Tags: Donald Trump | George W. Bush | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | george papadopoulos | robert mueller

Former Trump Adviser Papadopoulos Pleads Guilty to False Statements

Monday, 30 October 2017 01:05 PM

A former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign admitted he worked with representatives of the Russian government during the campaign as he pleaded guilty in FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

George Papadopoulos, who had suggested Donald Trump meet with top Russian leaders during the campaign, pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to making false statements during an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Papadopoulos is cooperating with Mueller's probe, and his indictment lists an unidentified campaign supervisor who also was aware of contacts with the Russians.

In a statement of the offense made public Monday in federal court in Washington, prosecutors describe how Papadopoulos held himself out to be conduit between the Trump campaign and high-level Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Papadopoulos was one of five foreign policy advisers to the Trump campaign.

An unidentified London professor who had made contact with Papadopoulos in 2016 claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to the court filing. The professor said he had substantial connections to Russian government officials.

Papadopoulos met with the professor in London around March 21, 2016, prosecutors said. The professor brought with him a "female Russian national" introduced to Papadopoulos as a relative of Putin.

Ten days later, the indictment said, Papadopoulos attended a "national security meeting" that included Trump. When introduced at the meeting, Papadopoulos said he had connections he could use to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin, it said.

That unnamed Russian national began communicating with Papadopoulos after the meeting.

"As mentioned, we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump," she wrote in an April 2016 email disclosed by prosecutors. "The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced."

Also around that time, prosecutors said, Papadopoulos emailed a high-ranking official of the Trump campaign "to discuss Russia's interest in hosting Mr. Trump. Have been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin wanting to host him and the team when the time is right."

Days later, Papadopoulos thanked the professor for his "critical help" in arranging a meeting between campaign aides and the Russian government, saying, "It's history-making if it happens," according to prosecutors.

Papadopoulos was arrested after arriving at Dulles International Airport on July 27, 2017, according to the court filing. The day before, FBI agents executed a no-knock search warrant on the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, in which they secured files stored on Manafort's computer.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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A former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign pleaded guilty of working with representatives of the Russian government, as targeted by FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
george papadopoulos, robert mueller, fbi, indictment
Monday, 30 October 2017 01:05 PM
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