Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos said he’s considering withdrawing his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller after learning “certain information” during an interview with House Republicans on Thursday, ABC News reports.
George Papadopoulos told ABC News that he floated the idea of a summit between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin at a campaign security team meeting on March 31, 2016. Jeff Sessions, now the Attorney General, later told Congress he shut down the idea of a summit at that meeting.
“Papadopoulos said there were mixed reactions to the summit idea among Trump’s advisers, but that many in the campaign supported his efforts, including Corey Lewandowski, the then-campaign manager, Sam Clovis, a senior aide, and Trump himself. He recalled Trump nodding his head when Papadopoulos proposed the meeting, but then appeared to defer to Sessions.”
Said Papadopoulos: “He was open to this idea. And he deferred, of course, to then senior Senator Jeff Sessions, who I remember being quite enthusiastic.”
“On the day Donald Trump’s former foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in jail for lying to investigators about his contacts with a U.K. professor peddling dirt from Russian officials about Hillary Clinton, lawyers in an unrelated case raised the prospect the professor, Joseph Mifsud, may be dead,” Bloomberg reports.
George Papadopoulos, a once low-profile foreign policy campaign adviser whose offhand remark in a London bar helped trigger an FBI investigation into President Trump’s campaign, was sentenced to 14 days incarceration, the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “He is the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced as part of the continuing investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Three others pleaded guilty or were convicted of felonies and await sentencing.”
In an interview, Papadopoulos told CNN that he doesn’t remember telling anyone on the campaign that Russia had damaging emails about Hillary Clinton, but “can’t guarantee” that he kept the bombshell from his campaign colleagues.
“George Papadopoulos, the novice, unpaid foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump who rose to prominence when he became the first former campaign adviser arrested as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian-influence probe, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Washington,” ABC News reports.
“Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to FBI agents about his correspondence with Russian nationals and attempts to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian officials. He faces up to six months in prison.”
President Donald Trump “nodded with approval” at the suggestion of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a court filing that seeks leniency for a former campaign aide who lied to the FBI, the AP reports.
Lawyers for George Papadopoulos are seeking probation, saying the foreign policy adviser misled agents during a January 2017 interview not to harm an investigation but rather to “save his professional aspirations and preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master.”
Politico: “Papadopoulos appears to have been the first person in Trump circles alerted to the fact that the Russians had access to emails that could be damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended in a court filing on Friday that a judge sentence former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos to up to six months in prison for lying to federal agents investigating whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Reuters reports.
“According to Mueller’s sentencing memorandum to the judge, Papadopoulos lied about his contacts with people who claimed to have ties to top Russian officials, including his meeting with a professor who said Russia had ‘dirt’ on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”
“Muller also told the judge that Papadopoulos had not fully cooperated with prosecutors.”
“Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, be sentenced in September on the false-statement felony charge he pleaded guilty to last fall,” Politico reports.
“A federal judge agreed to begin the process of preparing to sentence George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, an initial move toward wrapping up one phase of the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller,” the Washington Post reports.
“Prosecutors’ willingness to start the sentencing process for Papadopoulos may be a sign that their need of assistance from the young oil and gas consultant is coming to a close.”
New York Times: “Testifying behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in late March, the official, John K. Mashburn, said he remembered the email coming from George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign who was approached by a Russian agent, sometime before the party conventions — and well before WikiLeaks began publishing messages stolen in hackings from Democrats. Such an email could have proved explosive, providing evidence that at least one high-ranking Trump campaign official was alerted to Russia’s meddling, raising questions about which advisers knew and undercutting President Trump’s denials of collusion. But two months after Mr. Mashburn testified, investigators for the Senate Judiciary Committee have not found any such message.”
“When a Russian news agency reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election, the young adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump made sure to seek approval from campaign headquarters,” the Washington Post reports.
Emailed deputy communication director Byran Lanza: “You should do it,” while emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. “partnership with Russia.”
“The exchange was a sign that Papadopoulos — who pushed the Trump operation to meet with Russian officials — had the campaign’s blessing for some of his foreign outreach.”
A great new book, Russian Roulette, reports that George Papadopoulos spent months “trying to set up a back channel between the campaign and the Kremlin, in part to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting before Election Day,” according to Mother Jones.
“According to a later court filing, Papadopoulos, who in October 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, aimed to set up an ‘off the record’ meeting between campaign representatives and Putin’s office. Trump has famously denied there was any relationship between his campaign and Moscow. But Russian Roulette reveals that Papadopoulos has told investigators that at a March 31, 2016, meeting Trump held with his foreign policy team, when Papadopoulos informed Trump he had contacts in the United Kingdom who could set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, Trump said this was an ‘interesting’ idea. Trump, according to Papadopoulos’ account, looked at then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a top Trump adviser at the time, as if he expected him to follow up. Afterward, Papadopoulos, working with Russian cutouts, kept pursuing such a meeting.”
“I believe history will remember him like John Dean.”
— Simona Mangiante, the fiancee of George Papadopoulos, quoted by the Washington Post, adding “there’s a lot to come.”
“When former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos stepped off a flight from Germany at Dulles Airport outside Washington last July, he had no inkling of the unwelcome surprise in store for him: FBI agents waiting to place him under arrest. For the 29-year-old Chicago native, it was going to be a long night,” Politico reports.
“Jail records obtained by Politico show Papadopoulos was booked in at the Alexandria (Va.) city detention center at 1:45 a.m. the following morning. Despite the late arrival at the jail and the fact that Papadopoulos later agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, his Chicago-based defense lawyers Thomas Breen and Rob Stanley said in an interview that the FBI did not attempt to interrogate him right away.”
Politico: “George Papadopoulos claimed last year that Donald Trump telephoned him to discuss his new position as a foreign policy adviser to his presidential campaign and that the two had at least one personal introductory meeting that the White House has not acknowledged. Papadopoulos also claimed that he’d been given a ‘blank check’ to choose a senior Trump administration job and authorized to represent the candidate in overseas meetings with foreign leaders, and at a campaign event in New York.”
“George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign policy aide who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, initially misled agents out of what he claimed was loyalty to President Trump,” ABC News reports.
“Trump had publicly denied that there had been any contact between his campaign and Russian officials, and Papadopoulos did not want to contradict the official line, the source said.”