After millions of dollars and a lot of talk on cable news networks, the much ballyhooed trial of George Papadopoulos has come to an end. The result: A two-week prison sentence for the criminal case against the man who allegedly prompted the launch of an FBI probe into the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
Papadopoulos, once a minor campaign advisor to the Trump campaign, was sentenced to 14 days in jail, a $9,500 fine, and community service, for lying to the FBI. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to the charge almost a year ago but agreed to have his sentencing postponed multiple times.
Papadopoulos misled investigators about the timing and extent of his contacts with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud and two Russians that Mifsud introduced him to.
Mifsud had told Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016, that certain “Russians” have in their possession thousands of emails of former State Secretary Hillary Clinton, according to Papadopoulos’s guilty plea as well as the sentencing memos from both the prosecution and the defense, and Papadopoulos’s recent CNN interview.
Mifsud’s claim led to the launch of the FBI counterintelligence probe of supposed Trump-Russia connections, according to the official FBI narrative. That narrative has come under intense scrutiny by Republicans who have counter intelligence that shows the FBI, during the Obama presidency, was trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign long before any allegations surfaced.
The investigation was the bureau’s justification for an extensive spying operation against the Trump campaign. Many have called that operation illegal as, when similar allegations were brought about members of the Clinton campaign, the FBI warned her yet did not attempt to infiltrate her campaign. That strikes many as a political operation rather than investigative when the FBI infiltrated the Trump Campaign only weeks later.
It is not known how the outcome of this trial, and seeming defeat for prosecutors in such a light sentence, will affect the continuing investigation of collusion. To this date, no evidence of collusion has been brought forth in any of the trials that are ongoing or have been concluded.