Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos is headed to jail for lying to the FBI and hindering the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Papadopoulos, who was foreign policy adviser on the Trump campaign, was the first Trump campaign official to plead guilty in the ongoing Russia probe. After lying to FBI agents, Popadopoulos was arrested and eventually cooperated with the Mueller investigation.
On Friday, he was sentenced to 14 days in jail, a fine of $9,500, and one year of supervised probation for his crimes.
At the sentencing hearing, lawyers for Papadopoulos said, “The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did.”
His lawyers argued for leniency, according to the Washington Post, saying “their client volunteered information, such as describing a March 31, 2016, meeting in which then-candidate Trump ‘nodded with approval’ when he suggested a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that then-Sen. Jeff Sessions ‘appeared to also like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it.'”
Papadopoulos’ account differs from Sessions’ sworn testimony before Congress.
The sentence was significantly less than the six months in prison recommended by the prosecution.
Several former Trump campaign officials and Trump associates have joined Papadopoulos in cooperating with the Mueller investigation. Former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates struck a plea deal last year, and cooperated with the Mueller’s team in the trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Manafort was found guilty on eight counts related to tax fraud, and faces another trial later this month.
Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including campaign violations where, at the direction of Trump, Cohen paid hush money to Stormy Daniels in an attempt to sway the 2016 election.
The longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, received immunity to cooperate with federal prosecutors who were investigating Cohen. Additionally, longtime Trump friend David Pecker, the CEO of American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, also received immunity to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the Cohen matter.
Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and has been cooperating with the Mueller team.
Trump has repeatedly called the Mueller investigation an unfair witch hunt, yet the list of people indicted, convicted, cooperating, going to jail, or all of the above continues to grow.
Published with permission of The American Independent.