George Papadopoulos, a former President Donald Trump campaign adviser, will be sentenced for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia on Friday, after pleading guilty to the charge nearly a year ago.
The sentencing will be significant for special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election, as Papadopoulos was the first person associated with Trump to agree to cooperate with the investigation, a move he recently was reconsidering.
Last month, Papadopoulos’ wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos suggested in interviews with the media that her husband was rethinking his plea deal with Mueller because he felt he was being framed by “shady individuals” within the government who had an “agenda” and were specifically “targeting” him.
But at the end of August, Mangiante Papadopoulos switched gears and told ABC News that her husband intended to take “responsibility for some inaccuracies during the interview with the FBI.”
Prosecutors want to see Papadopoulos spend at least six months behind bars for lying about his contacts with a professor who had connections to the Kremlin, while his lawyers are hoping for a year of probation.
The former foreign policy aide to the Trump campaign was attempting to set up a meeting between the campaign and the Russian government. After Papadopoulos was charged, the Trump administration downplayed his role in the campaign, suggesting he was just a “coffee boy.”