Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in Mueller probe

Pauline Gross
September 8, 2018

US District Judge Randolph Moss said that Papadopoulos" deception was "not a noble lie' and that he had lied because he wanted a job in the Trump administration and did not want to jeopardise that possibility by being tied to the Russian Federation investigation.

As part of his sentence, Papadopoulos also will have one year of court supervision, 200 hours of community service and was fined $9,500.

In court filings, Mueller's team claimed Papadopoulos' lies "caused damage" caused damage to the government's Russian collusion investigation. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

He told the US District Court in Washington DC: "I made a awful mistake for which I paid dearly and I am terribly ashamed".

The lies Papadopoulos told in his voluntary interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 27, 2017, prosecutors said, "undermined investigators' ability to challenge the professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States". "He was riding very high, as Mr. Papadopoulos said to me himself, he had just come from the inauguration of the president of the United States".

Prosecutors working for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller said Papadopoulos undermined their investigation and deprived them of a chance to ask a professor of diplomacy based in London how he knew Russians had obtained the "dirt" on Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton, in the form of thousands of emails.

The young political operative told Mr Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, and other members of the campaign's national security team that he could set up a meeting with President Vladimir Putin ahead of the November 2016 election.

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.

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Trump has regularly lashed out against the sprawling probe he dubs a "witch hunt" driven by his Democratic foes.

During the hearing, Papadopoulos' attorney Thomas Breen argued that "The President of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did", and that Papadopoulos "was unsophisticated, he was naive, and he was a fool". The conversations actually occurred after he was brought on as a foreign policy adviser.

Papadopoulos used his connections with Professor Mifsud, a Maltese, and other Russian nationals in an attempt to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Putin.

Papadopoulos tried futilely for months to arrange a meeting between top campaign aides and Russian officials.

"At the time he was told that, he didn't really concern himself with that", Breen said when asked if Papadopoulos believed Russian Federation did have damaging information on Clinton based on his conversation with Mifsud. The judge said there's no evidence Papadopolous had "any desire to aid Russian Federation in any way".

The sentencing, coming almost one year after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, ends an important yet mysterious story line in the examination of whether anyone from Trump's team conspired with Moscow to influence the presidential election.

Breen also said that while he is not privy to the USA intelligence community's assessment of Mifsud, he believes the professor "was playing on behalf of Russian Federation".

"His arrest and prosecution served as a notice to all that this was a serious investigation", defense lawyers wrote.

Other reports by GizPress

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