George Papadopoulos, a national security adviser to the Trump campaign, has pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI under 18 U.S. Code Section 1001. The below details come from the statement of the offense (a statement of the facts that Papadopoulos has confirmed. The things reported in the statement of the offense aren’t the entire list of facts that Papadopoulos has shared with prosecutors; instead, they are a list of facts the prosecution deems sufficient to show guilt. Let’s begin with what Papadopoulos and the prosecution say actually happened.
- Papadopoulos made false statements to the FBI during an interview conducted on January 27, 2017.
- At the time of the interview, the FBI had an open investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and whether there was any coordination between members of the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
- Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser in early March of 2016.
- On or about March 6, 2016, Papadopoulos had a conversation with someone identified as a “campaign supervisor.” Papadopoulos understood that a principal foreign policy focus was an improved relationship with Russia.
- On or about March 14, 2016 (after he joined the campaign) Papadopoulos met an overseas professor.
- When Papadopoulos told the professor he had joined the campaign, the professor took great interest in Papadopoulos.
- On or about March 21, 2016, the campaign told the Washington Post that Papadopoulos was one of the campaign’s five named foreign policy advisers.
- On or about March 24, 2016, Papadopoulos met with the professor in London. The professor introduced him to a female Russian national.
- Following the meeting, Papadopoulos emailed the campaign supervisor and several members of the campaign’s foreign policy team and stated he just met with his “good friend,” and he described the female as Putin’s niece. His email said the purpose of their conversation was to discuss US Russian ties under Trump.
- The campaign supervisor said he would “Work it through the campaign,” but no commitments should be made. He added, “Great work.”
- On or about March 31, 2016, Papadopoulos attended a national security meeting with Trump and other members of the campaign’s foreign policy team.
- Papadopoulos later learned the female isn’t Putin’s niece.
- On or about April 25, 2016, Papadopoulos emailed someone identified as the “senior policy adviser” to say that the Russian government has an open invitation for Trump to meet Putin.
- On or About April 26, 2016, the professor told Papadopoulos the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
- Papadopoulos understood the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling him about Clinton’s emails.
- Over several months, Papadopoulos sought to use the professor’s connections to arrange a meeting between members of the campaign and officials from the Russian government.
Now let’s look at what Papadopoulos told investigators.
- On multiple occasions, Papadopoulos told the FBI he learned about the emails before joining the campaign.
- Papadopoulos told investigators the professor was a “nothing.”
- Papadopoulos told the FBI he met the female Russian national before he joined the campaign.
- He falsely indicated his communications with the female agent consisted of emails such as: “Hi, how are you?”
- Through his false statements and omissions, Papadopoulos impeded the FBI’s investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
This isn’t a complete rewrite of the statement of the offense. I’ve done my best to give you what I believe is the most relevant information while trying to keep the material from getting boring.