Washington (CNN) – Ex-Donald Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos has been sentenced to two weeks in prison for lying to investigators about his contact with individuals tied to Russia during the 2016 campaign.
He was also ordered to pay a $9,500 fine and perform community service.
This is the first sentence dealt to a Trump campaign affiliate in special counsel’s Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the Trump campaign.
Papadopoulos was arrested more than a year ago and pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with several people connected to Russia during the campaign. He had discussed with those foreigners the possibility of a foreign trip where Donald Trump could meet Vladimir Putin.
Before he was sentenced, Papadopoulos spoke to Judge Randy Moss for about three minutes, reading a speech in which he admitted he was wrong, ashamed and regretful.
“People point and snicker and I am terribly depressed,” he said. “This investigation has global implications and the truth matters.”
“I am ready to accept my sentence,” he added.
Papadopoulos’ defense attorney, Thomas Breen, pointed fingers at President Donald Trump.
“The President of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did,” Breen said.
Breen told a rapt courtroom that Papadopoulos has already faced his penalty over the past year, and realized he needed to disavow the Trump administration in favor of the truth.
“The message is for all of us to check our loyalty, to tell the truth, to help the good guys,” Breen said. He recalled how he and attorney Robert Stanley and Papadopoulos visited the FBI office in Chicago months ago and noticed the photos of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump hanging on the lobby wall.
“We were going in there to cooperate potentially against those two individuals,” he said.
With the sentence, the young man whom Trump administration officials called a “coffee boy” and whose family members have argued is caught in a spy conspiracy will become the first Trump campaign affiliate to have his criminal case reach its completion in the court system.
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