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U.S. special counsel recommends six months in prison for Papadopoulos

U.S. special counsel recommends six months in prison for Papadopoulos

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Russian contacts during the campaign, in which he served on a volunteer national security advisory panel and tried for months, unsuccessfully, to arrange a meeting between campaign aides and Russian officials.

The Mueller court documents said Mr Papadopoulos caused irreparable damage to the Russian Federation investigation because he lied repeatedly to agents during a January 2017 interview.

Mueller's prosecutors declined to recommend a specific sentence for Papadopoulos ahead of a hearing set for September 7, but they said "a sentence of incarceration, within the applicable Guidelines range of 0 to 6 months' imprisonment, is appropriate and warranted".

In a court filing on Friday, prosecutors say Papadopoulos did not provide "substantial assistance" to the Russian Federation investigation.

While saying the government can not know what motivated Papadopoulos to lie, Mueller's office wrote in the sentencing memo that he was seeking a high-level position in the new administration's National Security Council or the State or Energy departments.

Special counsel prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison, according to a court filing on Friday. In April, a judge sentenced him to 30 days in prison.

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The FBI would have arrested or at least questioned an elusive Maltese professor who claimed to know in April of 2016 that Russian Federation had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the form of "thousands" of stolen emails, but the investigators missed the professor because George Papadopoulos lied to them repeatedly. That same month, according to court papers, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had met with senior Russian government officials in Moscow and had learned that they had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails".

Prosecutors said the interview began with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents telling Papadopoulos "the only thing we ask from you is that you're truthful with us. and the only way you're getting in trouble today is if you do lie to us".

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty October 5 to one count of making false statements. "The defendant's false statements were meant to harm the investigation, and did so". "He lied repeatedly over the course of more than two hours, and his lies were created to hide facts he knew were critical".

To make matters worse for Papadopoulos, the prosecutors say he has not provided significant help in their investigation. Mueller's filing suggests that Papadopoulos could get less than six months. It has always been a mystery whether Papadopoulos told anyone inside the Trump campaign about the Russian dirt, and the document filed Friday does not answer the question. They reminded Papadopoulos several times in that interview that he should not lie and could be prosecuted if he did, the filing said. "He also" hindered the government's ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing "dirt" on Clinton" - as in who else on the Trump campaign.

Thirty-two people have been charged by Mueller's office since it took over the investigation in May 2017.

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