Trump aide Papadopoulos gets 14 days in prison

11 September, 2018, 06:29 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Former Trump Aide George Papadopoulos Has been Sentenced For Lying to the FBI and he Throws Trump Under the Bus

WASHINGTON ― The first Trump campaign adviser arrested in Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday afternoon.

He pleaded guilty last October to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Moscow.

For months, his significance in the special counsel's investigation was unclear.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee conducting its own investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, said Friday he believes Papadopoulos could be called to testify.

Before he was sentenced, Papadopoulos spoke to Judge Randy Moss for about three minutes, reading a speech in which he admitted he was wrong, ashamed and regretful.

"I can only speak for myself, and I'm paying the price for my mistakes", he said, adding that he was not expecting a pardon and would not seek one.

Moss described Papadopoulos' behavior as a "calculated act of self-interest over national interest", and noted it took him six months to correct his statements and he did "in the face of proof he lied".

Papadopoulos apologized for his actions, telling a judge that he had made a "dreadful mistake" and was eager for redemption.

Dressed in a navy suit and navy polka dot tie, he kept his eyes closed for several minutes before the hearing began.

Move to Los Angeles?: The couple married in Chicago's City Hall while the criminal case was unfolding and Simona, who has said she is Italian, has gained a national profile in televised interviews making pleas on her husband's behalf - including for clemency from President Donald Trump.

Moss said he gave Papadopoulos 14 days because he researched how many defendants with this type of charge resulted in prison time - and it was fewer than half.

Papadopoulos' lawyers had urged Moss to sentence him to probation.

For a time, Papadopoulos also looked to be a key informant.

More news: How it works, format, structure and so on — UEFA Nations League

On Friday, Judge Moss said that Papadopoulos put his own self-interest ahead of the interests of his country, and that his choice to lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation "does not reflect good character". "I'm sure you're wondering what comes next", and that he was impressed by his words to the judge.

He told the court that his "entire life has been turned upside down" and that he hoped for a second chance to redeem himself.

Should have listened to mom: Papadopoulos's mother, Kiki, was with her sister, Maria Stamatopoulos, a Skokie resident.

"We don't talk politics", he said. Papadopoulos' defense lawyer, Thomas Breen, tried to shift some of the blame for his client's lies to Trump.

"The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could", he said. "The message for all of us is to check our loyalty, to tell the truth, to help the good guys".

In the 16-page sentencing memo seeking leniency, his attorneys, Breen, Robert Stanley and Todd Pugh, wrote, "to say George was out of his depth would be a gross understatement".

"We were going in there to cooperate potentially against those two individuals", he said.

Papadopoulos didn't have any comment after the sentencing, but had an orange "team Putin" shirt thrown at him when leaving the courthouse.

Papadopoulos has been a central figure in the Russian Federation investigation since it began.

Papadopoulos soon made contact with a mysterious Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud. And, the prosecutors add, Papadopoulos has been hard for them to handle since he was arrested in July 2017.

He admitted previous year to lying to the FBI about those contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries, false statements that prosecutors say caused irreparable harm to the investigation during its early months. He publicly contradicted, in his court filing, congressional testimony from Sessions about Sessions' response to the Putin-Trump meeting proposal.

Papadopoulos met with FBI agents investigating Russian interference in the election in late January 2017, almost two months before then-FBI Director James Comey formally acknowledged the existence of the FBI probe.

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