Former Trump aide Papadopoulos jailed for lying to the FBI

"My entire life has been turned upside down" - George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos (Photo: Slate)
George Papadopoulos (Photo: Slate)

A former Trump adviser at the centre of a US inquiry into possible collusion with Russia has been sentenced to 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI.

31 year-old George Papadopoulos told a sentencing hearing in Washington DC that he was a "patriotic American" who made a mistake by lying.
Last October he pleaded guilty to having lied to the FBI about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Moscow.

Born in Chicago, Papadopoulos was a London-based petroleum analyst before he joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a volunteer foreign policy adviser.

Papadopoulos soon made contact with a mysterious Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud. The professor told Papadopoulos the Russians had "dirt" on Trump's Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails".

The young political operative told Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, and other members of the campaign's national security team that he could set up a meeting with President Vladimir Putin ahead of the November 2016 election.

Papadopoulos told US media that Trump "gave me a sort of a nod" and "wasn't committed either way" about the idea of a meeting with the Russian leader.

But he said then-senator and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions "was actually enthusiastic". Last November, Sessions testified to Congress that he had "pushed back" against Papadopoulos' offer.

Papadopoulos was the first former Trump aide arrested in the probe into an alleged Kremlin plot to influence the 2016 US elections.

US President Donald Trump reacted by taking an apparent swipe at the cost of the investigation into the former aide. “14 days for $28 MILLION - $2 MILLION a day, No Collusion. A great day for America!” tweeted the President.

In Friday's sentencing, Papadopoulos was also handed 12 months of supervised release, 200 hours of community service, and a fine of $9,500.

He told the court that his "entire life has been turned upside down" and that he hoped for a second chance to redeem himself.

"This investigation has global implications, and the truth matters," Papadopoulos said.

Outside court on Friday, Papadopoulos' lawyer, Thomas Breen, said his client was a "fool" and had acted "stupidly" by lying to the FBI.

But the attorney said "the president of the United States hindered this investigation more than Papadopoulos ever could".

He said Trump had impeded the inquiry by calling it a "witch hunt" and "fake news".

 

More in World

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe