Greek-American George Papadopoulos, a former campaign advisor on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for lying to investigators during their probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The former Greek American Trump campaign staffer pleaded guilty last October to one count of lying to investigators over his interactions with foreign contacts.
Special counsel Robert Mueller alleged that they might have been more successful in their investigation in early 2017 if Papadopoulos had not lied, as they had cornered the man they suspected could be part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Specifically, the CNN report states, the former Trump staffer lied to the FBI in January 2017 about his contact in London with Joseph Mifsud, known as “the Professor”. Mifsud had told Papadopoulos the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Federal authorities then found Mifsud in Washington two weeks later, but allowed him to leave the country.
Mifsud who has not returned to the United States since February 2017, has not been publicly charged with a crime.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, who took over the investigation after Papadopoulos’ initial interview in January 2017, said that Papadopoulos lied “to minimize both his own role as a witness and the extent of the campaign’s knowledge of his contacts”.
Another detail in the filing is that the special counsel team said Papadopoulos had been given $10,000 in cash “from a foreign national whom he believed was likely an intelligence officer of a foreign country.” The filing noted that the country was “other than Russia.”
George Papadopoulos and the Trump campaign
Papadopoulos was a member of the Trump campaign on foreign policy issues. Born in Chicago from parents originally from Thessaloniki, he studied political science at DePaul University in 2010 and got his Master’s degree from the University College London.
Before joining the Donald Trump camp, Papadopoulos was adviser in the Ben Carson election campaign, who withdrew from the electoral race by announcing his support of Trump.
Papadopoulos’ recent business activities focused on the cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel for the conclusion of an energy alliance. In a recent interview with Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros, Papadopoulos spoke of the key role Cyprus could play for stability in the Middle East.
Trump dismissed Papadopoulos after it was proven that he had lied to the FBI investigation over his contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar,” Trump posted on Twitter right after firing Papadopoulos.