Mueller: Papadopoulos could face brief prison time

Trump says Don Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer was legal

Trump says Don Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer was legal

George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, could get prison time under a sentencing recommendation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

He told investigators he had "no" relationship with one female Russian national, though really "he believed that she had connections to high-level Russian government officials and could help him arrange a potential foreign policy trip to Russia; he informed the campaign of his beliefs regarding her connections; and during the campaign he emailed and spoke over Skype on numerous occasions with her about the potential trip to Russia", the memo says. Federal investigators have imposed restrictions on his travel until his sentencing, which is now scheduled for September 7.

One of the Russian contacts that Papadopoulos misled investigators about communicating with was Joseph Mifsud, a Kremlin-linked professor in London who allegedly reached out to Papadopoulos on behalf of Russia. But it doesn't specifically relate any details of an interview with the professor as it recounts what prosecutors say was a missed opportunity caused by Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos' initial interview with federal investigators in late January 2017 was months before the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

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The professor is alleged to have told Mr Papdopoulos that the Russians possessed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails, before those emails became public.

The reviews from the Mueller team were not good.

According to Mueller's sentencing memorandum to the judge, Papadopoulos lied about his contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials, including his meeting with a professor who said Russia had "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "He lied repeatedly over the course of more than two hours, and his lies were created to hide facts he knew were critical". They reminded Papadopoulos several times in that interview that he should not lie and could be prosecuted if he did, the filing said.

Papadopoulos' lawyer Thomas Breen said Friday night that he was unable to comment at this time and would respond through the court record in their own pre-sentencing memo, which must be filed by August 31.

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Since then, Mueller has returned two sweeping indictments that detail a multi-faceted Russian campaign to undermine the USA presidential election in an attempt to hurt Clinton's candidacy and help Trump.

But Papadopoulos knew he had a role in the campaign when he started conversing with Mifsud in March 2016 - and the professor "showed interest in the defendant only after learning of his role on the campaign", the filing said.

Papadopoulos's wife, Simona Mangiante, is urging her husband to break off the plea deal and stop cooperating with Mueller. In April, a judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison.

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

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