>> Special Counsel Robert Mueller secured another guilty plea in the Russia probe, Tuesday. This time from lawyer, Alex Van der Zwaan who admitted lying to the FBI about his dealings with Richard Gates. He is the one time close aide to Paul Manafort, Trump's 2016 campaign manager for several months who was indicted for his dealings in Ukraine.
Jonathan Landay is following the story.>> Legal experts believe that this case was brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a means to both pressure Gates and Manafort into cooperating with his investigation into whether or not there was collusion between the Trump campaign, and Russia.>> The development coming amid crushing pressure on President Trump to respond to evidence that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election.
The spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was left to defend the White House in a heated briefing.>> This was talked about over a year ago, what's he done about it?>> We've spent a lot of time working on cybersecurity, focusing on protecting the fairness on our elections.>> Instead of calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump appears to be placing the blame for Russian election meddling on former President Barack Obama.
Quoting Fox News, Trump tweeted about quote, all of the failures the Obama administration had against Russia. In fact, before leaving the White House, Obama leveled sanctions against Russia for meddling in the race and expelled Russian diplomats. Trump's efforts to deny or downplay Russia's role have left him increasingly isolated.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday called the Russian effort quote, a sinister and systematic attack on the US. Trump's own National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster joining in over the weekend.>> And as you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible.>> Mueller has yet to allege any direct collusion between anyone in Trump's campaign in Russia, but as Tuesday's plea deal indicates the probe now appears to be accelerating rather than winding down.