Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Former campaign adviser to Pres. Trump sentenced to 14 days in prison

Papadopoulos lawyers released a memo on Friday seeking a reduced jail sentence for their client lying to the FBI when interviewed in January 2017 Papadopoulos lawyers released a memo on Friday seeking a reduced jail sentence for their client lying to the FBI when interviewed in January 2017
Ebony Burgess | 08 September, 2018, 19:59

George Papadopoulos' fall from one-time foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump to inmate at a USA federal prison began with "one or two" gin and tonics at an upscale London bar in 2016 with Australia's then high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer.

He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Papadopoulos, 31, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to a charge of making false statements to investigators about his contacts with Russian Federation.

Papadopoulos acknowledged that he had lied to investigators about contacts with a Kremlin-linked professor who informed him in April 2016 that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and "thousands of emails".

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. He hasn't returned since.

He said his "entire life has been turned upside down" and he hoped "for a second chance to redeem myself".

During Friday's hearing, Papadopoulos' attorney Thomas Breen went out his way to praise the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he also criticized Trump for calling the Russian Federation probe fake news and a witch hunt. His client was also affected by Trump's cries of "fake news" and his casting of the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" just days before his FBI interview. He publicly contradicted, in his court filing, congressional testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions about Sessions' response to the Putin-Trump meeting proposal.

US President Donald Trump responds to a reporters question during an event with sheriffs in the East Room of the White House in Washington, September 5, 2018. Last November, Mr Sessions testified to Congress that he had "pushed back" against Papadopoulos' offer.

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Papadopoulos was sentenced by a federal judge to jail for 14 days, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $9,500.

"The defendant's lies undermined investigators' ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States", they wrote, noting that Mifsud left the U.S.in February 2017 and hasn't returned.

DNC lawyers wrote in court filings Friday that Joseph Mifsud, who spoke to Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential election, "is missing and may be deceased", Bloomberg News reported. It was revealed in December that it was drunken comments by Papadopoulos to an Australian diplomat that triggered the Russian Federation probe in the first place.

His lawyers argued their client volunteered information, such as describing a March 31, 2016, meeting in which then-candidate Trump "nodded with approval" when he suggested a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that then-Sen.

"I made mistakes and I will pay for my mistakes", he said, adding, "I don't want to give up my goal of staying in politics".

A hearing in that lawsuit is scheduled for next week in federal court in NY.

"It was at best begrudging efforts to cooperate and we don't think they were substantial or significant in any regard", he said.

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