Mueller recommends up to 6 months for ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos

Mueller recommends up to 6 months for ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is recommending a sentence of up to six months in jail for George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

In a court filing on Friday, prosecutors say Papadopoulos did not provide “substantial assistance” to the Russia investigation. Papadopoulos’ sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7.

“The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed, but respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration, within the applicable Guidelines range of 0 to 6 months’ imprisonment, is appropriate and warranted,” Mueller said in the filing.

Papadopoulos never signed a formal cooperation agreement, and no promise was made to recommend a break on a sentencing. However, Mueller agreed to tell the judge about Papadopoulos’ efforts to cooperate — or lack thereof.

The reviews from the Mueller team were not good.

“Much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own emails, text messages, internet search history, and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas well after the defendant’s FBI interview as the government continued its investigation,” the filing says.

The recommended sentence of zero to six months matches what Mueller’s team already agreed to suggest to the judge in this case.

When Papadopoulos’ plea agreement and criminal information were released last year, prosecutors said they would use a combination of factors to ask the judge for a sentence of zero to six months instead of the statutory maximum of five years.

Mueller said in the filing that Papadopoulos lied about his interactions with a suspected Russian agent, described in the filing as “the professor.” The professor allegedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

Image: George Papadopoulos
George PapadopoulosUncredited

The government’s sentencing memorandum filed by Mueller says that Papadopoulos did not immediately tell the government about a cell phone he used in London, and which had “substantial communications” between him and “the professor,” who allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman and to a Russian national connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The filing says Papadopoulos didn’t notify the government about that phone until his fourth and final proffer session, but that “upon request, the defendant provided that phone to the government and consented to the search of that device.”

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to one count of making false statements.

An email to the attorney listed for Papadopoulos in the case was not immediately returned Friday night. The Trump administration has sought to downplay his role in the campaign, with advisors at one point referring to him as a “coffee boy.”

Mueller’s filing says that Papadopoulos’ “crime was serious and caused damage to the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

It also says Papadopoulos “lied in order to conceal his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the campaign and made his false statements to investigators on Jan. 27, 2017, early in the investigation, when key investigative decisions, including who to interview and when, were being made.”

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