A former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign pleaded guilty on Monday to making false statements and “material omissions” to the FBI about the nature of links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, according to a criminal statement filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, allegedly lied to federal investigators about his interactions with a professor with ties to the Kremlin, according to the statement of offense filed Monday. The professor told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”
Papadopoulos claimed that his interactions with the professor occurred before he joined the campaign.
But “in truth and in fact,” the criminal statement says, Papadopoulos learned he would be an adviser to the campaign in early March, and he met the professor on or about March 14, 2016. The professor “only took interest” in Papadopoulos because of his role in the campaign, and the professor told Papadopoulos about the “thousands of emails” on or about April 26, 2016, when he had been on board with the Trump operation for more than a month.
The guilty plea came as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 president campaign and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Papadopolous pleaded guilty to the charge earlier this month, but it was kept secret until Monday, when charges were also unsealed against two other major players in Trump’s campaign: Trump’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate and campaign aide Rick Gates.
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