Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

George Papadopoulos Sentenced to Two Weeks in Prison for Lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids Mich. Nov. 8 2016 Paul Sancya AP FILERepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids Mich. Nov. 8 2016
Glenn Montgomery | 10 September, 2018, 09:09

George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 14 in prison Friday for lying to federal investigators as a part of the ongoing Russian Federation investigation carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

During his January 2017 interview with the FBI, Papadopoulos misled investigators about when he was told Russian Federation allegedly had dirt on Ms. Clinton. "I don't know him", Trump said. Told the campaign's priority was to improve relations with Russian Federation, within weeks Papadopoulos made contact with a mysterious professor, Joseph Mifsud, who touted links to the Kremlin.

Papadopoulos' defense attorney, Thomas Breen, pointed fingers at President Donald Trump.

Papadopoulos told CNN in a late Friday interview that Trump "gave me a sort of a nod" and "wasn't committed either way" at that meeting - but that Sessions "was actually enthusiastic" about a Trump-Putin gathering. "A great day for America!" he said, unsuprisingly, in a Tweet.

Two other Trump aides - former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and former national security adviser Mike Flynn - also pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigation but haven't been sentenced.

Papadopoulos's sentence comes more than year after his July 2017 arrest for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the timing of his contacts with Joseph Mifsud, a professor with deep Russian contacts.

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

Breen said his client's primary interest was brokering a meeting between Trump and Putin, a move he believed the campaign supported. He hopes to be excused from probation immediately after the sentencing because of the last 13 months he's spent since his arrest, his memo said.

He did not elaborate on the $28 million price tag he cited, though it appeared to be about the cost of Mueller's investigation.

With the sentence, the young man whom Trump administration officials called a "coffee boy" and whose family members have argued is caught in a spy conspiracy will become the first Trump campaign affiliate to have his criminal case reach its completion in the court system.

Papadopoulos said he couldn't remember ever reporting Mifsud's assertion to campaign higher-ups - but added he "can't guarantee" he kept the matter secret from his colleagues.

His crime, they said in a court filing last month, "was serious and caused damage to the government's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election". But when pressed, Papadopoulos refused to completely shut the door on the possibility that the information made its way to other people on the campaign.

"He didn't come close to the standard of 'substantial assistance, '" prosecutor Andrew Goldstein told the judge at the sentencing hearing.

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