Tags: foreign policy adviser | george papadopoulos | fbi

Politico: Papadopoulos' Surprise Arrest Meant to Shock Him

Image: Politico: Papadopoulos' Surprise Arrest Meant to Shock Him
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos' surprise arrest by FBI agents was meant to shock him, according to a published report in Politico. (AP)

By    |   Monday, 04 December 2017 11:28 AM

Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos' surprise arrest by FBI agents as he stepped off a flight from Germany at Dulles Airport in Washington last July appears to have been a move calculated to shock him about the seriousness of his predicament, experts told Politico in an article published on Monday.

"You get off an airplane expecting to get your bags and get home and instead there are two guys there in trench coats waiting to arrest you. That's pretty shocking," said former federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer. "I wouldn't underestimate the shock value of that to flip someone."

Indeed, by the next morning, special counsel Robert Mueller's team told a federal judge that Papadopoulos had "indicated he is willing to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election."

Papadopoulos was released on his own recognizance that afternoon, with prosecutors making no attempt to seek bail or keep him in jail, and by October he became the first person to admit to a crime in connection with the probe.

Papadopoulos defense lawyer Thomas Breen said he did not know why prosecutors arrested his client in July even before they had gone to court to seek a warrant or formal charges.

"They had probable cause. They could have arrested him at any time," he said. "Why'd they do it at that point in time? I don't know. They haven't told me their strategy."

However, Breen appeared to agree with Cramer, telling Politico that "law enforcement likes to get somebody's attention as much as they can in a lawful way."

Breen and Papadopoulos' other attorney, Rob Stanley, said they initially planned to remain quiet about the circumstances of their client’s arrest, but decided to speak out to avoid speculation about what happened to Papadopoulos the night he was arrested, brought to jail and kept there overnight until his court appearance the next day.

The lawyers said that the FBI did not attempt to interrogate Papadopoulos right away and that they were informed immediately after the arrest by the FBI that their client was being taken into custody.

Breen declined to give specifics of his conversations with his client, but suggested Papadopoulos was indeed agitated.

"That night, they did everything they could to let me and Rob talk to him and calm him down and explain to him that he was going to court tomorrow," said Breen.

Papadopoulos learned that night that he was being charged with lying to the FBI in a January interview about his contacts with pro-Russian advocates and with obstruction of justice for shutting down his Facebook account one day after a follow-up interview with the FBI in February.

Exactly what Papadopoulos did in recent months to aid the probe remains unclear and the subject of speculation among Trump aides and former campaign officials, but prosecutors seemed pleased with the cooperation because they dropped the obstruction charge and allowed him to plead guilty to the false statement charge.

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Politics
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos’ surprise arrest by FBI agents as he stepped off a flight from Germany last July appears to have been a move calculated to shock him about the seriousness of his predicament, experts told Politico.
foreign policy adviser, george papadopoulos, fbi
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2017-28-04
Monday, 04 December 2017 11:28 AM
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