Former Trump campaign aide sentenced - and his lawyer blames Trump

Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in plea deal with Mueller probe

Former Trump Aide George Papadopoulos Has been Sentenced For Lying to the FBI and he Throws Trump Under the Bus

Although Papadopoulos confirmed that Mifsud told him Russians had "thousands of emails" involving Clinton, he claimed he hadn't yet joined the Trump campaign when they spoke.

Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, along with potential obstruction of justice on the part of the president, recommended in August that Papadopoulos be sentenced to six months in prison.

In hindsight, he said in court, he recognizes that was wrong and "might have harmed the investigation".

During the hearing, Papadopoulos' attorney Thomas Breen argued that "The President of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did", and that Papadopoulos "was unsophisticated, he was naive, and he was a fool". "I saw him sitting in one picture at a table with me".

According to federal prosecutors, Papadopoulos lied to agents about his attempts to contact Russians during the campaign "to minimize both his own role as a witness and the extent of the campaign's knowledge of his contacts".

Papadopoulos is a pivotal figure in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as the first Trump campaign aide to plead guilty and co-operate with prosecutors (file photo).

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He has cooperated for more than a year with the probe into Russian interference in the United States presidential election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

The deal included a possible prison sentence of up to five years and three months.

US District Judge Randolph Moss said he "lied in an investigation that was important to national security".

"The message is for all of us to check our loyalty, to tell the truth, to help the good guys", Breen said.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday afternoon, Trump distanced himself from Papadopoulos. More accurately, Papadopoulos hemmed and hawed, and finally settled on, "I might have, but I have no recollection of doing so".

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He is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

As noted by USA Today, authorities thought that Papadopoulos could serve as a key informant, but it quickly became clear that was not the case. They are cooperating with investigators and await sentencing. Explaining his sentence, Moss also looked to Alex Van Der Zwaan's sentence of 30 days in prison, and noted how Van Der Zwaan was a lawyer and expressed far less remorse to the judge at his sentencing compared to Papadopoulos.

The court filing also suggested that both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions approved of his outreach to Moscow, contradicting Sessions' sworn testimony. Last November, Mr Sessions testified to Congress that he had "pushed back" against Papadopoulos' offer.

In addition to the two weeks' jail term, Papadopoulos was given a year of probation and ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and fined $9,500.

In subsequent campaign communications, Papadopoulos was encouraged to pursue a Putin-Trump meeting. "Despite being a young energy policy guru, he had no experience in dealing with Russian policy or its officials".

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