Russia collusion probe: Ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos jailed

Papadopoulos lawyers released a memo on Friday seeking a reduced jail sentence for their client lying to the FBI when interviewed in January 2017

Papadopoulos lawyers released a memo on Friday seeking a reduced jail sentence for their client lying to the FBI when interviewed in January 2017

Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday.

"I made a bad mistake", Papadopoulos told the judge. "I hope you think of your sentence as the beginning of that second chance".

Papadopoulos was the first former Trump aide arrested in the probe into an alleged Kremlin plot to influence the 2016 USA elections. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

After an Australian diplomat reported to American counterparts that Papadopoulos had told him over drinks about the "dirt" approach, the FBI opened its investigation, that also was around the time WikiLeaks posted thousands of internal Democratic National Committee emails online. The exchanges came shortly after he joined Trump's campaign and months before USA authorities learned that Russian intelligence officers had stolen troves of emails from Democratic political organizations.

US President Donald Trump reacted by taking an apparent swipe at the cost of the investigation into the former aide.

In response, defense lawyer Thomas Breen said his client was "remorseful" that his lies impeded the investigation.

Breen argued that his client had caused much less damage to the special counsel investigation than Trump has. His client was also affected by Trump's cries of "fake news" and his casting of the Russian Federation investigation as a "witch hunt" just days before his FBI interview.

The punishment was far less than the maximum six-month sentence sought by the government but more than the probation that Papadopoulos and his lawyers had asked for.

His case was 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.

Moss said he had been considering a 30-day prison sentence but said at Friday's hearing that Papadopoulos had shown "genuine remorse". He appeared in federal court in D.C. before U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss, who also sentenced Papadopoulos to 200 hours of community service and 12 months of supervised release. In that testimony, Sessions said he resisted the idea of any Russian Federation meeting proposed by Papadopoulos.

No connection between Mr Misfud and the hacked emails has been proven.

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Complicating these denials, Papadopoulos admitted that he told a senior Greek official about the Russian dirt while visiting the country on a trip authorized by the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos admitted that he lied to FBI investigators when they interviewed him.

Partly as a result, they said, agents were unable to "effectively question" Misfud when he visited the United States two weeks later.

"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, noting that Mifsud left the February 2017 and hasn't returned.

It's all a part of Robert Mueller's investigation.

Then speaking directly to Papadopoulos, Moss said: "I know the sentence is painful to you".

"The message is for all of us to check our loyalty, to tell the truth, to help the good guys", Breen said.

Minutes later, Trump seemed to claim vindication. Maria said that the judge "got it right" in giving Papadopoulos 14 days in prison. "A great day for America!" he said, unsuprisingly, in a Tweet.

During an interview with The New York Times this week, Papadopoulos, 31, for the first time gave his own account of why he deceived Federal Bureau of Investigation agents after they arrived at his house in Chicago previous year asking about any connections between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian intermediaries.

But in a court filing last month, prosecutors said Papadopoulos ultimately did little to aid their work.

"It was at best begrudging efforts to cooperate and we don't think they were substantial or significant in any regard", he said. "A great day for America!" after a former campaign adviser received a 14-day prison sentence for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Another, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was found guilty of tax and bank fraud charges last month and is awaiting another trial in Washington.

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