Former Trump aide Papadopoulos jailed for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
10 September, 2018, 09:06 | Author: Bert Pena
Hours after George Papadopoulos (an ex policy advisor to Trump) was sentenced to two weeks in jail for lying to FBI investigators, a court heard that the Maltese professor he met with to connect him with Russian officials may be dead.
US District Judge Randolph Moss said Papadopoulos deserved prison time because he had deceived investigators probing "a matter of grave national importance".
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed Papadopoulos in January 2017, and he lied about his April 2016 conversation with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor working in London who had ties to Russian officials.
Papadopoulos' attorney, Thomas Breen, went further, saying "the President of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could", by calling the investigation fake news and a witch hunt.
Trump criticized the investigation and the Justice Department on the day he was inaugurated, Breen told Moss. Told the campaign's priority was to improve relations with Russian Federation, within weeks Papadopoulos made contact with a mysterious professor, Joseph Mifsud, who touted links to the Kremlin.
Outside court on Friday, Papadopoulos' lawyer, Thomas Breen, said his client was a "fool" and had acted "stupidly" in lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Papadopoulos told U.S. media that Trump "gave me a sort of a nod" and "wasn't committed either way" about the idea of a meeting with the Russian leader.
Prior to a campaign rally ahead of of Papadopoulos' sentencing, the president sought to distance himself from his onetime campaign advisor. "A great day for America!" the president tweeted.
The only other person to be sentenced in the investigation - lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan - received 30 days in prison. Papdopoulos had allegedly been communicating with a professor and with ties to the Russian government who told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, including those stolen emails.
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According to the New York Times, George Papadopoulos played a key role in sparking the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's contacts with Russian Federation after he told a diplomat that Russian Federation had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
"It wasn't an offer", he said Friday night, denying that Mifsud had dangled the possibility of funneling the emails to the Trump campaign. "4 days for $28 MILLION - $2 MILLION a day", he wrote on Twitter, an apparent, if inflated, estimation of the Russian Federation investigation's cost.
Prosecutors say Mifsud arranged a meeting in London cafe between Papadopoulos and a young woman he falsely described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's niece.
He ultimately cooperated but, Goldstein added, he "didn't come close to the standard of substantial assistance".
Defense counsel in their filings painted Papadopoulos as a naive and eager campaign aid who sought to impress the Trump campaign by setting up a meeting with campaign officials and Russian Federation to discuss whatever Russian Federation allegedly had on Ms. Clinton. Court documents say Papadopoulos worked to create a relationship between the campaign and the Kremlin after then-candidate Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.
Papadopoulos admitted that he lied to FBI investigators when they interviewed him on January 27, 2017.
Prosecutors had asked Papadopoulos be sentenced to no less than six months. "I still have significant questions about how high that information went, and I know the Senate Intelligence Committee would like to hear directly from Mr. Papadopoulos".
For a time, Papadopoulos also looked to be a key informant.
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