A former Trump campaign aide has pleaded guilty of making false statements to the FBI.
George Papadopoulos, who repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Russian government officials after joining the Trump campaign in March of 2016, lied to US investigators earlier this year in January about the nature of his contacts with Russian operatives, according to the indictment.
“Papadopoulos claimed that his interactions with an overseas professor, who defendant Papadopoulos understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials, occurred before [he] became a foreign policy adviser to the campaign,” the indictment says.
“Papadopoulos acknowledged that the 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. In truth and in fact, however… Papadopoulos learned he would be an advisor to the campaign in early March, and met the professor on or about March 14, 2016.”
While Papadopoulos told FBI agents that the professor in question was an unimportant figure, investigators later determined that Papadopoulos knew all along about the professor’s deep ties to the Kremlin.
The indictment also alleges that Papadopoulos told FBI agents that he had very limited interactions with an unidentified Russian woman — but agents later learned that he reached out to her with the specific intention of arranging meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.