Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Mueller: Prison Time An Option For Former Trump Campaign Aide Papadopoulos

Mueller: Prison Time An Option For Former Trump Campaign Aide Papadopoulos

"The defendant's crime was serious and caused damage to the government's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election", Mueller's memo said.

"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 zero to six months imprisonment is appropriate and warranted", Mr Mueller's memorandum to the judge in the case says.

Mueller's sentencing memo also noted that although Papadopoulos "agreed to meet with the government to answer questions" before he pleaded guilty, he did not offer "substantial assistance" to the Russian Federation investigation.

Papadopoulos will be sentenced on September 7.

Thomas Breen and Robert Stanley, lawyers for Papadopoulos, said in a statement that they were "not able to comment on the government's sentencing submission at this time". In April, a judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison.

He has also indicted 12 Russian intelligence operatives, accusing them of hacking into the computer systems of Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic Party and then releasing tens of thousands of private emails through WikiLeaks.

They said Papadopoulos" initial lies hindered investigators' ability to effectively question, challenge or detain a London professor who Papadopoulos said first told him that Russians had "dirt " on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.

She later explained that the couple reassessed his role after learning that his contacts with the London professor Joseph Mifsud led the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty October 5 to one count of making false statements. The campaign aide, who the Trump team has tried to characterize as nothing more than a "coffee boy", had "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".

To make matters worse for Papadopoulos, the prosecutors say he has not provided significant help in their investigation.

"He lied repeatedly over the course of more than two hours, and his lies were created to hide facts he knew were critical", the court filing says.

"The defendant's false statements were meant to harm the investigation, and did so", the government's filing says.

Papadopoulos's legal team will file their own sentencing assessment to the court in two weeks, and is expected to ask for probation. And Papadopoulos was also upset to learn that a Cambridge professor who hired him to write an energy paper in the fall of 2016 was a source for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, she said in June. Papadopoulos learned about the "dirt" the Russians had on Clinton the following month, after he began working for Trump, the filing said.

Thirty-two people have been charged by Mueller's office since it took over the investigation in May 2017.

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