Special Counsel Robert S. Muller III has been turning up the heat on the Russia investigation, and so far he and his team have rendered at least 32 indictments or guilty pleas from individuals and three from companies. Recently, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and attorney Michael Cohen were each found guilty on eight charges.
Now, on Friday, it was reported that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in federal prison and one-year supervised release for lying to FBI investigators about his Russia contacts. According to POLITICO:
‘U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss rejected pleas by Papadopoulos’ lawyers and his outspoken wife that he be spared jail time despite his guilty plea last October and thanks to his cooperation with Mueller’s team. Prosecutors argued that Papadopoulos’ dishonestly hindered efforts to determine whether the Kremlin had infiltrated the Trump campaign and sought to influence the 2016 campaign.’
In court on Friday, Papadopoulos said:
‘I made a terrible mistake for which I paid dearly. I was not honest, and I may have hindered the investigation.’
Prosecutors said that Papadopoulos had cost them an opportunity to question a crucial witness in the case, Josef Mifsud. Mifsud is a London -based professor with Russian ties who told the former Trump campaign adviser that he had “thousands of emails” damaging to Clinton back in April 2016.
‘Friday’s hearing took a dramatic and unexpected turn when Papadopoulos’ attorney, Thomas Breen, lit into Trump, arguing that the president himself was more culpable than his client.’
Breen said that Trump “hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could” by calling the FBI’s Russia inquiry a “witch hunt” which led people cast doubt on credible allegations of wrongdoing by his associates. Breen, contrasting this with Mueller’s “professional” and “well-prepared” team said:
‘The president of the United States, the commander in chief, told the world that this was fake news.’
Papadopoulos is the first person to be sentenced to jail in the Russia probe.
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