George Papadopolous, a former foreign policy adviser for the President Donald Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to the FBI, according to documents released by the Justice Department on Monday.
Who is Papadopolous?
Reuters reported that Papadopolous is an international energy lawyer in Chicago who worked on Trump’s campaign.
What did he do?
Prosecutors said Papadopoulos “made material false statements and material omissions” during a Jan. 27, 2017, interview with the FBI about the nature, timing, and extent of his communications with Russian nationals with ties to senior Russian government officials. According to the documents, Papadopoulos described one of the individuals with whom he communicated as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Among the charges, the documents say Papadopoulos acknowledged having conversations with an overseas professor who had told him the Russians had "dirt" on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails," but claimed this conversation took place prior to his role on the Trump campaign. The FBI said Papadopoulos lied about the timing of this conversation, and in fact, it took place after joining Trump's campaign. The documents say Papadopoulos called the professor "a nothing" when he actually had "substantial connections to Russian government officials."
According to the documents, Papadopolous’ “false statements and omissions” impeded “the FBI's ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with [the Trump campaign] and the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”
He pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, and the case was unsealed Monday.
Who else is facing charges?
Papadopolous is one of three advisers to Trump’s campaign to face criminal charges thus far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate, Richard Gates, are also facing charges.