Ex-Trump Campaign Adviser George Papadopoulos Sentenced to 14 Days In Prison
08 September, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Donnie King
A former advisor to US President Donald Trump whose remarks in a London pub set off the investigation into possible collusion with Russian Federation has been jailed for lying to the FBI.
George Papadopoulos, former campaign adviser for Donald Trump, arrives for sentencing with his wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos.
Friday was his first public court appearance since he pleaded guilty in October, 2017, to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while the case was still sealed.
Prosecutors say Mifsud arranged a meeting in London cafe between Papadopoulos and a young woman he falsely described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's niece.
The punishment was far less than the maximum six-month sentence sought by the government but more than the probation that Papadopoulos and his lawyers had asked for.
Papadopoulos's attorneys had asked for probation for their client and said in court filings that Papadopoulos misled investigators to try to save his professional ambitions and out of a "perhaps misguided loyalty to his master" but not for more sinister reasons.
Also in court, his lawyer, Thomas Breen, criticized Mr. Trump for calling the Russian Federation probe fake news and a witch hunt. He also gave Papadopoulos a year of supervision, 200 hours of community service, and fined him $9,500 (Rs 6,85,000).
Papadopoulos' defense attorney, Thomas Breen, pointed fingers at President Donald Trump.
"I think that if we're going to meet it's got to be a fair meeting", Trump told reporters on board Air Force One.
However, reporting has suggested that he had been more involved with the campaign than the Trump team has let on.
In court Friday, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein said Papadopoulos's cooperation "didn't come close to the standard of substantial assistance".
While the President had belittled Papadopoulos following his guilty plea last yea, calling him a "low level volunteer", he was actually one of just five foreign policy advisers for Mr. Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
He portrayed Papadopoulos as a naive young man who was "being worked by a pro", a reference to Professor Mifsud, whom he later said he believes was working for Russian Federation and trying to take advantage of his client.
They wrote in a sentencing memo: "Mr Papadopoulos's motives for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation were wrongheaded indeed, but far from the sinister spin the government suggests".
According to Papadopoulos's account, "Mr. Trump nodded with approval" when he brought up a possible meeting and "deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it".
U.S. investigators were only alerted to Papadopoulos's activities in mid-2016 after he told Australia's ambassador to London, Alexander Downer, about his talks with Mifsud during a late-night drinking session in a London pub.
"We don't talk politics", he said.
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. In that testimony, Sessions said he resisted the idea of any Russian Federation meeting proposed by Papadopoulos.
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A spokeswoman for Mr Sessions declined comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sen Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tweeted that Trump was "looking to use the Department of Justice to settle political scores".
Special counsel has reportedly agreed to take written answers from President on key questions about Russian Federation collusion. The president has said many times he would be willing to speak with Mueller but would await his legal teams guidance.
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