Special counsel opposes delaying George Papadopoulos' prison sentence

Elias Hubbard
November 24, 2018

Should the special counsel win DOJ approval and pull the subpoena trigger, he'd still have to face off against a president who has relished taunting Mueller and enter into a legal battle that could quickly elevate to the Supreme Court, where a newly enmeshed conservative majority is widely seen as friendlier to Trump's arguments.

Trump told reporters earlier Tuesday that he finished answering the questions Monday.

Mueller responded to that motion to continue Papadopoulos' bail on Wednesday by saying that this gambit should be denied because his "motion is made for purposes of delay, and he has not presented a substantial legal question that is likely to result in reversal". In October, the former Trump campaign aide wrote, "I have been sentenced to prison in our country while having exculpatory evidence hidden from me".

A spokesperson for the special counsel's office declined to comment beyond its own court filing.

Mueller's team also pointed to a "variety of public statements that appear to be inconsistent" with the cooperation Papadopoulos agreed to provide law enforcement after he was charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over communication with a Kremlin-connected professor who promised damaging material on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. He was subsequently ordered to serve 14 days behind bars and was ordered to surrender to prison officials by November 26.

Mueller pointed out that after Papadopoulos was sentenced "he made a variety of public statements that appear to be inconsistent with his stated acceptance of responsibility at sentencing".

But last week, with a new team of lawyers, the man once derided by a former Trump campaign adviser as a "coffee boy" filed a last-ditch appeal with a Washington, D.C., federal court Friday to try to forestall his looming stint in a Midwestern medium-security penitentiary.

"I am simply telling the truth about the characters involved in this story", Papadopoulos told Observer in response to the special counsel's filing.

"Moreover", Mueller continued, "the defendant expressly waived his rights to appeal a sentence within the statutory range, which he received".

Prosecutors in the Papadopoulos matter said he had months to ask whether the Miller challenge could impact his own case - noting that the first court opinion addressing the validity of the Special Counsel's appointment was publicly released on August 2, 2018 - "well in advance of his sentencing, and the litigation the defendant cites as his ostensible reason for delay has always been the subject of much public commentary". Mueller's appointment was challenged by a court appeal filed by Andrew Miller, a onetime aide to longtime associate of president Trump Roger Stone who refused to appear before a grand jury in August.

Oral arguments in the matter were held this month.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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