Papadopoulos begins 2-week prison sentence

Papadopoulos begins 2-week prison sentence
© Greg Nash

George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russia-linked individuals, has begun his two-week prison term. 

Papadopoulos’s wife, Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, confirmed to The Hill on Monday afternoon that the former Trump campaign aide has entered prison, saying it “was heartbreaking.”

His sentence, which he received earlier this year, comes after he unsuccessfully sought to postpone his prison term. 

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 U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss on Sunday denied Papadopoulos’s two motions to delay his sentence, stating that he failed to show that a delay is “warranted,” according to court documents.

Moss cited Papadopoulos’s decision to enter a guilty plea with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE, which essentially waived his right to appeal his sentence — a step that is necessary to qualify for a bail pending appeal.

Moss also wrote that the defendant's effort to challenge Mueller's authority, which is currently pending in a separate circuit court case involving longtime GOP operative Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneWhite House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee Bannon says he discussed how to 'kill this administration in the crib' with Trump before Jan. 6 Roger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview MORE, was not likely to succeed since other courts have already ruled his appointment is lawful.

A lawyer for Papadopoulos, Caroline Polisi, described the decision as another ruling in an “inequitable case.”

“The Court's decision not to stay Mr. Papadopoulos's incarceration is an unfortunate result in an inequitable case. At sentencing, Judge Moss himself acknowledged that he did not see ‘any reason in the record to conclude that Mr. Papadopoulos had any desire to aid Russia in any way, to do anything that was contrary to the national interest,’” Polisi said in a statement to The Hill.

“Nevertheless, for practical reasons, Mr. Papadopoulos has decided not to appeal the Court's decision or move to overturn his plea. Given the immense power of the Special Counsel's Office and the costs to Mr. Papadopoulos of continuing to fight, he will serve his sentence, and hopes to move on with his life,” her statement continues.

Papadopoulos, who cooperated with Mueller’s team, has become increasingly critical of the Russia investigation since his sentencing in September.

While he showed remorse as the ruling was being handed down, he has since claimed that the Obama administration and other western intelligence agencies wanted to hurt the Trump campaign by entrapping him and others tied to the Republican presidential candidate.

Last month, Papadopoulos said he was considering pulling out of the plea agreement with Mueller — a move he did not act on. 

“Still can’t believe the day I am going to a federal prison camp, mainstream media says am going for my Russia contacts. I have never met a single Russian official in my life," Papadopoulos tweeted early Monday.

"I have, however, met many western intel sources—Joseph Mifsud—who people still call ‘Russian.’ Facts. USA,” he continued, referring to a Kremlin-linked professor who took an interest in the young foreign policy adviser.

Papadopoulos has claimed that Misfud is a British intelligence official rather than a Russian one — a claim he has made without offering concrete evidence.

Papadopoulos emerged as a key figure in the federal counterintelligence investigation into Russia's election interference after he told a top Australian diplomat during the 2016 race that the Russians had dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE’s campaign in the form of thousands of emails — a statement he learned from Misfud and that he made before WikiLeaks began releasing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee.

He has also been sentenced to 200 hours of community service and fined $9,500.