After months of revelations about his connection to Russia’s hack of Hillary Clinton’s emails, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos is heading to prison for lying to the FBI.
On Friday, a judge sentenced Papadopoulos to 14 days in prison and one year of supervised release — the latest blow to the White House, and the latest domino to fall in the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia in 2016. The final day in court proved a dramatic close to proceedings, with Papadopoulos’ lawyer referring to Papadopoulos as a “fool,” according to Politico, and saying Donald Trump “hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could.”
Papadopoulos, who described himself as both a “patriotic American” and “terribly depressed” at the hearing on Friday, also said that he “might have hindered the investigation” because he was not “honest,” per the Los Angeles Times.
George Papadopoulos’ lawyer tells judge that he was motivated to lie in part by Trump characterizing investigation as “Fake news,”
— Rosalind Helderman (@PostRoz) September 7, 2018
Papadopoulos attorney Thomas Breen said he was struck as they were waiting for an interview at FBI’s Chicago office by the photos on the wall of President Trump and Attorney General Sessions: “We were going in there to potentially … cooperate against those individuals.”
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 7, 2018
Papadopoulos played a key role in not only the Trump campaign’s potential collusion, but in initially triggering the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s hacking of Clinton’s emails when he drunkenly admitted to an Australian diplomat that Russia had obtained compromising information on Clinton.
Papadopoulos’ admission came after a Maltese professor — who has since gone missing — told Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton, namely “thousands” of Clinton’s emails. The professor, Joseph Mifsud, only expressed interest in meeting with Papadopoulos when he learned that Papadopoulos had joined Trump’s team.
3. Papadopolous says that Misfud told him about the email hacking but HE DID NOT TELL ANYONE ELSE ON THE CAMPAIGN
At the same time, Papadopolous was happy to tell lots of other random people, including the Greek Foreign Minister in May 2016
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 1, 2018
While Papadopoulos never played a major role in the Trump administration, he was hired as a foreign policy adviser to Trump during the campaign. With Friday’s sentencing, he becomes the latest member of Trump’s staff to face legal fallout for his work during the campaign, including former campaign chief Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Papadopoulos signed the first guilty plea pertaining to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Ever since the inquiry into Papadopoulos began, Trump and his allies have gone out of their way to try to downplay Papadopoulos’s role with campaign — going so far as to describe him as little more than a “coffee boy.” Trump didn’t immediately issue a statement on Papadopoulos’ jailing, but there’s little reason to think the sentencing won’t have any impact on the administration. Last week, Papadopoulos said that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions had greeted his idea that Trump meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the campaign with approval — a direct contradiction to Sessions’ sworn testimony.
Trump told pool that he'd seen George Papadopoulos get nailed for lying to the FBI and Michael Flynn get nailed for lying to the FBI. He inexplicably said Mueller thought Flynn lied but that the FBI did not. Said he is leery they will try to ensnare him for perjury.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 7, 2018
Papadopoulos’ lawyer last week described the former Trump adviser as “ashamed and remorseful.” The lawyer also said Papadopoulos’ efforts to link up Trump with Putin came out of “loyalty” to Trump.