Thursday, 20 September, 2018

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

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids Mich. Nov. 8 2016 Paul Sancya AP FILERepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids Mich. Nov. 8 2016
Jay Anderson | 08 September, 2018, 06:27

In the interview - the first since he pleaded guilty previous year - the former campaign advisor insisted that he never alerted the Trump campaign about Russian dirt.

Papadopoulos, a young oil and gas consultant, was the first Trump official to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Papadopoulos, who was sentenced in federal court in Washington, had pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents about the timing and significance of his contacts, including a professor who told him the Russians had "dirt" on Trump's Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his dealings with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who told him in 2016 that Russian Federation had damaging information on President Trump's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton.

"The defendant did not provide 'substantial assistance, ' and much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own emails, text messages, internet search history, and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas", the court filing said.

J.D. Gordon, former National Security Adviser for the Trump campaign, echoed similar sentiments, while blasting the Mueller probe.

Papadopoulos was also sentenced to 13 months supervised released, 200 hours community service and a $9,500 fine.

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said Papadopoulos' deception was "not a noble lie" and said he had lied because he wanted a job in the Trump administration and didn't want to jeopardize that possibility by being tied to the Russian Federation investigation.

He admitted a year ago 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.




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

He said his client doesn't recall telling anybody connected with the Trump campaign about Mifsud's offer of Clinton dirt.

"The President of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could", Mr. Breen told the judge. "I don't know him", Trump said. "I saw him sitting in one picture at a table with me - that's the only thing I know about him", he said, an apparently reference to a March 31, 2016, campaign meeting that Papadopoulos and Trump attended.

The sentencing, coming almost one year after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, ends an important yet mysterious story line in the examination of whether anyone from Trump's team conspired with Moscow to influence the presidential election.

Papadopoulos was the key to discovering that, the government says.

Prior to a campaign rally ahead of of Papadopoulos' sentencing, the president sought to distance himself from his one time campaign advisor.

"We were hoping for no jail time but two weeks is OK", Maria Stamatopoulos said.

Papadopoulos' attorney asked for probation.

Van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyer who worked with Manafort and Gates, was also convicted of lying to prosecutors.

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