George Papadopoulos and the Web of Connections Surrounding Him

Photo: CNBC

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, was released from prison on Friday, December 7, after serving twelve days on a fourteen-day sentence. He was the first member of Trump’s team to be sentenced as a part of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation (different sources waver as to whether or not Papadopoulos was the first member of Trump’s team to be sentenced).

In January, 2017, Papadopoulos was interrogated by the FBI regarding any Trump campaign connections with Russia. Shortly after his interrogation, Papadopoulos deleted his Facebook account that contained proof of communications with Russians.

According to CBS News, last October, Papadopoulos plead guilty for “lying to investigators with the Mueller probe about his contacts with Russians.”

Papadopoulos’ pleading guilty was a part of a plea bargain “reflecting his cooperation with the Mueller investigation.”

Before he was involved with the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos worked as the foreign policy adviser for Ben Carson’s presidential campaign from December 2015 to February 2016. In the March of 2016, Papadopoulos became a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.  That September, Papadopoulos said to the Russian Interfax News Agency that he and Trump’s team would “restore the trust” between the United States and Russia.

According to a statement from Robert Mueller, Papadopoulos lied about meeting a foreign professor prior to joining Trump’s team. Contradictory to his claims, Papadopoulos had already been a part of Trump’s campaign. The professor, mentioned above, claimed to have Russian connections who had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Mueller’s statement claims, “[Papadopoulos] repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials.”

The statement also says that Papadopoulos and the professor met with a Russian woman, and Papadopoulos later informed the campaign.

In a statement signed by Papadopoulos, he claimed to have “connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.”

Papadopoulos continued to inform other members of the foreign policy team about his connections with Russia.

Papadopoulos emailed senior Trump advisers about the alleged “dirt” Russia had against Hillary Clinton. Mueller’s statement says that Papadopoulos said in his emails, “Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right” to senior advisers. “Between March and September 2016, Papadopoulos made at least six requests for Trump or representatives of his campaign to meet in Russia with Russian politicians.”

Paul Manafort sent one such request to Rick Gates and said, “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low-level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

Both Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been indicted as a result of Mueller’s investigations.

The web surrounding George Papadopoulos may continue to grow as the Mueller probe proceeds. The extent of possible collusion with Russia is still unknown as more facts are being uncovered.

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