Trump campaign foreign policy adviser pleads guilty in Russia probe


WASHINGTON ― A foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to FBI agents about “dirt” he was offered on Hillary Clinton. 

George Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, but the case wasn’t unsealed until Monday, when two other Trump associates were indicted by a federal grand jury.

Papadopoulos reached a plea deal with prosecutors, and has since been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Prosecutors’ statement of the offense alleges Papadopoulos was offered thousands of emails containing “dirt” on Clinton in April 2016 ― months before the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee was known.

Papadopoulos “made material false statements and material omissions” during a Jan. 27 interview with the FBI, according to the statement. He was arrested July 27. Prosecutors agreed to recommend between no prison time to six months under the plea agreement.

15 PHOTOS
Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.
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Papadopoulos told the FBI an overseas 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,” according to court documents. In fact, Papadopoulos was contacted after he learned he’d be joining the campaign, and the professor only mentioned the “thousands of emails” after he’d been on the Trump campaign for more than a month.

The professor, the statement indicates, had “substantial connections to Russian government officials” even though Papadopoulos claimed the professor was “a nothing.” 

Papadopoulos sent a “High-Ranking Campaign Official” an email titled “New message from Russia” back in June 2016, in which he said the Russian ministry of foreign affairs wanted to meet with either Russia or a campaign official in an off-the-record capacity, according to the prosecutors’ statement. A Trup campaign supervisor encouraged Papadopoulos to make the trip “if it is feasible” on Aug. 15, 2016.

Meeting with my national security team in #WashingtonDC. #Trump2016

A post shared by President Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

  

Papadopoulos, The Washington Post reported earlier, is a 2009 graduate of DePaul University. Previously, he was an adviser to Ben Carson’s presidential campaign and was the U.S. representative at the Geneva International Model United Nations in 2012.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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