Former Trump aide George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in prison

April FrancisSep 08, 2018

Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to 14 days in jail, is the first Trump adviser to be sentenced as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between the Kremlin and the campaign. Papdopoulos had allegedly been communicating with a professor and with ties to the Russian government who told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, including those stolen emails. It was revealed in December that it was drunken comments by Papadopoulos to an Australian diplomat that triggered the Russian Federation probe in the first place.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team pushed for a prison sentence of up to six months, while defense attorneys asked for probation.

Three other campaign officials - chairman Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and national security adviser Michael Flynn - either have pleaded guilty or been convicted of various crimes but none of the trio has yet been sentenced.

As noted by USA Today, authorities thought that Papadopoulos could serve as a key informant, but it quickly became clear that was not the case.

Judge Randolph D Moss said the sentence could have been higher but he sensed "genuine remorse" from Papadopolous.

George Papadopoulos, 31, pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hide his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the presidential campaign.

They said Papadopoulos's initial lies hindered investigators' ability to effectively question, challenge or detain Joseph Mifsud, the London professor who had contacted him.

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"Caught off-guard by an impromptu interrogation, Mr Papadopoulos misled investigators to save his professional aspirations and preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master".

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed Papadopoulos in January 2017, and he lied about his April 2016 conversation with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor working in London who had ties to Russian officials.

Former Donald Trump presidential campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos could have been given a bigger sentence.

"My recollection was that the senator [Jeff Sessions] was actually enthusiastic about a meeting between the candidate and President Putin". In court papers, Breen wrote that during a March 2016 meeting attended by Papadopoulos, Trump nodded with approval at the idea, and then-Senator Jeff Sessions "appeared to like" it and said the campaign "should look into it".

He also received a year of supervision, 200 hours of community service, and a $9,500 fine.

Papadopoulos disagreed in his own court filing, arguing he "cooperated fully" and provided "critical information".

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