Former Trump campaign aide sentenced - and his lawyer blames Trump

If Papadopoulos had not in fact communicated to the campaign that Russia had ill-gotten information on Clinton, that would be extraordinarily ironic, given that one of the main events that first led the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign was allegedly that Papadopoulos boasted over drinks about Russian dirt on Clinton to an Australian diplomat.

The Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in prison for lying to investigators about his conversations with former Trump aide Rick Gates, who last month testified in court against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted on fraud charges but has not yet been sentenced.

Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor told Papadopoulos that the Russians had "dirt" on Trump's Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails".

The sentence drew a quick response from Trump on Twitter, as he scoffed at the two weeks of prison time by comparing it to an unverified cost figure for the Mueller probe.

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.

By lying to investigators, Papadopoulos had made "a calculated exercise of self-interest over the national interest", said Moss.

Foreign policy specialist George Papadopoulos "lied in an investigation that was important to national security", said US District Judge Randolph Moss.

While this chapter of the Mueller investigation concludes for Papadopoulos, his testimony and information he provided as part of his plea deal could mean trouble for others in Trump's circle, including Mr. Trump himself.

George Papadopoulos, 31, pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hide his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the presidential campaign.

Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, has been a central figure in the Russian Federation investigation dating back before Mueller's May 2017 appointment. Mifsud left the United States and not returned, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found him in the US on February 11, 2017, about two weeks after Papadopoulos's first interview.

"My recollection was that the senator [Jeff Sessions] was actually enthusiastic about a meeting between the candidate and President Putin".

In addition to the prison time, Papadopoulos was sentenced to one year of supervised release and 200 hours of community service.

In the 16-page sentencing memo seeking leniency, his attorneys Breen, Robert W. Stanley, and Todd S. Pugh, wrote, "to say George was out of his depth would be a gross understatement".

  • Tracy Klein