News World Former Trump aid and Downer nemesis Papadopoulos off to jail

Former Trump aid and Downer nemesis Papadopoulos off to jail

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year for making a 'materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement' to investigators during FBI's probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. Photo: Getty
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George Papadopoulos, the former Donald Trump campaign adviser and outspoken critic of Alexander Downer and the Australian government, has lost his bid to avoid prison.

District Court Judge Randolph Moss sided with US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Sunday to reject Papadopoulos’ last-ditch attempt to avoid starting a 14-day sentence.

Papadopoulos was ordered to surrender himself on Monday to a Wisconsin prison.

“The court agrees with the Special Counsel that Papadopoulos has failed to carry his burden of demonstrating that a delay in the execution of his sentence is warranted,” Judge Moss wrote.

The prison, in Oxford, Wisconsin, is medium-security and used to house first time, non-violent offenders.

Papdopoulos’ partner Simona Mangiante says she will support him when he goes behind bars.

“You don’t deserve to go to jail but you will come out stronger,” she wrote on Twitter.

Papadopoulos asked the judge to delay the sentence until separate court proceedings challenging the constitutionality of Mr Mueller’s appointment were decided.

In the lead up to his prison sentence, Papadopoulos has used social media and multiple media interviews to allege, without evidence backing it up, that former Australian high commissioner to the UK Mr Downer and the Australian and UK governments were spying on him and were trying to undermine Mr Trump.

“I actually think the story of the Obama CIA, British intelligence and Australian intelligence plotting to sabotage Trump and his team with orchestrated ‘Russia’ meetings or people is fascinating,” Papadopoulos wrote on Twitter last week.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5, 2017 to one count of making false statements to the FBI about his interactions with “a female Russian national” and Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor whom Papadopoulos “understood to have significant ties to the Russian government”.

Papadopoulos claims that in May 2016, five months before the US presidential election, Mr Downer was allegedly spying on him when they met for gin and tonics at a London bar.

Mr Downer, who has denied the spying claims, told The Australian newspaper that Papadopoulos said during their bar meeting “the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging”.

Papadopoulos, 31, from Chicago, says he could not remember telling Downer the volatile information that would eventually spark the FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr Trump has had mixed words about Papadopoulos, who was little-known before the future president announced in an interview before the election he was “an excellent guy” and part of his foreign policy team.

After Papadopoulos was sentenced earlier this year, Mr Trump told reporters: “I don’t know Papadopoulos”.

Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo also downplayed Papadopoulos’ significance to Mr Trump’s campaign by describing him merely as a “coffee boy”.

“You might have called him a foreign policy analyst, but if he was going to wear a wire, all we would have known now is whether he prefers a caramel macchiato over a regular American coffee in conversations with his barista,” Mr Caputo told CNN.