March 28, 2018 8:26 am -

Last night, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a sentencing memorandum calling for lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, who has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection with the rapidly-growing “Russiagate” scandal, to get jail time.

And given this revelation in the motion, Mueller’s request comes as no surprise:

Calls [between van der Zwaan, Rick Gates, and the shadowy “Person A”] were memorable: van der Zwaan had taken the precaution of recording the conversations with Gates, Person A, and the senior partner who worked on the report. In van der Zwaan’s recorded conversation with Person A, in Russian, Person A suggested that “there were additional payments,” that “[t]he official contract was only a part of the iceberg,” and that the story may become a blow for “you and me personally.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Agents assisting the Special Counsel’s Office assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016. During his first interview with the Special Counsel’s Office. van der Zwaan admitted that he knew of that connection, stating that Gates told him Person A was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU.

Person A is with almost 100% certainty Konstantin Kalimnik.

You can read the entire sentencing memo here.

This is not merely a shot across van der Zween’s bow; it is a message to Manafort that he can expect no mercy from Mueller in court and that his contact with a former GRU operative (who one could not imagine not forwarding intelligence to Putin in 2016) matters — unless he starts talking. So far, there have been no hints or lawyer leaks indication that he has.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.