Trump campaign adviser pleads guilty to misleading investigators about Russia contacts; Manafort indicted on conspiracy

Source: Yahoo News

By JOHN SANTUCCI and ADAM KELSEY

George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to FBI agents about his correspondence with Russian nationals and attempts to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian officials.

News of the plea came Monday morning, shortly after Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s longtime business associate Rick Gates were indicted on charges including conspiracy against the United States, money laundering and working as unregistered foreign agents.

Papadopoulos admitted to making false statements and making material omissions to investigators in January probing interference in the 2016 presidential election in relation to his contacts with a Russian professor with ties to the Russian government.

As outlined in the statement of Papadopoulos’ offense, the foreign policy adviser met with an individual who put him in contact with a woman whom he believed to a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He later told Trump that he might be able to arrange a meeting between the candidate and the president. One of Papadopoulos’ contacts told him in April 2016 that the Russians “have dirt on” Hillary Clinton, after which he told campaign associates he had “interesting messages coming in from Moscow.”

After he was interviewed, Papadopoulos deactivated a Facebook account which contained information about his communications with his Russian contacts and stopped using his then-current cell phone number. He was arrested in July and has been “met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions” since then, according to the plea documentation.

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