George Papadopoulos, a former national security adviser to Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to giving false statements to the FBI about his dealings with Russian operatives during his time with the campaign, a revelation that has been held up as clearer evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
According to the 14-page indictment filed by Special Counsel Robert Muellerâs office, Papadopoulos âmade material false statements and material omissions during an interview with the [FBI] that took place on January 27, 2017.â
âAt the time of the interview, the FBI had an open investigation into the Russian governmentâs efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the Campaign and Russiaâs efforts,â the document continues.
Papadopoulos claims to have interacted with âan overseas professorâ who possessed âdirtâ on Hillary Clinton. Although he originally insisted that he only spoke with the professor prior to working for Trumpâs campaign, it was discovered that âPapadopoulos had been a foreign policy adviser to the Campaign for over a month.â
Papadopoulos also lied about the so-called professorâs knowledge and connection to Russian government officials, as well as his communications with a âcertain female Russian nationalâ who was to offer âher Russian connections over a period of months to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.â
The indictment goes on to detail Papadopoulosâs repeated efforts to set up an âoff the recordâ meeting between Trump campaign officials and members of Putinâs inner circle, but there is no suggestion that Trump signed off on the trip.
Papadopoulos, who was arrested in July 2017 at Dulles airport, also admitted to deactivating his Facebook account after subjecting to an FBI interview, creating a new Facebook account, and switching his cell phone number.