Lawyer charged in Mueller probe pleads guilty to lying to federal investigators
© Greg Nash

An attorney who communicated with former Trump campaign adviser Richard Gates is pleading guilty to lying to federal investigators, The Associated Press reported.

Attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan was charged with making “materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations” to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's office and FBI agents, according to a court filing released Tuesday morning.

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Van Der Zwaan allegedly lied about his last communications with Gates and then deleted emails requested by the special counsel’s office, according to the indictment.

He allegedly did so as part of his work for a firm hired by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to prepare a report on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine. 

The new charges came as Gates is reportedly nearing a plea deal with Mueller that could lead to his testimony against Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortAs Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges Senior Ukrainian official says he's opened probe into US election interference Mueller team asks court for delay, citing 'press of other work' MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications Property is a fundamental right that is now being threatened 25 states could see severe flooding in coming weeks, scientists say MORE's former campaign chairman.

Gates worked as Manafort's business partner. Last year, Mueller indicted them both, and both originally pleaded not guilty.

The charges against Van Der Zwaan appear to be related to a report produced by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom that helped the Ukrainian government counter international criticism that the 2011 prosecution and conviction of Tymoshenko had been driven by political aims.

Van Der Zwaan was an associate in Skadden's London office, according to reports. The law firm told CNBC in a statement that it "terminated its employment of Alex van der Zwaan in 2017 and has been cooperating with authorities in connection with this matter." 

The New York Times reported last year that the law firm's report was arranged by Manafort as part of his work for Yanukovych.