Rejecting a plea for more time from Chicagoan George Papadopoulos, Special Counsel Robert Mueller told a federal court this morning the former advisor to President Donald Trump should be required to report for prison as scheduled next Monday.
Papadopoulos pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI, in connection with the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and was sentenced to 14 days in prison. While his surrender date was set for Monday November 26th, Papadopoulos filed a motion last Friday citing a current case challenging the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment.
“If the appeal is successful, then the Special Counsel lacked the constitutional authority to prosecute Mr. Papadopoulos in the first instance,” his attorney Michael Hatley wrote. “A modest stay of his incarceration pending the outcome of that appeal should be granted.”
But this morning, Mueller’s office fired back, telling the court that Papadopoulos’s motion is made only “for the purposes of delay, and he has not presented a substantial legal question that is likely to result in reversal.”
The motion also reminded the court that Papadopoulos had no standing appeal of his own, had pled guilty to the charges, and in fact, had waived his rights to appeal when he signed his agreement.
Plus, if he had a problem with the legality of Mueller’s job, the special counsel said he had plenty of time to have already made that argument.
“The first Court opinion addressing the validity of the Special Counsel’s appointment was publicly released on August 2, 2018, well in advance of his sentencing,” the motion states. “Two judges of this Court have rejected the same argument, concluding that the appointment of the Special Counsel is valid.”
In a motion filed this morning, Papadopoulos declared that he needed a ruling on last week’s motion before reporting for prison, his sentence being so short that it would be pointless to get a favorable ruling after it had been served. In the earlier filing, his attorney further argued there is no need for him to report on time, since Papadopoulos does not pose a risk of flight, or a danger to the community.
“Mr. Papadopoulos has fully complied with all of the conditions of his release,” he said. “And has appeared faithfully for every court appearance and for several interviews with the government.”
His arguments received no sympathy from Mueller, who told the court, “The defendant received what he bargained for, and holding him to it is not a hardship.”