A federal judge has rejected a last-ditch bid by former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos to put off his looming but short federal prison sentence.
In judgment issued only a day before Papapdopoulos was scheduled to report to serve his two-week sentence for making false statements to FBI agents investigating alleged links between the Trump effort and Russia, U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss stated Papadopoulos’s legal arguments fell short of what was required to justify slowing the sentence Moss imposed in September.
After Papapdopoulos entered his guilty plea this past year, he passed up the opportunity to challenge special counsel Robert Mueller’s authority and the legality of his appointment, but at a pair of current moves, the prior Trump campaign adviser attempted to exploit a pending appeal in another case in which a grand jury witness is leveling out a lawful assault on Mueller’s power.
However, Moss stated in his 13-page ruling Sunday that Papadopoulos’ choice to not appeal his sentence and his agreement to not do so under most situations, left him with no viable legal avenue to demand relief. The judge said he saw little likelihood the impending challenge to Mueller’s jurisdiction would predominate.
Papadopoulos”has failed to demonstrate the D.C. Circuit will be very likely to conclude that the appointment of the Special Counsel was unlawful — and, indeed, he has failed to show that the appeal raises a’close query’ that’very well might be decided’ against the Special Counsel,” Moss wrote.
Moss, an appointee of President Barack Obama, turned Papadopoulos’ petition for a stay of his sentence that he could inquire the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for relief. Moss noted that the former Trump effort adviser’s petition on that score came last Wednesday, just 1 business day before he’s supposed to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence.
“If the’intent of [Papadopoulos’s] motion [to keep bond ] [is] frustrated,’ he’s only his own delay to attribute,” the judge wrote. “Papadopoulos has not identified any extenuating circumstances — nor is the Court aware of any — which would overcome the presumption against granting such an eleventh-hour remain”
Mueller’s office opposed Papadopoulous’ petition to fend off his sentence. Prosecutors also employed the legal wrangling on that issue to point out to the judge that Papadopoulos’ remorseful public tone in his sentencing changed radically in the weeks that followed, together with the defendant contending on Twitter and in interviews that he had been”framed” with an intelligence operation targeting Trump supporters and the effort.
Mueller’s group noted that Papadopoulos posted then deleted a succession of messages associated with his case, including one saying:”Biggest regret? Pleading guilty.”
“Following the defendant’s sentencing, he left many different public statements that look inconsistent with his said approval of responsibility at sentencing,” the prosecutors wrote in their submission to the court last week. “The suspect received that which he bargained for, and holding him to it isn’t a hardship.”
The Chicago-based criminal defense attorneys who negotiated the plea formally backed out of this lawsuit earlier this month. A new team of attorneys who had been handling a civil lawsuit against the former Trump campaign advisor then entered the criminal case and filed the movements trying to postpone Papadopoulos’ prison sentence
Among the defense motions indicated that Papadopoulos was contemplating trying to overthrow his plea based on”newly-discovered evidence” But at another stage, the defense said Papadopoulos would promptly report to prison if the allure assaulting Mueller’s authority fizzles.
The new lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Moss’s judgment, but shortly after the decision was published Sunday afternoon Papadopoulos retweeted a comment from a political ally painting the prosecution as a”set up” and calling Mueller’s probe to be stopped.
“No surprise @GeorgePapa19 failed in his bid to delay his 14 day incarceration,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote at the message. “Without a surprise a lot of our tainted press and Congress dismiss strong evidence that he was set up as part of illicit Obama administration effort to spy on and destroy @realDonaldTrump. Shut it down.”
While Papadopoulos had been sentenced to 14 days in prison, he was held in custody immediately after being detained as he returned to the U.S. out of Europe last year. That could induce him to up to 2 days credit on his sentence.
Two days ago, she retweeted a message noting that the president could commute the former campaign aide’s sentence. There has been no indication from the White House that he plans to do so.