George Papadopoulos, the former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, was sentenced this afternoon for 14 days in jail for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russian interests during the campaign.
He was handed a 14-day jail term as he told a court in Washington: "In January 2017, I made a bad mistake for which I paid dearly, I am ashamed".
The sentencing, coming almost one year after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, ends an important yet mysterious story line in the examination of whether anyone from Trump's team conspired with Moscow to influence the presidential election.
In a court filing, lawyers for Papadopoulos had argued for probation, saying he was "ashamed and remorseful" but wasn't trying to undermine the Russian Federation probe when he was "caught off-guard by an impromptu interrogation".
Federal sentencing guidelines under Papadopoulos's plea deal called for a penalty between probation and six months in prison.
"I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself", Papadopoulos told the judge.
Papadopoulos concluded by saying "this investigation has global implications, and the truth matters".
The statement conflicts directly with statements made by Sessions and the Trump administration, who have maintained that Sessions dismissed the idea of rejecting foreign assistance when Papadopoulos suggested it.
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There's a good explanation for that: no one in the Trump resisistance objects to them. "That throws the scent off me". The article triggered a guessing game in Washington about whether the author worked in the White House or an agency.
Among those contacts were London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who told him the Russians had "dirt" on Trump's Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails".
Papadopoulos has cooperated for more than a year with Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the United States presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Jeff Sessions "appeared to also like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it".
Defence lawyer Thomas Breen said his client was affected by Mr Trump's cries of "fake news" ahead of the interview and was torn between wanting to cooperate with investigators and wanting to remain loyal to the President.
That account conflicts with what Sessions, now attorney general, testified before Congress.
Russian Federation has continually denied allegations of interfering in the 2016 election. When hacked emails were released publicly that summer - part of an operation that intelligence officials later concluded was orchestrated by the Kremlin - the diplomat informed USA officials and a counterintelligence investigation began.
In subsequent campaign communications, Papadopoulos was encouraged to pursue a Putin-Trump meeting.
One individual was a Russian woman who Papadopoulos believed had connections to the Russian government.