Papadopoulos sticks with plea deal with Mueller

CHICAGO -- A Chicago man whose statements helped spark the FBI’s Russia investigation will be sentenced next week for lying to the FBI. George Papadopoulos said he’ll stick to the plea deal he made with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Once dismissed by President Donald Trump as a campaign coffee boy his conduct and photos with the president himself revealed he was much more than that.

Prosecutors said Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about his contacts during the campaign with a professor who had strong ties to Russia and possible dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos chose to cooperate admitting he lied, but recently coming very close to withdrawing his guilty plea in part on the advice of his wife, Italian lawyer Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos.

“I’m proud of George’s brave choice to go and face sentencing, assuming responsibility for his being less than candid during his interview with the FBI,” Mangiante said.

She was also interviewed by the FBI for three hours in Chicago. She also appeared last month before Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. She said if they could afford to fight the charge against her husband, they would.

A GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for their legal fees has been a bit underwhelming, so they await his sentencing in virtual seclusion on the North Side of Chicago.

“I feel very bad, very scared, because there is a deep unfairness. I feel he has been used as a sacrificial lamb to legitimize an investigation that apparently doesn’t rely on a legitimate course,” she said.

Papadopoulos is hoping to avoid jail time when he’s sentenced next Friday. The special counsel has requested a sentence of up to six months.

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