Craig Sunter / Flickr I will be an intellect...
Craig Sunter / Flickr

George Papadopolous, one of Donald Trump’s early foreign policy advisers, has pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI directly related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The defendant George Papadopolous, who served as a foreign policy adviser for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, made material false statements and material omissions during an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation …

Papadopolous falsely claimed that his discussions with a Russia-connected professor took place before he was connected to the campaign. They didn’t.

In conversations with that professor, Papadopolous was told the Russians had “thousands of emails” containing “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Those conversations took place while Papadopolous was part of the Trump campaign. And as an adviser, Papadopolous gave the campaign some advice.

In March 2016, in an email to the campaign’s foreign policy team, Papadopoulos suggested he coordinate “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” the Post reported, citing internal campaign emails turned over to congressional committees. Those committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice special counsel, is overseeing a separate FBI probe on the same subject.

Papadopolous also claimed that he had only a passing meeting with a female Russian agent but the truth was that Papadopolous made contacts over a period of months, attempting to get information from the Russian government to help the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump’s collection of foreign policy advisers, which also included Carter Page, seems to have been selected for a single purpose.

Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”

On that date, three days after Trump named Papadopolous as part of his foreign policy team, Papadopolous met in London with both the Russian-connected professor and the female Russian agent with the goal of bringing the campaign together with the Kremlin. 

In pleading guilty, Papadopolous is admitting that he not only covered up an active attempt to connect the Trump campaign and Russian government, but impeded the investigation into other members of the campaign.

On May 4, Papadopoulos forwarded [then campaign-manager Corey] Lewandowski and others a note he received from the program head for the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. In it, Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the organization, reached out to report that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting.

The “Statement of the Offense” that Papadopolous signed on Monday clearly states that it does “not constitute all of the facts known to the parties,” indicating that there are other contacts or instances of cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia that are not explicitly mentioned in the statement.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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