Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating links between Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, has detailed how the Federal Bureau of Investigation missed a chance to question a London-based professor caught up in the inquiry.
George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, could face up to six months months in prison, under Special Counsel Robert Mueller's sentencing recommendation.
Mueller did "not take a position with respect to a particular sentence" for Papadopoulos but recommended incarceration within the zero-to-six-month guidelines, according to a sentencing memo filed Friday. That is the scenario spelled out by Russian Federation investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos filed Friday in a Washington D.C. federal court.
The FBI would have arrested or at least questioned an elusive Maltese professor who claimed to know in April of 2016 that Russian Federation had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton, in the form of "thousands" of stolen emails, but the investigators missed the professor because George Papadopoulos lied to them repeatedly.
"I don't what him to be the sacrificial lamb of a witch hunt, and there are many exculpatory [pieces of] evidence, shady people", Simona Papadopoulos told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Thursday.
The professor told Papadopoulos the Russians had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails" that they had procured, according to the court documents.
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In fact, the lies told by Papadopoulos, "undermined investigators' ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States". "The White House immediately sought to distance itself from Papadopoulos".
The filing suggests Papadopoulos hampered the FBI's ability to figure that out. But it doesn't specifically relate any details of an interview with the professor as it recounts what prosecutors say was a missed opportunity caused by Papadopoulos.
He had also triggered the initial counterintelligence probe into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election by revealing to an Australian diplomat, during a night of heavy drinking at a London bar in May 2016, that Russian Federation had political dirt on Clinton. He exchanged emails with top officials during the campaign and presidential transition, including former top adviser Stephen Bannon and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Jeff Sessions, Papadopoulos announced that he could arrange a meeting for Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mifsud was scheduled to appear in an Italian court on July 11, 2018, in a criminal case unrelated to the Russian Federation investigation, but according to the Malta Independent, the Maltese academic failed to show up there as well, leading Italian prosecutors to describe him as "a ghost". The Australians passed the information to the United States and, in July 2016, the FBI opened its investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
In his guilty plea, Papadopoulos admitted that he had lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents during a February 2017 interview and misled them about interactions he had with Mifsud and his Russian contacts.