Nearly a year after pleading guilty to charges of lying to FBI agents investigating the Trump campaigns possible collusion with Russia, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was finally sentenced this week.
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While his penalty seemed fairly light to outside observers when considering the severity of the charges to which he admitted guilt, garnering a sentence of only 14 days in prison, 12 months of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service, plus a $9,500 fine, his reported cooperation with the investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller surely led to a more lenient treatment.
Just how much Papadopoulos’s cooperation has helped Mueller in building his case has been a closely held secret in the ongoing investigation. Outside of the information provided in Papadopoulos’s plea deal documents, no other details of the extent of his incrimination of any other Trump campaign officials have been released to the public or leaked to the media.
Now that his sentencing has been determined, however, Papadopoulos has embarked on a media tour before beginning his brief incarceration and is hinting at just how useful his cooperation with the Special Counsel’s team has been. Appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, he was asked a pointed question:
“Do you think when the entire Mueller investigation is finished that they will demonstrate that there was collusion between the Trump campaign, Trump advisers and the Russians?,” Stephanopoulos queried.
Papadopoulos was careful in his response, given that Mueller’s investigation is still in progress:
“I have no idea,” the former Trump campaign adviser replied. “All I can say is my testimony might have helped move something towards that.”
He was careful to say that doesn’t think that his testimony directly incriminated President Trump, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t lead Mueller to other campaign officials with more evidence of what the president knew about Russian interference in advance of the election.
Papadopoulos managed to squeeze in an apology to the American people for his actions.
“Of course I’m remorseful, I’m contrite and I did lie, but you know you’re just taken off guard, I guess, in such a momentous occasion where you’re potentially sitting there incriminating the president. Even though, of course, I don’t think I did,” he said.
“That was probably in the back of my mind, of what exactly am I doing here talking about Russian hacking or election interference with a candidate that I just worked for.”
Whatever proof may or may not exist of the president’s direct involvement in the contact with Russia during the campaign, Trump’s close involvement in his real estate business with Russian oligarchs with strong Kremlin links has long been well documented, most recently in the documentary Active Measures.
His nearly daily denunciations of the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” prove that his concern over the results of the investigation is getting more and more overwhelming everyday. From what has been revealed so far, he should be worried, but Mueller’s commitment to buttoning up all of the details means we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the final results of the investigation.
You can watch a video of George Papadopoulos on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos in the clip below.
George Papadopoulos on if he believes collusion will be demonstrated between the Trump campaign and Russia once the special counsel investigation concludes: "I have no idea. All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that." https://t.co/de8rwfjb7S pic.twitter.com/zq5p1aMp0m
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 9, 2018
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