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Mueller uses George Papadopoulos’ tweets against him in court filing

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robert mueller
Robert Mueller is paying
attention to what individuals connected to the Russia probe are
tweeting.

Thomson
Reuters


  • In a new court filing, the special counsel Robert Mueller
    used former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos’ own tweets
    against him.
  • Papadopoulos’ lawyers have asked the court to postpone his
    sentence, which is set to start on November 26, pending the
    outcome of a separate case challenging Mueller’s authority.
  • In response, prosecutors pointed to several now-deleted
    tweets Papadopoulos sent that are inconsistent with his earlier
    statements taking responsibility for his actions.
  • Mueller’s office said Papadopoulos’ tweets and other public
    statements show that he does not meet the federal guidelines that
    would allow for a defendant to have their sentence postponed.
  • They also indicated that it’s unlikely the case challenging
    Mueller’s authority will succeed and result in a reversal of
    Papadopoulos’ sentence.

Lawyers representing George Papadopoulos, a former aide to
President Donald Trump’s campaign who pleaded guilty in the
Russia investigation, are requesting that his upcoming two-week
prison sentence be postponed pending the outcome of a separate
case challenging the legality of the special counsel Robert
Mueller’s appointment.

In response, Mueller’s office filed a
motion
 in which prosecutors used Papadopoulos’ own
words to argue against postponing his sentence.

In the new filing, prosecutors contrasted Papadopoulos’ initial
statements of remorse with subsequent public statements he made
criticizing Mueller and the Russia probe.

Prosecutors pointed specifically to what Papadopoulos said at his
sentencing hearing in September. The former Trump aide expressed
regret for his actions and said the Russia probe “has global
implications and that the truth matters.” He concluded,
prosecutors wrote, by telling the court he was “grateful” for the
opportunity to help the investigation and had “nothing but
respect for the Court and the legal process.”

But the former Trump aide soon adopted a very different tone,
prosecutors said.

Read more: 

George
Papadopoulos dumped by his own lawyers as the former Trump aide
embarks on a ‘self-defeating gambit’

“Following the defendant’s sentencing, he made a variety of
public statements that appear to be inconsistent with his stated
acceptance of responsibility at sentencing,” they wrote.

In one instance prosecutors pointed to, Papadopoulos tweeted from
his public Twitter account that the FBI’s investigation was “the
biggest case of entrapment!” The next day, Papadopoulos said he
was considering withdrawing his guilty plea because he believed
he was framed.


George Papadopoulos
Former Trump campaign aide
George Papadopoulos.

Yuri
Gripas/Reuters


Several days later, he tweeted that he had been sentenced “while
having exculpatory evidence hidden from me.”

He added that if he had known that at the time, he never would
have pleaded guilty. And on November 9, prosecutors wrote,
Papadopoulos tweeted that his “biggest regret” was pleading
guilty.

Mueller’s office indicated in subsequent footnotes that
Papadopoulos has since deleted those tweets from his account.

Papadopoulos is set to begin his prison sentence on November 26.
His lawyers argued in their motion that he should be allowed to
stay out of prison “pending appeal,” but Mueller’s office said
there is no pending appeal in his case.

Papadopoulos’ former defense lawyers stated as much earlier this
month, when they filed a separate motion to
withdraw
from representing him.

In their motion, attorneys Thomas Breen and Robert Stanley
of the law firm Breen & Pugh said they were withdrawing
“because the criminal case has concluded, and the time for Mr.
Papadopoulos to file an appeal has passed.”

Mueller’s office also said in its filing Wednesday that
Papadopoulos’ request does not meet the guidelines that allow for
a defendant to be released pending sentencing or appeal.

Federal law says a judge can
postpone or overturn a defendant’s sentence only if they find
that they did not file an appeal “for the purpose of delay” and
if they have reason to believe the appeal may result in a
mistrial, reversal, or a reduced prison term.

In Papadopoulos’ case, prosecutors wrote, his public
statements following his sentencing “indicate that this motion is
being made for the ‘purpose of delay.'” They pointed to
Papadopoulos’ now-deleted tweet saying he should not serve “even
one day in jail” to bolster their argument. Mueller’s office also
said Papadopoulos has “failed to show” that the decision in a
separate case challenging Mueller’s authority could result in a
reversal of his own sentence.

At least two defendants have challenged Mueller’s mandate
in recent months: the Russian company Concord Management and
Consulting, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Judges in both cases ruled against the defendants and upheld the
validity of Mueller’s appointment.

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