he's been a big help in delivering bigger fish to Mueller. And since he didn't sign a cooperating witness agreement, he still has to GO TO JAIL, sending a signal to the bigger criminals under the lens of the Mueller probe that they are definitely going to GO TO JAIL also too, even if they eventually say "OOPS, FBI, TOTALLY BEEN LYING THIS WHOLE TIME" like a common Jared Kushner or Michael Flynn, and beg for a do-over. Robert Mueller is not fucking around, y'all.
Alex van der Zwaan is just lucky they allowed him to plead out on this one little bitty charge, because he could have been headed to jail for much longer.
Today was a good day, and it was just the beginning. Can't wait to see who gets sent to jail next, PLEASE LET IT BE JARED, PLEASE LET IT BE JARED, PLEASE LET IT BE JARED, the end.
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