Van Der Zwaan said in a 30-page March 27 filing that he worked closely with Gates after being retained in 2012 to prepare a statement of the offense for the criminal trial of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The FBI has found that a business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, including during the 2016 campaign when Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were in touch with the associate, according to new court filings. "Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents assisting the Special Counsel's Office assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016".
The new van der Zwaan filing doesn't shed a whole bunch of new light on that, but it does suggest that Mueller views Kilimnik as a possible link between the Trump campaign and Russia, and believes Kilimnik hasn't been forthcoming about his ties to Russian intelligence.
The allegations are included in a federal court filing on Tuesday night from Special Counsel Robert Mueller related to next week's sentencing of attorney Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year old Dutch national who was the fourth person to plead guilty in the ongoing Russian Federation investigation.
The Russian government has denied meddling in the 2016 election and Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign.
That Person A has had ties to Russian intelligence is not terribly surprising.
The description of Person A that Mueller gives appears to match that of Konstantin V. Kilimnik, who worked as Manafort's right-hand man for years in the Ukraine, the New York Times reports. Mueller is now apparently directly disputing that using Gates's own words. The papers make it clear that this is an important matter for the probe and highlight that Gates knew that "Person A" had been a GRU officer; Mueller's team writes that documents about their communications were "material" and "pertinent to the investigation". He will be the first person sentenced in the Mueller probe on April 3rd.
It might not mean much - but if it didn't, why would van der Zwaan (and possibly Gates) try to keep it from investigators and risk an obstruction of justice charge?
A prosecutor with a doctorate in medieval history is expected to play a prominent role in President Trump's legal team as a number of top-flight attorneys have balked at representing him in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, according to a report on Wednesday. We will not likely get an answer to that question any time soon, but the contacts between Kilimnik and Gates in September and October of 2016 while Gates was still working on the campaign are undeniably curious, at the very least. These payments to van der Zwaan's firm came from a Ukrainian oligarch and were funneled through the web of accounts that Gates and Manafort created to launder money. However, Gates continued working for the Republican National Committee until the election and afterwards took a senior position on Trump's inaugural committee.