Washington (CNN)A European lawyer pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to investigators in Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation, after he covered up his discussions with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates and a business associate based in Ukraine in September 2016, while the Trump campaign operation was in full swing.
Dutch lawyer pleads guilty to lying about interaction with Rick Gates
The filing is further evidence that Mueller's investigators have ratcheted the pressure on Gates as he negotiates a plea deal and that they continue to look into the work of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Gates while they worked for Russian-allied clients and the Trump campaign.
Alex van der Zwaan, a 33-year-old Dutch citizen, said he also lied to investigators about his failure to turn over email communications to the special counsel's office and to his law firm as it cooperated with Mueller on its investigation of Manafort and Gates' foreign lobbying.
Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who also oversees Manafort and Gates' ongoing cases, accepted van der Zwaan's plea during an almost hourlong hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Van der Zwaan faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though it's more likely he'll serve zero to six months and pay between $500 and $9,500 for his crime, the judge said Tuesday.
He is scheduled for sentencing on April 3.
Until then, the FBI will keep van der Zwaan's passport, and he won't be allowed to travel outside the US. Van der Zwaan must stay in Washington, DC, and Manhattan, where his attorneys are based, until his sentencing, and a judge must review his requests to travel elsewhere within the United States. His sentencing is set at a relatively early date, because his wife is facing a difficult pregnancy in London, his defense attorney told the judge.
His wife, Eva Kahn, the daughter of Russian billionaire German Khan, is due in August.
Van der Zwaan becomes the fourth guilty plea in the Mueller investigation after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to investigators last year, and an online supplier of fake usernames pleaded guilty to identity fraud last week. Mueller has also indicted 13 Russians for their work to influence the 2016 presidential election through online social media.