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Ex-Trump campaign adviser gets 14 days in prison

Friday, September 7, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who triggered the Russia investigation, told a judge Friday that he was "deeply embarrassed and ashamed" for lying to the FBI and acknowledged that his actions could have hindered their work.

"I made a dreadful mistake, but I am a good man who is eager for redemption," Papadopoulos said at his sentencing hearing.

The judge sentenced Papadopoulos to 14 days in prison and fined him. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team had pushed for a prison sentence of up to six months, while defense attorneys asked for probation.

Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, has been a central figure in the Russia investigation dating back before Mueller's May 2017 appointment.

He was the first to plead guilty in Mueller's probe and is now the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced. His case was also the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election while it was ongoing.

Memos authored by House Republicans and Democrats , now declassified, also show information about Papadopoulos' contacts with Russian intermediaries triggered the FBI's counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

According to a sweeping indictment handed up this summer, Russian intelligence had stolen emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign and other Democratic groups by April 2016, the same month Papadopoulos was told by a professor that Russian officials had told him they had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

Papadopoulos later used his connections with the Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, and other Russian nationals in an attempt to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He admitted last year to lying to the FBI about those contacts. In court papers filed ahead of the sentencing, prosecutors say those lies caused irreparable harm to the investigation during its early months.