George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign adviser, sentenced to 2 weeks in prison

Hugh Fox
September 8, 2018

It comes ten months after Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which at the time was leading the probe into allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 United States presidential elections.

George Papadopoulos, former campaign adviser for Donald Trump, arrives for sentencing with his wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos.

He later attempted to use his links to the professor and Russian nationals to attempt to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Out of the 35 people and entities so far charged, Papadopoulos is one of five who have pleaded guilty and will be the second to be sentenced.

Outside court on Friday, Papadopoulos' lawyer, Thomas Breen, said his client was a "fool" and had acted "stupidly" in lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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He admitted previous year to lying to the FBI about those contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries, false statements that prosecutors say caused irreparable harm to the investigation during its early months. He also fined him $US9500 ($13,000) and ordered him to complete 200 hours of community service and one year of probation after his release.

Russian Federation has denied U.S. allegations that it interfered in the campaign, while Trump has regularly lashed out against the sprawling probe he dubs a "witch hunt" driven by his Democratic foes.

In the interview with CNN reporter Jake Tapper, Papadopoulos said that he raised the prospect of Trump and his campaign officials meeting with the Russians. "An investigator involved in our efforts to serve him was told Mifsud might be deceased", DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. He told the judge Friday that at the time, he mused to himself that he and his client were there to cooperate in an investigation that potentially could implicate those two men.

According to Bloomberg News, the committee indicated that an investigator had been used to find Mifsud, who had disappeared for months, and was told the Maltese professor may be dead.

In addition, they said Mr. Papadopoulos did not provide "substantial assistance" and only came clean after he was confronted with his own e-mails, texts and other evidence.

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After Papadopoulos and his legal team left the courthouse in a black Chevy Suburban, his family members hung behind outside the courthouse. Last November, Mr Sessions testified to Congress that he had "pushed back" against Papadopoulos' offer.

Papadopoulos was pictured in March 2016 sitting at a table with Trump, then-campaign adviser Jeff Sessions who went on to become US attorney general, and other foreign policy campaign advisers.

"I made a awful mistake, but I am a good man who is eager for redemption", Papadopoulos said at his sentencing hearing. He publicly contradicted, in his court filing, congressional testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions about Sessions' response to the Putin-Trump meeting proposal.

Prosecutors wrote that those false statements, made during a January 2017 interview with federal investigators, caused the FBI to miss an opportunity to interview Mifsud while he was in the United States.

"The message is for all of us to check our loyalty, to tell the truth, to help the good guys", Breen said.

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The president weighed in shortly after the sentence was handed down, scoffing in a tweet at the length and making an apparent reference to the cost of Mueller's investigation.

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