Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Mueller Wants Papadopoulos to Go to Jail, Says He Harmed Russia Investigation

Simona Mangiante in Chicago Obtained by ABC News George Papadopoulos married Simona Mangiante in Chicago
Melinda Barton | 20 August, 2018, 08:39

The FBI investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation was set off by Papadopoulos, when he revealed during a night of drinking with an Australian diplomat in May, 2016, that the professor, Joseph Mifsud, had told him that Russian Federation had the hacked emails three weeks earlier, according to reporting by the New York Times.

The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has told a judge that a former adviser to the Trump campaign repeatedly lied about his contacts with Russian operatives and "caused damage" to the government's inquiry.

Papadopoulos, who is one of the 32 people charged with crimes by the Mueller investigation thus far, signed no formal cooperation agreement as part of his plea agreement, but prosecutors had said that they would not seek the maximum possible sentence of five years, opting for zero to six months instead.

The special counsel's office also said that Papadopoulos has failed to provide "substantial assistance", to their investigators - which might have warranted leniency - and that he participated in a media interview without its knowledge in December 2017, prompting prosecutors to cancel an interview where he was to answer further questions.

Prosecutors said the interview began with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents telling Papadopoulos "the only thing we ask from you is that you're truthful with us. and the only way you're getting in trouble today is if you do lie to us".

The sentence recommendation comes as Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, the wife of the one-time foreign policy adviser, has mounted the latest in a series of publicity campaigns - this one suggesting her husband has misgivings about his plea agreement. Both sides reserved the right to ask for a harsher or more lenient punishment. "The White House immediately sought to distance itself from Papadopoulos".

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. They reminded Papadopoulos several times in that interview that he should not lie and could be prosecuted if he did, the filing said.

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. Trump himself tweeted. calling Papadopoulos a "young, low level volunteer named George.'".

About that time, prosecutors have said, the London-based professor, Mifsud, began showing interest in Papadopoulos. Prof Mifsud, who is Maltese, has denied doing so.

In response to Papadopoulos' repeated mentions of Russia's interest in a meeting, then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - facing trial in Mueller's probe on an 18-count indictment alleging bank and tax fraud for his earlier political work in Ukraine for pro-Russian interests - emailed his deputy, deputy Rick Gates, writing, "We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips".

"Had the defendant told the Federal Bureau of Investigation the truth when he was interviewed in January 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation could have quickly taken numerous investigative steps to help determine, for example, how and where the Professor obtained the information, why the Professor provided the information to the defendant, and what the defendant did with the information after receiving it", the filing said.