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

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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