Russian-linked Trump campaign aide pleads guilty to making false statements to FBI
George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign aide who repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Russian government officials, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.
According to the indictment, Papadopoulos made his false statements to agents earlier this year in January. The former Trump campaign aide, who joined the campaign in March of 2016, made false statements about the nature of his contacts with Russian-linked figures.
“Papadopoulos claimed that his interactions with an overseas professor, who defendant Papadopoulos understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials, occurred before [he] became a foreign policy adviser to the campaign,” the indictment (PDF) alleges.
“Papadopoulos acknowledged that the professor had told him about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails,’ but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the campaign. In truth and in fact, however… Papadopoulos learned he would be an advisor to the campaign in early March, and met the professor on or about March 14, 2016.”
The indictment also alleges that Papadopoulos told FBI agents that the professor in question was an unimportant figure — even though agents later determined that Papadopoulos knew full well about the professor’s deep ties to the Kremlin.
Additionally, Papadopoulos told FBI agents that he had very limited interactions with an unidentified Russian woman — but agents later learned that he reached out to her with the specific intention of arranging meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.
“After his trip to Washington, D.C. defendant PAPADOPOULOS worked with the Professor and the Female Russian National to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government, and took steps to advise the Campaign of his progress,” the indictment states.