Mueller: Prison Time An Option For Former Trump Campaign Aide Papadopoulos

Trump says Don Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer was legal

U.S. should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE has recommended that former Trump campaign staffer George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosPapadopoulos's wife wants him to scrap plea deal with Mueller: report Fox News host hits Giuliani: Dossier isn't why Mueller probe was started Omarosa claims Trump knew about hacked emails prior to WikiLeaks release MORE be sentenced to zero to six months in prison and face a fine of $9,500.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last October to one count of making false statements, admitting in court papers that he lied about the nature of his interactions with "foreign nationals" he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials.

In the memo, the United States government claims that Papadopoulos' lies and obstruction helped Joseph Mifsud escape the country without being detained.

Papadopoulos is due to be sentenced on September 7.

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Mueller did "not take a position with respect to a particular sentence" for Papadopoulos but recommended incarceration within the zero-to-six-month guidelines, according to a sentencing memo filed Friday.

The memorandum adds that Mr Papadopoulos lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with alleged Russian go-betweens.

Those lies, they said, resulted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation missing an opportunity to properly question a professor Papadopoulos was in contact with during the campaign who told him that the Russians possessed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.

The special counsel's office also said that Papadopoulos has failed to provide "substantial assistance", to their investigators - which might have warranted leniency - and that he participated in a media interview without its knowledge in December 2017, prompting prosecutors to cancel an interview where he was to answer further questions.

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Mueller also maintained that Papadopoulos' false statements "were meant to harm the investigation, and did so". He was the first person charged in connection with Mueller's investigation. He denies any wrongdoing.

"Instead of telling the truth, however, the defendant 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", Mueller said in the filing.

The reviews from the Mueller team were not good.

In his guilty plea, Papadopoulos admitted that he had lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during a February 2017 interview and misled them about interactions he had with Mifsud and his Russian contacts.

Mueller's recommendation is relatively short, as the former Trump campaign aide faces up to five years in jail for his crimes.

Another defendant, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

"The defendant's lies also hindered the government's ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing "dirt" on Clinton", the document says.

According to that indictment, by April 2016, the Russian intelligence operatives had already stolen emails from several Democratic groups including the Clinton campaign and were beginning to plan how they were going to release the documents.

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