George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for lying to federal investigators during the Russia probe.
He was also handed one year of supervised release, 200 hours of community service and a fine of 9,500 U.S. dollars.
Papadopoulos, 31, is the first former campaign aide to be sentenced in the ongoing Russia probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
He pleaded guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI about the timing and the possible significance of his Russia-related contacts, including a professor who told him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, who was running against Donald Trump in 2016.
Before he was sentenced, Papadopoulos apologized for his actions, telling a judge at a courtroom in Washington D.C. that he was wrong, ashamed and regretful.
“People point and snicker and I am terribly depressed,” Papadopoulos said. “This investigation has global implications and the truth matters.”
“I am ready to accept my sentence,” he added.
Prosecutors sought a sentence of up to six months, while defense lawyers asked for probation, saying his lies were not meant to hurt the investigation.
Papadopoulos is said to have lied about the timing of when he received alleged dirt on Clinton.
Papadopoulos had initially claimed he had met two individuals with Russian ties before he joined Trump’s team in March 2016, but later admitted he actually met them after joining Trump’s campaign.
Hour before Friday’s sentencing, President Trump sought to distance himself from Papadopoulos, saying he doesn’t know the former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to his campaign.
“I see Papadopoulos today, I don’t know Papadopoulos, I don’t know,” Trump told reporters aboard the Air Force One. “I saw him sitting in one picture at a table with me. That’s the only thing I know about him.”
Papadopoulos was pictured in March 2016 sitting at a table with Trump, then-campaign adviser Jeff Sessions who later become U.S. attorney general, and other foreign policy campaign advisers.
At that meeting, Papadopoulos reportedly proposed brokering a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a claim that Sessions disputed when testifying to Congress.
Papadopoulos is also the second defendant to be sentenced as part of the Russia probe, after Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan got 30 days behind bars for lying to federal investigators.
Mueller has so far publicly initiated criminal proceedings against over 30 individuals, including several former Trump campaign aides.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was recently found guilty of financial crimes committed prior to his time with the Trump team.