Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Former Trump campaign aide sentenced - and his lawyer blames Trump

Vladimir Putin Donald Trump Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump
Andrew Cummings | 10 September, 2018, 07:10

"I made a awful mistake for which I paid dearly and I am terribly ashamed", Papadopoulos said in court.

A former Trump campaign aide was sentenced for lying to the FBI during the investigation of the special counsel into Russian election interference.

He apologised for his actions, telling a judge that he had made a "dreadful mistake" and was eager for redemption.

He was also the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of the Russian efforts to meddle while it was going on. The judge saying he wanted to send a message to the public about the consequences of impeding an inquiry of national import.

In the interview with CNN reporter Jake Tapper, Papadopoulos said that he raised the prospect of Trump and his campaign officials meeting with the Russians.

Papadopoulos admitted a year ago that he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about interactions in which people he thought were linked to the Russian government described Moscow having "thousands of emails" with damaging information about Clinton. With his constant cries of "fake news", Trump has "hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did", Breen said.

During his sentencing hearing Papadopoulos said his case should serve as a warning to others. Papadopoulos says he had nothing to do with the leak.

The lawyers portrayed Papadopoulos as "out of his depth" as a foreign policy adviser for a candidate for whom he had "unbridled loyalty".

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Breen said his client's primary interest was brokering a meeting between Trump and Putin, a move he believed the campaign supported. "The defendant's lies undermined investigators' ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States", they wrote.

Moss described Papadopoulos' behavior as a "calculated act of self-interest over national interest", and noted it took him six months to correct his statements and he did "in the face of proof he lied".

"While some in the room rebuffed George's offer, Mr Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it", Papadopoulos's lawyers said in a pre-sentencing statement last week.

"14 days for $28 MILLION - $2 MILLION a day, No Collusion".

In subsequent campaign communications, Papadopoulos was encouraged to pursue a Putin-Trump meeting. "A great day for America!" he said, unsuprisingly, in a Tweet.

Papadopoulos was the first person affiliated with the Trump campaign to be indicted, as part of the Mueller probe. But when pressed, Papadopoulos refused to completely shut the door on the possibility that the information made its way to other people on the campaign.

In delivering his sentence Federal Judge Randolph Moss said he did "get the sense that [Papadopoulos] does feel remorse and not simply for getting caught".

The US President has also denied collusion in numerous occasions.

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