Ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos jailed in Russian Federation inquiry

Posted September 08, 2018

The first person sentences in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of 2016 Russian election interference also got slapped with 200 hours of community service, a $9.5K fine, and a year of supervision.

He was handed a 14-day jail term as he told a court in Washington: "In January 2017, I made a bad mistake for which I paid dearly, I am ashamed". Although Papadopoulos confirmed that Mifsud told him Russians had "thousands of emails" involving Clinton, he claimed he hadn't yet joined the Trump campaign when they spoke. "Decisions", Papadopoulos tweeted late last month, apparently in reference to the possibility that he might rescind his guilty plea. 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.

Prosecutors had asked for six months.

Three other campaign officials - chairman Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and national security adviser Michael Flynn - either have pleaded guilty or been convicted of various crimes but none of the trio has yet been sentenced.

The operatives Papadopoulos met offered him "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and "off-the-record" meetings in overtures he discussed with leaders of Donald Trump's campaign.

During his sentencing hearing Papadopoulos said his case should serve as a warning to others.

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"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.

Prosecutors say Papadopoulos' lies caused irreparable harm to the investigation and he did not provide substantial assistance. 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.

Papadopoulos was pictured in March 2016 sitting at a table with Trump, then-campaign adviser Jeff Sessions who went on to become USA attorney general, and other foreign policy campaign advisers.

That clashes with what Sessions, a key campaign aide and now Trump's attorney general, told the House Judiciary Committee last November. In court papers, Breen wrote that during a March 2016 meeting attended by Papadopoulos, Trump nodded with approval at the idea, and then-Senator Jeff Sessions "appeared to like" it and said the campaign "should look into it". A spokeswoman for Sessions declined to comment after Papadopoulos's filing last week.

He will also have one year of supervised release.

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