14 Day Prison Sentence for Former Trump Campaign Aide George Papadopoulos
A US judge has sentenced George Papadopoulos, a former aide to US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI during its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Papadopoulous, 31, pleaded guilty last October to lying to FBI agents working for US special counsel Robert Mueller about both the timing and significance of his contact with London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who reportedly told him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s election rival.
Judge Randolph Moss’ Friday ruling in Washington, DC, marks Papadopoulos as the first member of Trump’s campaign to be sentenced in Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election.
CNBC reported that while Papadopoulos’ lawyers sought probation for the former adviser, Mueller’s prosecutors wanted him to spend up to six months in prison.
He was also ordered to pay $9,500 in fines and perform community service.
Papadopoulos told Judge Moss he was “deeply embarrassed and ashamed” for his actions.
“I made a dreadful mistake,” he said, according to TIME, “but I am a good man who is eager for redemption.”
While the former campaign adviser tried to take blame for having hindered the FBI’s investigation, his lawyer, Thomas Breen, pointed the finger at Trump, saying, “The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did,” CNN reported.
The New York Times reported that the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign was spearheaded by Papadopoulous blabbing to an Australian diplomat about having potentially compromising information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about a month after his alleged meeting with Mifsud.
The defense during the trial tried to portray Papadopoulos as a man “out of his depth” in the Trump campaign: young, naive and eager to please.
“Out of loyalty to the new president and his desire to be part of the administration, he hoisted himself upon his own petard,” Papadopoulos’ lawyers wrote.