Special Counsel Robert Mueller said US President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos should spend at least some time in prison for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the Russian Federation probe.
In the court filing, Mueller wrote that Papadopoulos' "lies negatively affected the FBI's Russian Federation investigation" and his "lies were not momentarily lapses".
"The government does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed, but respectfully submits that a sentence of incarceration within the applicable guidelines range of zero to six months imprisonment is appropriate and warranted", Mr Mueller's memorandum to the judge in the case says.
That's despite the fact prosecutors said Papadopoulos did not provide "substantial assistance" after his guilty plea.
One of the Russian contacts that Papadopoulos misled investigators about communicating with was Joseph Mifsud, a Kremlin-linked professor in London who allegedly reached out to Papadopoulos on behalf of Russia.
In a signed plea agreement October 5, Papadopoulos, 31, and prosecutors agreed he faced zero to six months under federal guidelines if he cooperated, committed no further crimes and had no other criminal history.
The filing suggests Papadopoulos hampered the FBI's ability to figure that out.
Papadopoulos, who had served as a volunteer to the Trump team, traveled as an emissary from the campaign to foreign leaders in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Papadopoulos learned about the "dirt" the Russians had on Clinton the following month, after he began working for Trump, the filing said.
He had also triggered the initial counterintelligence probe into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election by revealing to an Australian diplomat, during a night of heavy drinking at a London bar in May 2016, that Russian Federation had political dirt on Clinton.
While drinking at a London bar in May 2016, he told the Australian ambassador to Great Britain that the Russians had hacked thousands of emails that could damage Clinton's presidential campaign. He exchanged emails with top officials during the campaign and presidential transition, including former top adviser Stephen Bannon and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
In response to Papadopoulos' repeated mentions of Russia's interest in a meeting, then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - facing trial in Mueller's probe on an 18-count indictment alleging bank and tax fraud for his earlier political work in Ukraine for pro-Russian interests - emailed his deputy, deputy Rick Gates, writing, "We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips".
It also reveals Federal Bureau of Investigation agents first interviewed Papadopoulos at the Chicago field office on January 27, 2017.
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