Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in prison

George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in prison

The former aide was the first person to be arrested as part of the special counsel's investigation.

His case was the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election while it was ongoing.

George Papadopoulos, 31, told the court in Washington DC he was a "patriotic American" who made a mistake by lying. Papadopoulos initially told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he spoke to Mifsud, who told him about Russian "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, before he joined the Trump campaign.

In court on Friday, prosecutor Andrew Goldstein said Papadopoulos's cooperation "didn't come close to the standard of substantial assistance".

Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos exits U.S. District Court after his sentencing hearing, in Washington, U.S., September 7, 2018. "But they got him, I guess, on a couple of lies, I guess that's what they're saying".

Thomas Breen, Papadopoulos's lawyer, admitted that his client had been "naive" and "a fool", but he also cast blame on President Trump.

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.

Richard Pinedo, who was not involved with the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty in a case related to the Mueller probe in February to aiding and abetting interstate and foreign identity fraud by creating, buying and stealing hundreds of bank account numbers that he sold to individuals to use with large digital payment companies. "While some in the room rebuffed George's offer, Mr Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it", they said in a sentencing memorandum, which requested probation for Papadopoulos.

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Papadopoulos was arrested more than a year ago and pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with several people connected to Russian Federation during the campaign.

Others associated with Trump's campaign, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, have accepted plea deals.

Those issues are now at the heart of Mueller's sprawling investigation, which increasingly threatens Trump's inner circle and the president himself.

Papadopoulos also made a similar claim about Sessions last week in court. "I can't guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign".

Papadopoulos brought the idea up at a campaign meeting with Trump and future Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with Sessions later testifying before Congress that he had "pushed back" against the idea. Papadopoulos says he had nothing to do with the leak.

Papadopoulos' attorney asked for probation.

"We don't talk politics", he said. He received a sentence of 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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