Mueller Releases Secret Memo Underpinning Manafort Probe

President Donald Trump departs the White House in Washington to board Marine One

Van der Zwaan submitted a memo in March asking a federal judge to hand down a suspended sentence.

But in their new filing, prosecutors revealed that Rosenstein - who appointed Mueller - wrote a memo last August that outlined the scope of Mueller's appointment.

"What I did was wrong".

A court filing Monday night revealed an August 2 memo that showed the Department of Justice's backing authorized Mueller to go after Manafort for allegedly working with Russian Federation to interfere in the election "in violation of United States law".

Van der Zwaan and Gates are two of the four men who have pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller.

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Van der Zwaan is a London-based Dutch attorney who worked for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Andrew Weissman, an attorney for the special counsel, argued for jail time and pushed back against van der Zwaan's request for leniency.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Van der Zwaan that he should have known better as he stood before her in a Washington, D.C., courtroom. But according to a heavy redacted court filing released late Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinLawyer who didn't join Trump team: I'm still playing his lawyer on TV and in real life Encryption vital to protecting our data in the modern age 'All the president's nerds': A plausible plot MORE gave Mueller the green light to investigate allegations that Manafort colluded with Russian Federation to swing the election.

In a court filing last week, prosecutors indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has assessed that a longtime Manafort business associate who was in contact with both Manafort and Gates during the campaign had ties to Russian intelligence.

Van der Zwaan's attorney, William Jay Schwartz, asked Jackson to impose only a fine and allow his client to leave the country, saying he had already been punished enough and should receive credit for returning to the United States to correct the record after lying to Mueller's investigators.

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Gates later pleaded guilty; Manafort is still fighting indictments returned by federal grand juries in Washington, DC, and Virginia. He was also ordered to pay $20,000 in fines.

The term is the first sentence handed down in the special counsel's investigation.

On Tuesday, Jackson said she recognized that van der Zwaan has been away from his family for months, during which his wife is going through a hard pregnancy. But it has revealed new details about the government's case against Manafort and opened a window into the intersecting universes of global law, foreign consulting work and politics.

Alex van der Zwaan just became the first person sentenced in Robert Mueller's investigation. Gates later took a plea deal and has been cooperating with investigators.

While Mueller is investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election, this case arose during questioning about the defendant and Paul Manafort's work in the Ukraine more than 10 years ago. He has not been indicted on any charges related to election interference.

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