Trump Campaign Adviser George Papadopoulos Was Just Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison

“The president of the United States hindered the investigation more than George Papadopolous ever could,” his lawyer says.

George Papadopoulos, and his wife Simona Mangiante arrive at federal court for sentencing on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

A federal judge sentenced George Papadopoulos, who served as a forign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, to 14 days in prison on Friday.

The sentence makes Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with individuals linked to the Russian government, the first Trump associate sentenced as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump campaign coordination with Russia in 2016

Papadopolous has admitted that he misled FBI agents by downplaying his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor suspected of acting as a Russian agent and with a woman who Mifsud falsely told Papadopoulos was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s niece. According to prosecutors, Mifsud told Papadopoulos in March 2016 that the Russians possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton that included “thousands of emails.” 

Papadopoulos tried to use his contacts with Mifsud and Russians the academic put him in touch with to set up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin, an effort he pursued for months. In a memo submitted to the court earlier this month, his lawyers claimed that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a top foreign policy advisor to Trump, encouraged Papadopoulos’ outreach to his Russian contacts. That claim contradicts Sessions’ assertions that he opposed the aide’s plan.

Prosecutors in Mueller’s office have said that by lying to agents, Papadopoulos “undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States.” And they argued that Papadopoulos did not provide them with significant assistance and only told the truth after they confronted him with evidence contradicting his claims.

Appearing in court on Friday, Papadopoulus acknowledged that he may have impeded the probe. “I was not honest, and I might have hindered the investigation,” he said. But his lawyer, Thomas Breen, faulted Trump for stymying the ongoing inquiry. “The president of the United States hindered the investigation more than George Papadopolous ever could,” he said.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate