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Ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos jailed for 14 days

08 September 2018

Papadopoulos, the first campaign aide sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation, said he was "deeply embarrassed and ashamed" for having lied to FBI agents during an interview previous year and acknowledged that his actions could have hindered their work.

He has testified that senior campaign members 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 Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutors had asked Judge Randolph Moss in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to impose a prison sentence of up to six months, saying that Mr. Papadopoulos's lies impeded their investigation and that he did not co-operate.

They allege Papadopoulos thwarted an ongoing national security investigation and contributed to them losing track of Joseph Mifsud, the professor who knew about the "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, before they could effectively question him.

Alex Van der Zwaan, a lawyer who once worked closely with Manafort and Gates, pleaded guilty in February to lying to Mueller's investigators about contacts with an official in the Trump election campaign.

Papadopolous will also have 12 months of supervised release, serve 200 hours of community service within about a year and will be fined $9,500.

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Before he was sentenced, Papadopoulos spoke to Judge Randy Moss for about three minutes, reading a speech in which he admitted he was wrong, ashamed and regretful.

In addition, they said Mr. Papadopoulos did not provide "substantial assistance" and only came clean after he was confronted with his own e-mails, texts and other evidence.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday ahead of the sentencing, Trump played down his relationship with Papadopoulos.

Before the sentencing, his lawyer, Thomas Breen, told the court about how Trump had blasted the investigation as "fake news" and a "witch hunt" before Papadopolous met with the FBI and lied. That probe was later taken over by Mueller. "I can't guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign".

Former Donald Trump presidential campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos could have been given a bigger sentence.

In his time with the Trump campaign, the delicacy of Papadopoulos's mission to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin was not always reflected in his conduct.

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Prosecutors say those false statements, made during a January 2017 interview with federal investigators, led the FBI to miss an opportunity to interview Mifsud while he was in the United States in early 2017.

The sentencing, coming almost one year after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, ends an important yet mysterious story line in the examination of whether anyone from Trump's team conspired with Moscow to influence the presidential election.

For a time, Papadopoulos also looked to be a key informant.

"We don't talk politics", he said.

Papadopoulos brought the idea up at a campaign meeting with Trump and future Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with Sessions later testifying before Congress that he had "pushed back" against the idea.

In subsequent campaign communications, Papadopoulos was encouraged to pursue a Putin-Trump meeting.

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Ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos jailed for 14 days