George Papadopoulos will stick with plea deal after weighing reversal, wife says

August 30, 2018 GMT

George Papadopoulos, a member of President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, has decided against withdrawing his plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller, his wife said Wednesday, setting the stage for the former policy adviser to be sentenced next week over lying to FBI agents investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 race.

“George will take responsibility for some inaccuracies during the interview with the FBI,” Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos said in a statement.

“I hope the judge will take into account these inaccuracies,” she added.

Mr. Papadopoulos, 31, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to a single count connected to lying to federal authorities investigating alleged Russian election interference, but last week his wife said he was considering changing course, potentially derailing a previously scheduled sentencing hearing set for Sept. 7.

According to court filings, Mr. Papadopoulos admitted misleading FBI agents with respect to his contacts with Russians and Russian intermediaries during the presidential election, including a London-based professor who told him in early 2016 that Russians had gathered “dirt” on Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Defendant Papadopoulos acknowledged that the professor had told him about the Russians possessing dirt on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the campaign,” prosecutors said previously. “In truth and fact ... the professor told Papadopoulos about the thousands of emails on or about April 26, 2016, when defendant Papadopoulos had been a foreign policy advisor to the campaign for over a month.”

Speaking to Chicago’s NBC 5, Mrs. Papadopoulos downplayed her husband’s conduct Wednesday.

“George was portrayed as someone actively trying to attempt to collude to influence the American election,” she said. “When we see all of the exchanges between George and the other official in the campaign, he was just trying to set up a meeting with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin he did not talk even once about dirt on Hillary Clinton!”

Mr. Mueller wrote in a court filing earlier this month that a sentence of up to six months imprisonment for Mr. Papadopoulos was “appropriate and warranted.”