“Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to one count of lying to FBI agents about the nature of his interactions with “foreign nationals” who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials. The plea was unsealed Monday.
According to court documents, Papadopoulos misstated the timing of his interactions with an overseas professor [Joseph Mifsud] who apparently had connections to the Russian government. While Papadopoulos acknowledged that the professor had told him that the the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — thousands of emails — he claimed that he had learned this before he joined the Trump campaign.
However, investigators found that Papadopoulos joined the campaign in early March 2016, and he met with the professor in mid-March 2016. Papadopoulos also claimed in his FBI interview that the professor was “a nothing,” and just a guy talking up his connections. But in fact, the 30-year-old senior foreign adviser was trying to make contact with the Kremlin through the professor’s connections.
Among those connections was a female Russian national who was described in Papadopoulos’ emails as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s niece (he later learned she was not related to Putin). Papadopoulos, according to the court documents, worked with the Russian national and the professor to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He also told advisers to the campaign that he could help arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and Putin.
Papadopoulos told the FBI that he had done some “shuttle diplomacy” for the president, but he did not inform investigators about his interactions with the professor and the Russian national regarding his efforts to set up meetings between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
He also lied about the extent of his conversations with the Russian national, stating that the their communications were limited to emails that said “just, ‘Hi, how are you?'” and “‘That’s it,'” he told the FBI.” (Read more: CBS News, 10/30/2017)