Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Short sentence recommended for former Trump campaign adviser

Short sentence recommended for former Trump campaign adviser

Prosecutors said Friday that a sentence of up to six months in prison would be appropriate for George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and the first charged defendant to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller III's investigation of Russian interference in the US election.

In fact, the lies told by Papadopoulos, "undermined investigators' ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States".

Sentencing is due to take place on 7 September.

Mueller said in the filing that Papadopoulos lied about his interactions with a suspected Russian agent, described in the filing as "the professor".

Those lies, they said, resulted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation missing an opportunity to properly question a professor Papadopoulos was in contact with during the campaign who told him that the Russians possessed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.

According to prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation "located" the professor in Washington about two weeks after the Papadopoulos' interview and that his lies "substantially hindered investigators' ability to effectively question" him.

Mueller wrote in the filing that Papadopoulos chose to lie to federal investigators during a voluntary interview and that he "was expressly warned that it is a crime to lie to federal investigators".

Papadopoulos was the first Trump campaign adviser to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation. He denies any wrongdoing.

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Prosecutors say Papadopoulos lied repeatedly to FBI agents about his contacts during the 2016 presidential with Russians and Russian intermediaries, and his conduct damaged the investigation. "He lied repeatedly over the course of more than two hours, and his lies were created to hide facts he knew were critical".

The court filing Friday states that Mueller's team is "aware that the defendant and his spouse have participated in several additional media interviews concerning his case". Mifsud told Papadopoulos in April 2016 about the damaging emails, indicating that he had been told about the documents while attending a recent conference in Russian Federation, according to court documents.

On the same day as his interview, Papadopoulos applied for a deputy assistant secretary position in Trump's Department of Energy, according to the filing.

Papadopoulos met with prosecutors four times to offer information after his initial interview and before he was charged with lying, the filing says. Mueller's filing suggests that Papadopoulos could get less than six months.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty October 5 to one count of making false statements.

Mueller's office has not yet filed a sentencing memo in the case of Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Another defendant, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

"The defendant's lies also hindered the government's ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing "dirt" on Clinton", the document says.

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