'The President of the United States Hindered This Investigation': George Papadopoulos' Lawyer Lays into Trump at Sentencing

'The President of the United States Hindered This Investigation': George Papadopoulos' Lawyer Lays into Trump at Sentencing

George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, was sentenced to 14 in prison Friday for lying to federal investigators as a part of the ongoing Russia investigation carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller.


Having previously pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI about his contacts with Russia agents offering dirt on Hillary Clinton to the campaign, Papadopoulos expressed remorse for his actions and received a more lenient sentence as a result.

At one point, Thomas Breen, Papadopoulos' lawyer, presented a curious line of argument for leniency during the sentencing. While his client had misled the FBI, he argued, he did so in an environment where Trump himself was casting doubt on the investigation.

"The president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever could," Breen said.

It's stunning enough to have a former campaign aide to the president of the United States sentenced as part of a foreign counterintelligence investigation. For the aide's own lawyer to essentially accuse the president of a greater effort to obstruct justice was astounding.

Papadopoulos has said that it was his loyalty to Trump, his career ambitions and his efforts to distance the campaign from any Russian associations that led him to lie to the FBI.

“He was seeking to assist himself in a way that placed his own personal interest above the interest of the United States,” the judge said at the sentencing, as quoted by lawyer and reporter Luppe Luppen. “He was riding very high, as Mr. Papadopoulos said to me himself, he had just come from the inauguration of the president of the United States.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.