Mueller Wants Papadopoulos to Go to Jail, Says He Harmed Russia Investigation

Pauline Gross
August 20, 2018

The prosecutors disclosed that George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential race, caused irreparable damage to the investigation because he lied repeatedly during a January 2017 interview.

Federal authorities had cornered the man they suspected could be part of Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election - and they might have been more successful in their investigation in early 2017 if it had not been for George Papadopoulos, the special counsel alleged on Friday.

The news came to light after the government released the sentencing memo for George Papadopoulos, the then-aide, who faces up to six months in jail and a fine of nearly $10,000.

The special counsel's office also said that Papadopoulos has failed to provide "substantial assistance", to their investigators - which might have warranted leniency - and that he participated in a media interview without its knowledge in December 2017, prompting prosecutors to cancel an interview where he was to answer further questions.

Papadopoulos' lawyer Thomas Breen said Friday night that he was unable to comment at this time and would respond through the court record in their own pre-sentencing memo, which must be filed by August 31.

The memorandum adds that Mr Papadopoulos lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with alleged Russian go-betweens.

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Papadopoulos' wife, Simona, however, still maintains her husband is innocent despite his guilty plea. "He is already on the right side of history".

Mifsud was not named in the court filing Friday night, but CNN learned the name of the mysterious "Professor" after Papadopoulos' guilty plea became public a year ago.

With the intent of harming the investigation, Papadopoulos "repeatedly lied throughout the interview in order to hide the timing and significance of information the defendant had received regarding the Russians possessing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, as well as his own outreach to Russia on behalf of the campaign", they explained.

During a meeting in spring 2016, shortly after he was named as an adviser to the Trump campaign, Papadopoulos was told by Mifsud that the Russians had thousands of incriminating emails about Clinton. But internal campaign emails described to The Post show Papadopoulos kept top campaign staffers apprised of his activities.

About that time, prosecutors have said, the London-based professor, Mifsud, began showing interest in Papadopoulos.

Mifsud was scheduled to appear in an Italian court on July 11, 2018, in a criminal case unrelated to the Russian Federation investigation, but according to the Malta Independent, the Maltese academic failed to show up there as well, leading Italian prosecutors to describe him as "a ghost". "It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal". The campaign aide, who the Trump team has tried to characterize as nothing more than a "coffee boy", had "lied in order to hide his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the campaign and made his false statements to investigators on January 27, 2017, early in the investigation, when key investigative decisions, including who to interview and when, were being made".

Other reports by GizPress

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