Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos must report to prison on Monday as scheduled, a judge ruled Sunday, denying his bid to delay his term until an appeals court rules in a separate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment.
In a 13-page ruling, Obama-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss noted that Papadopoulos had forfeited most of his rights to contest his conviction when he became the first person to plead guilty in Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Papadopoulos “has failed to demonstrate that the D.C. Circuit is likely to conclude that the appointment of the Special Counsel was unlawful — and, indeed, he has failed even to show that the appeal raises a ‘close question’ that ‘very well could be decided’ against the Special Counsel,” Moss wrote, citing other decisions affirming Mueller’s authority.
He continued: “Papadopoulos has not identified any extenuating circumstances — nor is the Court aware of any — that would overcome the presumption against granting such an eleventh-hour stay.”
Trump in recent days has lent support to the theory that Mueller has exceeded his legal authority from Congress, calling the probe an “illegal witch hunt” on Twitter. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who now oversees Mueller as head of the Department of Justice, has argued that Mueller has come close to exceeding his statutory powers.
Papadopoulos was sentenced in September to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI during Mueller’s investigation. – READ MORE