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

Glen Norman
September 8, 2018

Papadopoulos became the second person to be sentenced to prison in a prosecution brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 13, accused of hacking Democratic Party computer networks in 2016, in the most detailed US accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the presidential election to help Trump.

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.

Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy advisor to Mr Trump, relayed to the then Republican presidential candidate that he had been told by a Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud, that he had "dirt" on rival Hilary Clinton.

In court on Friday, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein said Papadopoulos's cooperation "didn't come close to the standard of substantial assistance".

When Papadopoulos pleaded guilty a year ago, he pledged to help the special counsel's office with its investigation. His lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss for a sentence of probation that would terminate immediately, saying he's been under close supervision for 13 months and cooperated with the government. However, they wrote, the claim that his lies harmed the investigation are "speculative and contrary to the evidence".

Papadopoulos' mother Kiki, aunt Maria and father Tony spoke to CNN as they exited the hearing.

Papadopoulos was once described as a "coffee boy" to the Trump campaign.

"The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could", Breen said.

The deal included a possible prison sentence of up to five years and three months. Mifsud left the United States and not returned, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found him in the US on February 11, 2017, about two weeks after Papadopoulos's first interview. "I think the judge really took everything into consideration". The Justice Department has spent at least $17 million investigating Russian meddling, but government estimates have shown that Mueller's team specifically has only spent about $7.7 million.

Defense counsel in their filings painted Papadopoulos as a naive and eager campaign aid who sought to impress the Trump campaign by setting up a meeting with campaign officials and Russian Federation to discuss whatever Russian Federation allegedly had on Ms. Clinton.

In subsequent campaign communications, Papadopoulos was encouraged to pursue a Putin-Trump meeting. Papadopoulos says he had nothing to do with the leak.

In his pre-sentencing statement, Papadopoulos admitted lying to FBI investigators in January 2017 but said it had been out of a desire to protect his career and a naive loyalty to the Trump administration. Sessions has said the opposite while testifying under oath.

"We were hoping for no jail time but two weeks is OK", Maria Stamatopoulos said. He received a sentence of 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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