As the Justice Department’s “fake investigation” uncovers real lawbreakers, a judge has sentenced George Papadapoulos to 14 days in prison. Papadapoulos, a former member of the foreign policy advisory panel during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was found guilty of lying to investigators about his contact with individuals associated with Russia during Trump’s campaign. George Papadapoulos, in fact, became a catalyst for the start of the Russia investigation.
Papadapoulos is the first staff member of the Trump campaign to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He was arrested in 2017, and pleaded guilty last October to lying to investigators.
George Papadapoulos’ contacts with Russia operatives came to light during a drunken conversation in a London bar with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Over drinks, Papadapoulos bragged that he had been told that Russia had thousands of stolen emails with political “dirt” that could damage Hilary Clinton’s campaign for president.
A couple of months after Papadapoulos’ conversation with the Australian diplomat, leaked Democrat emails began to surface. At that point, the Australian government passed the information to the U.S. government about Papadapoulos’ claims.
Though it’s clear that Papadapoulos boasted about his knowledge of emails that could damage the Clinton campaign, he maintains that he didn’t tell anyone in the Trump campaign about the emails. Or rather, he maintains that his memory tells him that he didn’t.
Papadapoulos and his lawyers insist that Papadapoulos’ intentions were not as “sinister” as the Justice Department has implied. They portray Papadapoulos as a young man who simply aspired to advance his career by looking good in front of his boss. The sentencing memo reads that Papadapoulos had “…Misled investigators to save his professional aspirations and preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master.”
When the possibility that Papadapoulos’ associations with Russia could incriminate the Trump administration in the Russia investigation, it quickly dismissed its relationship with Papadapoulos. Trump’s staff began referring to Pappadapoulos as a “coffee boy.” Sarah Sanders claimed, regarding Papadapoulos’ position, “No activity was ever done in an official capacity.”
As with others who have put themselves in compromising positions in the service of Donald Trump, the Trump administration has in turn allowed George Papadapoulos to slide under the bus. One might be tempted to tweet the now familiar “SAD,” until remembering that George Papadapoulos’ ambition is probably a lot more than just that of an ambitious young thing with “misguided loyalty to his master.”
Ex-Trump campaign aide gets 14 days in prison | CNN [2018-09-07]
George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in prison | Fox News [2018-09-07]