Prosecutors recommend short prison stay for Papadopoulos

Simona Mangiante in Chicago

Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller are recommending Chicagoan - and former Trump campaign adviser - George Papadopoulos only serve up to six months in federal prison.

The filing by the special counsel's office strongly suggests the FBI had contact with Professor Joseph Mifsud while he was in the U.S. during the early part of the investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates.

"The defendant's lies to the FBI in January 2017 impeded the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election".

Mueller also said Papadopoulos avoided until the last moment telling prosecutors about a cell phone he used in London that had "substantial communications" on it between he and the professor who claimed to know about Russian information on Clinton.

The government alleges Papadopoulos' duplicity hindered investigators' ability to interview key players, including a professor who may have been an intermediary for the Russian government.

The news came to light after the government released the sentencing memo for George Papadopoulos, the then-aide, who faces up to six months in jail and a fine of nearly $10,000.


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.

With the intent of harming the investigation, Papadopoulos "repeatedly lied throughout the interview in order to hide the timing and significance of information the defendant had received regarding the Russians possessing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, as well as his own outreach to Russia on behalf of the campaign", they explained. That probe was later take over by Mueller.

Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, pleaded guilty in October to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about meetings with individuals closely associated with the Russian government during the campaign.

While drinking at a London bar in May 2016, he told the Australian ambassador to Great Britain that the Russians had hacked thousands of emails that could damage Clinton's presidential campaign.

The same month, according to court papers, Mifsud told Papadopoulos he had met senior Russian government officials in Moscow and learned they had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails".

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