Ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos jailed in Russian Federation inquiry

Saul Bowman
September 8, 2018

The sentence was imposed in a federal court in Washington on Friday.

The 31-year-old, who was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine and perform community service, is the first person to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian Federation election interference.

The judge said he took into consideration Papadopoulos's "genuine remorse" in issuing the light sentence, which included a $9,500 fine, a year on parole and community service.

The charges he pleaded guilty to carry a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison, but prosecutors had recommended just 6 months, citing his extensive cooperation.

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.

Papadopoulos obtained a plea deal at the time, which was subsequently unsealed last October. They also said he stumbled through his Federal Bureau of Investigation interview because he was trying to keep alive his shot at a job in the Trump administration.

They said Papadopoulos's initial lies hindered investigators' ability to effectively question, challenge or detain Joseph Mifsud, the London professor who had contacted him.

The FBI began investigating Russian's election interference after a tip that Papadopoulos had dished about his Russian connections to an Australian diplomat during a night of heavy drinking.

According to Politico's Kyle Cheney, the Papadapoulos' lawyer blamed Trump saying, "The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could", citing the president's attacks on the investigation as a "witch hunt" and "fake news".

"His arrest and prosecution served as notice to all involved that this was a serious investigation", the attorneys wrote.

The former aide is said to have lied about the timing of when he received the alleged information.

He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Instead, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein said he made "at best grudging efforts to cooperate, and we don't think they were substantial or significant in any regard".

Not only that, Papadopoulos withheld a cellphone that he used during the campaign, prosecutors said, and provided it only when asked about the phone. His attorneys, Mr Breen and Robert Stanley, said their client lied to save his career and to "preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master" - a reference that is not fully explained in court papers.

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