George Papadopoulos Asks For Probation For Lying To FBI

NEW YORK (CBSNews) — Ahead of his sentencing next week, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos submitted his sentencing memorandum late Friday (Aug. 31) night. He is asking the court to give him probation for his charge of lying to the FBI. The memo says he was “young” and lied out of “misguided loyalty to his master.” The special counsel has recommended a sentence of up to six months. Papadopoulos is to be sentenced Friday.

The memo adds some detail about Papadopoulos’ attempts to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Though he was a member of the campaign’s foreign policy team, Trump aides have downplayed his role in the campaign. Aides have said he had no access to Mr. Trump.

Papadopoulos’ focus in the campaign was on Russian relations. But having no experience in Russian policy, the filing says that “to say George was out of his depth would be a gross understatement.”

Papadopoulos had met with Professor Joseph Mifsud in London, who introduced him to a woman named Olga who had told Papadopoulos she was a niece of Vladimir Putin. The two said they could set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

Papadopoulos joined Mr. Trump and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions at the Trump campaign national security meeting on March 31, 2016, the filing says. There, Papadopoulos made the offer to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump and Putin. “Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it,” the memo reads.

Later, the professor introduced him to Ivan Timofeev, who claimed to have a connection to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At an April 26, 2016 meeting, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that people in Moscow had “dirt,” “thousands of emails” on Hillary Clinton, according to the filing.

But the meeting between Mr. Trump and Putin never took place, even though Papadopoulos thought it could be “history making.”

During his FBI interview on January 27, 2017, “George found himself personally conflicted during the interrogation.” The memo says he gave the FBI “misleading” information about his contact with Mifsud, Olga and Timofeev.

The filing indicates that investigators interviewed the professor and that he denied telling Papadopoulos about the emails.

The special counsel’s view of Papadopoulos is that his “lies negatively affected the FBI’s Russia investigation” and his “lies were not momentarily lapses,” according to a recent government filing.

In cooperating with the government after he was charged, Papadopoulos participated in four proffer sessions with the government.

The memo refers to Alex Van Der Zwaan, who also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in connection to Mueller’s investigation. Van Der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in prison. However, the memo argues that Papadopoulos’s actions were “far less egregious.”

The memorandum concludes by repeating the words of the special counsel: “He was just a small part of a large-scale investigation.”

Read the memo here: