Trump aide pleads guilty to lying to FBI about Russia links, including ‘Putin’s niece’
George Papadopoulos Admits Lying To FBI About Russian Connections During Trump Campaign
A sealed indictment was released today confirming former Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his links to Russia. The indictment was dated October 5 but was unsealed today along with the explosive news former campaign manager Paul Manafort turned himself in to the FBI on twelve charges.
The Papadopoulos plea adds to the reality members of the Trump campaign sought help from people openly stating they were connected to the Russian government. A trail of emails shows Papadopoulos was aware he was talking to people claiming to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton obtained by the Vladimir Putin government.
Papadopoulos met with a “professor” who only took interest in the adviser once he became a member of the Trump campaign team. The unnamed “professor” promised the Russians had “‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails'” after Papadopoulos joined the campaign. The “professor” mentions at one point in an email he was taking “meetings at the Duma”, the Russian legislative body.
The Trump adviser lied to the FBI about the timeline of when the “professor” told him about the “dirt”. He also lied about the fact the professor had “substantial connections to Russian government officials”.
Papadopoulos also met with a “Female Russian National” through the “professor” who is described in one email as “Putin’s niece”. He later learned the female “was not in fact a relative of President Putin”.
The Trump adviser was trying to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin that never materialized. While none are named, Papadopoulos was in contact with a Trump “Campaign Supervisor”, “Senior Policy Advisor”, and “another high ranking Campaign official”.
He was informed of the “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in late April of 2016, more than a month after joining the Trump campaign. The “professor” informed him of “thousands of emails” after “he had met with high-level Russian government officials”.
One email between Trump campaign officials regarding the meeting with Putin acknowledges the sensitivity of the ongoing matter at the time. It stated:
Let[‘]s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.
Papadopoulos also emailed a “High-Ranking Campaign Official” with a message titled “New message from Russia”. The email describes the “Russian ministry of foreign affairs” wanting to set up a meeting and Papadopoulos agreeing to “make the trip off the record” if it helps the campaign.
Related: Trump shill Lewandowski falls flat trying to blame Russia scandal on ‘the Clinton Administration’
Helping seal his guilt, the document states Papadopoulos deleted his Facebook account and created a new one the day after an interview with the FBI. He had used his Facebook account to communicate with the “professor” and the “Russian MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Connection”. Days later, he ditched his cell phone number.
George Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27th, 2017, according to the government document.
Donald Trump described the adviser as an “excellent guy” during a talk with the Washington Post during the campaign.
For anyone unfamiliar with George Papadopoulos and his role on the Trump campaign, President Trump touted him as an advisor and an "excellent guy" when he met with the Washington Post editorial board in 2016. https://t.co/raWiDqphpX pic.twitter.com/Wt7kw0Ae5f
— Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) October 30, 2017
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti suggests from his reading of the document that Papadopoulos may have “flipped” in the process. The start of his Tweet thread can be read here for a better understanding:
THREAD: What does news that George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI mean? (Hint: He's flipping.)
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) October 30, 2017
Related: Trump goes ballistic after patriotic billionaire trolls him with impeachment ad on Fox News
The unsealing of the Papadopoulos guilty plea comes just after the indictment of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates on twelve charges, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering.
Featured image via Donald Trump Twitter account @realDonaldTrump.
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