An early foreign policy adviser and aide to President Donald Trump’s campaign team, George Papadopoulos, secretly pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to the FBI about the nature and extent of his contacts with foreign nationals who “he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.”
Papadopoulos, 30, was a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign in early 2016. He sent at least six emails to top Trump advisers during the campaign offering to set up meetings with Russian officials, the Washington Post reported in August. The first of those emails was sent in March 2016 with the subject line “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”
The newly unsealed charge filed on October 3 by the special counsel’s office alleged that on January 27, Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents about “the timing, extent, and natue of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government offiicials.”
Papadopoulos apparently told the FBI that his outreach to the Russia-linked foreign nationals occurred before he joined the campaign. But his first interaction with an “overseas professor” with ties to high-level Russian officials occurred on March 14, 2016, weeks after he joined the campaign. That professor told Papadopoulos just over a month later that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton that came in the form of “thousands of emails.”
Papadopoulos further told the FBI that he met with a Russian woman before he joined the campaign, but he actually met her on March 24, according to the special counsel’s office.
“He believed she had connections to Russian government officials; and he sought to use her Russian connections over a period of months in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials,” the filing says.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 and now appears to be a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation.
Read the full statement of the offence against Papadopoulos below:
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