George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, has been sentenced to 14 days in prison. According to Politico, the sentencing comes after the aide lied to the FBI during the Russian probe. Papadopoulos first landed in hot water after he blabbed profusely while overseas, saying that the Russians had “dirt” on the then-presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. His candor sparked an investigation into whether or not there had been Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Papadopoulos was also sentenced to 12 months of probation upon his release from prison, 200 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay a $9,500 fine. Despite the protestations of his lawyers, and pleas from his wife, Papadopoulos’ appeals were shot down by U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss. Papadopoulos’ lawyers requested that their client is spared jail time, even though he plead guilty in October. They brought up his cooperation on the ongoing investigation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but Judge Moss was having none of it. Even Mueller’s team said that Papadopoulos should serve at least six months in jail.
The prosecution felt that Papadopoulos’ “dishonesty hindered efforts to determine whether the Kremlin had infiltrated the Trump campaign and sought to influence the 2016 campaign.”
They added that his lies cost them Josef Mifsud, a potentially crucial witness. Mifsud, a London-based professor “with Russian ties” had allegedly revealed to Papadopoulos that the Russians had “thousands of emails” that would be “damaging to Clinton.”
Papadopoulos’ lawyer, Thomas Breen, slammed Trump during the hearing on Friday. He alleged that the president was far more culpable than his client and that he has “hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could,” by repeatedly saying the “FBI’s Russia inquiry a ‘witch hunt’ and casting doubt on credible allegations of wrongdoing by his associates.”
“The president of the United States, the commander in chief, told the world that this was fake news,” Breen added. He argued that it had been Trump’s cavalier attitude towards the investigation that caused individuals like Papadopoulos to not take the Russian probe seriously.
But Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, paints a different picture of her husband’s predicament. She argues that it was the FBI had set her husband up, saying that they used “confidential informants to bait her husband into incriminating the Trump campaign.” She has done several interviews requesting her husbands pardon and pleading with lawyers to withdraw his guilty plea.
Papadopoulos’ lawyers have made no effort to blame Mueller or the FBI for their clients’ predicament and have rejected the idea of the prosecution doing anything untoward.
“Our firm would in a second stand up if we saw prosecutorial or governmental misconduct,” said Breen. “We have seen no such thing.”