George Papadopoulos

Updated 1/25/19 at 8:45 a.m. ET

The longer special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has gone on, the more President Trump has railed against it. Since the investigation began in May 2017, the president has taken to Twitter and dismissed it as a "witch hunt" more than 125 times.

Friday is shaping up as a busy day in the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller faces deadlines in two federal courts in cases involving two former Trump insiders, a former FBI director treks up to Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview, and a onetime Trump campaign adviser gets out of prison.

Here's a quick breakdown of what's on tap for the day:

Mueller's office to detail Paul Manafort's alleged lies

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

A judge denied requests on Sunday from former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to delay his scheduled sentence to prison. He'll head there Monday and stay for two weeks.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his relationship with Russian officials and their intermediaries during the 2016 presidential election.

Ever since Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled charges against George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, the White House has insisted Papadopoulos played an unimportant role in the campaign.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated on Nov. 3 at 11:04 a.m. E.D.T.

President Donald Trump said "I don't remember much" about a March 2016 meeting at which a foreign policy adviser proposed setting up a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It was a very unimportant meeting, took place a long time ago," Trump told reporters at the White House before he boarded a helicopter for his trip to Asia.

Nearly a year after Election Day, Americans have the clearest picture yet about the extent of the influence campaign Russia ran against the United States in 2016.

The operation had a clandestine side and an overt side, and aspects that moved from one into the other. It involved a number of Russian government intelligence officers and cyber-operatives within Russia, as well as at least a few operatives working in the West.

And, according to at least one former top U.S. spymaster, it went better than its authors could have possibly imagined.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Before George Papadopoulos became the first legal casualty of Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia and the 2016 election, he was a 30-year-old energy lawyer best known in D.C. for getting name-dropped by Donald Trump and for reportedly embellishing his resume.

George Papadopoulos, who worked for President Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about meeting a professor with Russian ties who had promised to provide "dirt" on Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

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