The first member of Donald Trump’s “inner circle” to be charged in the Russian interference investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, has been sentenced. George Papadopoulos, who served as Trump’s foreign policy adviser, was sentenced to 14-days in jail to be followed by one year of supervised release. Papadopoulos was also hit with a $9500 fine. The special counsel originally called for a sentence of between 0-6 months after Papadopoulos’ cooperation with the investigation. Papadopoulos pleaded with the sentencing judge before his sentence was handed down.
“I made a terrible mistake. I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself.” Papadopoulos told the judge before being sentenced.
NBC News(@NBCNews) reports, prosecutors said Papadopoulos was solicited by a professor with ties to Russian Intelligence named Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud reportedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians possessed incriminating information about Hilary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”. This was before it was public knowledge that Russia had stolen Democratic emails. Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about the timing of his interactions with the professor. He told the FBI it happened before he began working for Trump, when it had actually happened well afterward.
Prosecutors say Misfud arranged a meeting between Papadopoulos and a woman who was falsely introduced to Papadopoulos as Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Pictured: Joseph Misfud
After a night of heavy drinking, Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat about the stolen emails, Russians, and how the fix was in for Trump to win, as the two drank together at an upscale bar in London in 2016. The Australian Diplomat was so alarmed by Papadopoulos’ claims that he reported the conversation to his American counterparts. The Australian Diplomats’ concern came from evidence that they had seen Russia do the exact same thing in elections in multiple other countries around the world. That was the beginning of the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election….and ultimately, Donald Trump and his camp’s role in the whole thing.
Trump, who has called the entire investigation a “hoax” and a “witch-hunt”, chimed in via Twitter after Papadopoulos’s sentencing.
You wouldn’t be wrong if you called yesterday Tragic Tuesday for Donald Trump, his supporters, and the entire GOP. At practically the same time long term Trump lawyer/”fixer”, Michael Cohen was pleading guilty to various charges include illegal campaign finance violations, in a federal courthouse in New York, and also implicating Trump himself in some of those crimes, Trump former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was learning his fate in Virginia as he awaited the verdict in his trial on multiple federal charges including tax fraud.
Guilty was the verdict on 8 out of the 18 crimes Manafort was charged with. CNN (@cnn) reported, Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on the 10 crimes the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on. The FEDS still hold all of the cards in the mistrial charges as they can decide to re-try Manafort on those charges if they wish to.
Manafort was found guilty of five (5) tax fraud charges, two (2) counts of bank fraud, and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts. Manafort faces a maximun 80 years behind bars for the 8 counts he was convicted on. Manafort may have some relief heading his way in the form of a presidential pardon, which Trump kind of hinted at early on Wednesday morning.
A Manafort pardon by Trump will be Republicans worst nightmare. Manafort was convicted by a jury of his peers. Not by angry Democrats or Republicans. He was convicted by law abiding, tax paying citizens of this Country. Attacking the verdict is not an attack on law enforcement or the FBI. An attack on this verdict will be an attack on America and its citizens who found Manafort guilty after a fair and legal trial. Republicans manage to look the other way when Trump does most things, but this one won’t be so easy to ignore. This will be an attack on the American democracy itself….. In the famous words of Donald Trump, “we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
The news that Donald Trump has just approved tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China just broke this morning. This news puts the U.S. on the brink of a trade war with China. The stock market officially opens in a little under an hour as this huge news breaks. If recent history has shown us anything, this will certainly have a negative impact on the market and panicked investors today. That negative effect will carry over to panicked business owners. Then that negative effect will be passed on to you….the consumer. I’m almost as sure of this that I am sure that the sun is yellow. The only question that remains is how long will this last?
NBC News (@NBCNews) reports, Donald Trump has approved a plan to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, a move that could put his trade policies on a collision course with his push to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.
Trump has long vowed to fulfill his campaign pledge to clamp down on what he considers unfair Chinese trading practices. But his calls for billions in tariffs could complicate his efforts to maintain China’s support in his negotiations with North Korea.
In an official White House statement released this morning, Trump threatened to slap China with even steeper tariffs if they placed tariffs of their own on U.S. goods or retaliated in any way at all.
Last week Kim Kardashian took a trip to the White House to talk to Donald Trump about granting a pardon to 63-year old Alice Johnson. Ms. Johnson has been incarcerated since 1996 on non-violent drug charges. She was serving a “life” prison sentence. I’m not certain how Kim Kardashian even heard of Ms. Johnson’s story, but to her credit, when she did, she took action. Kim used her celebrity status to broker a meeting with Jared kushner, at which time she lobbied for a meeting with Donald Trump. Kim Kardashian’s celebrity status got her a meeting with the president of The United States. Once at the meeting, Kim obviously found a way to convince Donald Trump to see things her way. Today, Trump has granted Ms. Johnson a pardon from the unfair prison sentence she was serving.
Right is right, and wrong is wrong. The “why’s” are not the story here. The story here is that a woman who was serving an unfair prison sentence will finally be released after 22 years. A “life” prison sentence for non-violent drug related charges is excessive under any circumstance. These type of prison sentences happen more often than most people realize. Pardoning Ms. Johnson was the right thing to do, regardless of why Donald Trump decided to do this. Like I said before, right is right and wrong is wrong. Prison sentences like the one Ms. Johnson was serving as a non-violent drug offender is the reason so many people have been fighting so hard for prison reform. As a person who was once caught up in the system, there is no way I can possibly spin this story to make it seem like Ms. Johnson’s pardon was a bad thing……in my eyes. There is no way I can spin this story to make it seem like what Kim Kardashian did was a bad or selfish thing, even if I wanted to.
In a recent interview, Alice Johnson told Mic.com (@mic) that she got involved in drug dealing and trafficking after going through a series of tragedies, including the death of her son in a motorcycle accident, losing her job at FedEx, and going through a divorce. Ms. Johnson also admitted to having a heavy gambling addiction.
Jared Kushner and White House Chief Of Staff, John Kelly reportedly bickered about Johnson’s pardon before Trump signed it. Kelly didn’t think Johnson was deserving of a presidential pardon. The argument was over a prison sentence commutation versus a full pardon. A commutation will get you released from your prison sentence, while a pardon has the crimes you’ve been convicted of erased and removed from your record.
Ms. Johnson’s prison sentence has been commuted. She did not receive a full pardon as reported earlier.