George Papadopoulos, a former aide to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison after pleading guilty last year to lying to federal agents investigating whether campaign members coordinated with Russia before the election.
Prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Papadopoulos lied to agents about his contacts with Russians during the campaign “to minimize both his own role as a witness and the extent of the campaign’s knowledge of his contacts,” according to the government’s sentencing memorandum.
Papadopoulos defended himself and contradicted White House officials in a CNN special program Saturday night, “The Mysterious case of George Papadopoulos.”
In the interview with CNN reporter Jake Tapper, Papadopoulos said that he raised the prospect of Trump and his campaign officials meeting with the Russians.
“The candidate (Trump) gave a nod, but did not commit either way,” he said.
Trump has denied knowing anything about contact with Russians and his campaign.
Russia has denied U.S. allegations that it interfered in the campaign and Trump denies campaign collusion.
Prosecutors had asked Judge Randolph Moss in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to impose a prison sentence of up to six months, saying that Papadopoulos’ lies impeded their investigation and that he did not cooperate.
“He didn’t come close to the standard of ‘substantial assistance,’” prosecutor Andrew Goldstein told the judge at the sentencing hearing. “It was at best, begrudging efforts to cooperate.”
In addition to the prison time, Papadopoulos was sentenced to one year of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $9,500.