White House: No pardons under consideration for Manafort, Flynn

Andrew Harnik | AP  Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman leaves Federal District Court in Washington

According to the original court documents, van der Zwaan lied to Mueller's investigators November 3 while answering questions about the Tymoshenko report in regards to his last communication with Gates and an unidentified individual in Ukraine referred to as Person A, a "longtime business associate" of Manafort and Gates.

While Manafort left the Trump campaign in August 2016, Gates stayed on through the election and then worked for the Trump inaugural committee.

The alleged conversations happened as special counsel Robert Mueller was building cases against Flynn and Manafort as part of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. An attorney for Gates did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Paul Manafort has been indicted on multiple charges of financial fraud.

Mr. van der Zwaan was an attorney at a firm that worked with Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates to prepare a report used to defend Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, from global criticism over the prosecution and incarceration of one of his political rivals.

Gates, who was Manafort's right-hand man in the Trump campaign and in the lobbying business, has struck a plea deal, admitting conspiracy and lying to the FBI, and agreeing to cooperate with Mueller's investigation into Trump campaign links with the Kremlin.

A spokesman for Manafort, who is prevented by a court-imposed gag order from talking to the media, declined to comment.

Flynn, a former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with the Russian ambassador and has agreed to work with the special counsel.

The court filing says Van der Zwaan not only spoke with both Gates and the unnamed person about a report about a controversial Ukrainian politician's trial but also destroyed evidence that Mueller's office was seeking, including the September 2016 email. The presidential election was in November 2016. In the sentencing memorandum filed late Tuesday, Muller said the lawyer was "expressly warned by the government that it is a crime to lie to the Special Counsel's Office, that lying could constitute a federal crime, and that such conduct would carry with it the possibility of going to jail if he were convicted. van der Zwaan stated that he understood".

Why would he do that, when the connection to Person A had been known for months?He's identified as Person A in the new filing, but as Aaron Blake notes, it's widely assumed to be a Ukrainian aide to Gates and Manafort named Konstantin Kilimnik. In December, they said this associate was "a longtime Russian colleague. who is now based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service".

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