Aide George Papadopoulos sentenced to jail time in Mueller probe


Papadopoulos' attorneys said in court papers their client is "ashamed and remorseful", but they insisted his lies did not harm the Russian Federation investigation.

That was because, in January 2017, shortly before Papadopoulos was interviewed by - and lied to - the FBI, Trump proclaimed that the Russian Federation investigation was a "witch hunt" and "fake news", one his lawyers, Thomas Breen, told the court. "I don't know Papadopoulos".

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating widespread claims that Trump colluded with Russian Federation to get an edge over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, has previously offered to allow Trump to answer his questions in writing. 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.

CNN plans to air the full interview with Papadopoulos at 11 pm on Friday.

'All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign'.

"14 days for $28 MILLION - $2 MILLION a day, No Collusion", the president tweeted. He participated in four proffer sessions, they said, and "was willing to answer any questions posed".

Moss said that while Papadopoulos lied for selfish reasons and did real harm to the government's efforts to carry out its investigation of Russian meddling, he was moved by what he called the defendant's "genuine remorse about what he did". The judge said there's no evidence Papadopolous had "any desire to aid Russian Federation in any way". 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. Ahead of the hearing, a sentencing memorandum gave us some new information, including that President Trump personally signed off on Papadopoulos' offer to set up a meeting with Vladimir Putin during the campaign.

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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.

'In some ways it constitutes a calculated exercise of self interest over the national interest, ' the judge said.

During an interview with The New York Times this week, Papadopoulos, 31, for the first time gave his own account of why he deceived Federal Bureau of Investigation agents after they arrived at his house in Chicago that January asking about any connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intermediaries.

That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

Papadopoulos apparently raised the possibility of setting up a meeting between Trump and Putin during a national security meeting in March 2016.

With the sentence, the young man whom Trump administration officials called a "coffee boy" and whose family members have argued is caught in a spy conspiracy will become the first Trump campaign affiliate to have his criminal case reach its completion in the court system.

"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.