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.
George Papadopoulos, 31, told the court in Washington DC he was a "patriotic American" who made a mistake by lying. "I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself". "I can't guarantee. All I can say is, my memory is telling me that I never shared it with anyone on the campaign". However, the judge added, the crime was "a calculated exercise of self-interest over the national interest".
George Papadopoulos was the first to plead guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Federal prosecutors with the special counsel's office had asked Judge Randolph Moss for a sentence of up to six months in prison. Papadopoulos says he had nothing to do with the leak.
That account conflicts with what Sessions, now attorney general, testified before Congress. He told the judge Friday that at the time, he mused to himself that he and his client were there to cooperate in an investigation that potentially could implicate those two men.
"We are very satisfied with the sentence". "I still have significant questions about how high that information went, and I know the Senate Intelligence Committee would like to hear directly from Mr. Papadopoulos".
Papadopoulos has been a central figure in the Russian Federation investigation since it began. A scheduled Federal Bureau of Investigation cooperation interview was canceled.
The Russian outreach to Papadopoulos was part of a sweeping active measures campaign aimed at the United States that also included overtures toward other political operatives, cyberattacks, agitation on social media and more. The diplomat reported the conversation to his American counterparts, who were seeing other evidence that Russian Federation was making a play to interfere in the 2016 election.
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The ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues today with no evidence that Trump's campaign colluded with foreign actors to meddle in the election.
"Caught off-guard by an impromptu interrogation, Mr Papadopoulos misled investigators to save his professional aspirations and preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master", the statement said.
At the time, Trump and the White House sought to distance themselves from the former campaign foreign policy adviser, with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claiming he'd had an "extremely limited" role on the campaign.
Asked if he was trying to "protect the president" the former Trump campaign adviser replied, "Of course".
A week before his sentencing, Papadopoulos' legal team took a final swipe at the administration.
His mother said on Friday that she "still supports" Trump.
However, reporting has suggested that he had been more involved with the campaign than the Trump team has let on.
George Papadopoulos on if he believes collusion will be demonstrated between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation once the special counsel investigation concludes: "I have no idea".