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He emphasized that Papadopoulos' lies to investigators came a week after Trump's inauguration, at a time when the onetime policy aide was seeking a senior role in the administration and the president had begun dismissing the Russian Federation investigation as a lie.

Andrew Goldstein, a prosecutor on Mueller's team, told the judge that because Papadopoulos lied, investigators were forced into a painstaking monthslong examination of 100,000 emails and other communications to establish how Russian intermediaries tried to use him as a channel to the Trump campaign.

A federal judge on Friday sentenced Papadopoulos to spend 14 days in prison, pay a $9500 fine, and perform community service. "I hope you think of your sentence as the beginning of that second chance".

The Chicago native was a London-based petroleum analyst before he joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a volunteer foreign policy adviser. But he acknowledged that Papadopoulos was unsophisticated, naive and even a "fool" for having made contacts with Russian Federation intermediaries during the campaign.

In late April, he also told them that Mifsud said the Russians had information that could harm Clinton, in the form of thousands of emails.

Papadopoulos was the first former Trump aide to be sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Moscow's interference in the 2016 election.

A pre-sentencing statement last week read: "While some in the room rebuffed George's offer, 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".

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That account conflicts with what Sessions, now attorney general, testified before Congress. This contradicted what Sessions told Congress under oath past year - that he "pushed back" against Papadopoulos' proposal for a summit. Sessions has claimed he opposed the idea, but Papadopoulos continued to discuss it with top campaign officials over the following months.

While Moss cut short that argument, he stressed the importance of the investigation to the integrity of American democracy.

Prosecutors wrote that those false statements, made during a January 2017 interview with federal investigators, caused the FBI to miss an opportunity to interview Mifsud while he was in the United States.

Trump reaction: Trump's campaign tapped Papadopoulos to be on its foreign policy advisory panel. Mifsud introduced him to others who ostensibly had connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin - including a woman who claimed to be Putin's niece.

In July 2018, the US Department of Justice charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials.

Papadopoulos admitted that he lied to FBI investigators when they interviewed him on January 27, 2017. The professor has since left the United States.

The charges centered on an interview in January 2017 in which Federal Bureau of Investigation agents asked Papadopoulos about his conversations with Joseph Misfud, a professor he believed had connections to Moscow.

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His case was the first to detail a member of the Trump campaign having knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election while it was ongoing.

It referred to him as a key figure to have evaded the Mueller inquiry.

Papadopoulos spoke ahead of his sentencing, telling the court that he "made a awful mistake" and that he considered himself a patriotic American and was deeply embarrassed by his conduct.

His defense team said that Papadopoulos was "ashamed and remorseful" about his conduct, but that it was the result of his desire to "save his professional aspirations and preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to this master". "Judge Moss was very fair", she said.

Mueller's team hadn't taken a position on what precise sentence should be imposed, but had argued the sentencing guidelines called for up to six months in prison and that Papadopoulos' crime warranted incarceration.

Thomas Breen, an attorney representing Papadopoulos, told the court that his client made a "stupid mistake" and that his actions were "unsophisticated" and those of "a fool".

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