Mueller Smacks Down Papadopoulos Attempt To Avoid Jail

Foreign policy advisor to US President Donald Trump's election campaign, George Papadopoulos, arrives at US District Court for his sentencing in Washington, DC on September 7, 2018. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLD... Foreign policy advisor to US President Donald Trump's election campaign, George Papadopoulos, arrives at US District Court for his sentencing in Washington, DC on September 7, 2018. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Is George Papadopoulos wasting everyone’s time?

That’s the impression given off from special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest filing Wednesday, attempting to smack down the former Trump campaign coffee boy’s bid for a get-out-of-jail-free card after he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement.

Papadopoulos tweeted on Wednesday hours after Mueller’s filing, saying that “Silence during these critical days was never an option” and that “I never flipped against the president.”

The motion cites everything from Papadopoulos’ own repentance at sentencing to now-deleted tweets accusing the special counsel of hiding “exculpatory evidence.”

“The defendant received what he bargained for, and holding him to it is not a hardship,” special counsel prosecutors wrote in the filing.

Judge Randy Moss sentenced the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser to 14 days in jail in September, citing his apparent “genuine remorse” for his crime. At sentencing, Moss said that he had first intended to give Papadopoulos a 30-day sentence, but decided to halve it after being moved by Papadopoulos’s show of regret.

Mueller cited Papadopoulos at the sentencing hearing as saying “that he had ‘lied to the FBI’ and, ‘[t]hat was wrong, it was a crime.’ He said that his parents raised him ‘with the principles of honesty and respect for the law,” and when he lied to the FBI, he ‘cast aside those principles and compromised the person who [he is].'”

But within days, Papadopoulos was back to his version of normal.

Mueller cited numerous tweets and public statements that Papadopoulos has made saying that he regrets pleading guilty.

“Several days later, the defendant publicly tweeted: ‘I have been sentenced to prison in our country while having exculpatory evidence hidden from me. If I knew what I knew today, I would have never plead guilty.’ On November 9, 2018, the defendant tweeted, ‘Biggest regret? Pleading guilty[.],'” the filing reads.

Papadopoulos has since deleted the tweets in question, as seen in this series of footnotes in the Mueller team’s filing:

It remains unclear if Judge Moss will somehow revisit the length of Papadopoulos’s sentence. The 31-year-old, who has used his involvement in the Russia scandal to shill his way into a conservative media payday, had expressed interest in withdrawing his guilty plea even before sentencing, as the special counsel noted in the filing.

“In advance of the defendant’s sentencing, there were numerous public reports that the defendant was considering trying to withdraw his guilty plea,” the filing reads. “Ten days prior to his sentencing, the defendant publicly tweeted, ‘Been a hell of a year. Decisions.'”

Papadopoulos had argued that his sentencing should be delayed pending an appeal in a separate grand jury case involving Andrew Miller challenging Mueller’s authority as special counsel.

He hired a new team of attorneys specifically for the effort.

“Beginning to serve a sentence within his contemplated plea range while a legal issue
is pending on appeal in an unrelated case does not qualify as hardship or inequity,” the special counsel wrote in the filing.

The special counsel’s filing has one attachment: Papadopoulous’s plea agreement.

Papadopoulos is set to start his sentence for lying to the FBI on Nov. 26.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Muckraker
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: