National News

Former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to false statements to the FBI

Posted October 30, 2017 11:01 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2017 11:48 a.m. EDT

Federal court documents unsealed Monday show that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to President Donald Trump’s campaign, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

According to court filings, Papadopoulos was seeking contacts between the campaign and foreign operatives with connections to the Russian government.

The former advisor was arrested at Dulles International Airport and charged in late July. He entered a plea deal on Oct. 5, but it was sealed until the indictments of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates were made public on Oct. 30.

The plea deal stipulates that Papadopoulos will cooperate by providing information to the FBI in exchange for a reduced sentence.

According to the criminal complaint, Papadopoulos emailed campaign officials in March 2016 to tell them he had had lunch with a contact in London who had introduced him to Russia’s acting deputy foreign minister and the niece of Russian president Vladimir Putin. He said Russian officials were eager to meet with Trump.

Papadopoulos said his contact in London, described as "the Professor," told him in spring of 2016 that the Russians had "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

Some of the contacts made by Papadopoulos were via Facebook Messenger, according to the complaint. Papadopoulos shut down his Facebook account and created a new, different one after being interviewed by the FBI. But the FBI subpoenaed and received records of the account that contained those messages, which went on through the summer of 2016, even after Manafort’s ties to Russia attracted national attention.