Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Trump aide Papadopoulos gets 14 days in prison

Donald Trump right stands next to Sen. Jeff Sessions as Sessions speaks during a rally on Feb. 28 2016 in Madison Ala John Bazemore AP FILE
| 08 September, 2018, 19:56

He has testified that senior members of the Trump campaign encouraged him during 2016 to build ties with Russian Federation, including after he told them that Moscow possessed - and could be willing to share - dirt on Hillary Clinton, Trump's election rival.

The ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues today with no evidence that Trump's campaign colluded with foreign actors to meddle in the election.

Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S Mueller III had asked the judge to sentence Papadopoulos to six months in prison, saying his false statements "were meant to harm the investigation, and did so".

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

Moss noted that many similar cases resulted in probation but said he imposed a sentence of incarceration partly to send a message to the public that they can't lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Maria said that the judge "got it right" in giving Papadopoulos 14 days in prison. "A great day for America!" he tweeted.

Memos authored by House Republicans and Democrats, now declassified, show that information about Papadopoulos' contacts with Russian intermediaries triggered the FBI's counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Papadopoulos has cooperated for more than a year with Mueller's probe, but it remains unknown whether he has provided the probe with any information supporting allegations of collusion with Russian Federation. 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.

Papadopoulos told CNN in an interview aired on Friday that Mr Trump "gave me a sort of a nod" and "wasn't committed either way" about the idea of a meeting with the Russian leader. "This investigation has global implications and the truth matters".


"He didn't come close to the standard of 'substantial assistance, '" prosecutor Andrew Goldstein told the judge at the sentencing hearing.

They wrote in a sentencing memo: "Mr Papadopoulos's motives for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation were wrongheaded indeed, but far from the sinister spin the government suggests".

Papadopoulos obtained a plea deal at the time, which was subsequently unsealed last October. Mifsud's current whereabouts are unknown, and Papadopoulos has denied telling anyone else from the president's campaign about Mifsud's claims. He admitted to lying about those contacts to Mueller's team, which investigators said led them to miss a chance to interview the professor, Joseph Mifsud.

'As far as I remember, I absolutely did not share this information with anyone on the campaign, ' Papadopoulos said, adding, 'I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so.

United States investigators were only alerted to Papadopoulos's activities in mid-2016 after he told Australia's ambassador to London, Alexander Downer, about his talks with Mifsud during a late-night drinking session in a London pub. In that testimony, Sessions said he resisted the idea of any Russian Federation meeting proposed by Papadopoulos.

Jeff Sessions "appeared to also like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it". We have seen no entrapment.

Before the sentence was read, Papadopoulos' defense attorney, Thomas Breen, pointed fingers at Trump.

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