EX-TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER PLEADS GUILTY TO MAKING FALSE STATEMENT

EX-TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER PLEADS GUILTY TO MAKING FALSE STATEMENT

Sarah Jannings

WASHINGTON DC- Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election revealed its first targets Monday, when a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI, after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government (Dallas News).  This was the campaign’s clearest connection so far to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election (Herb, CNN).   

The charges against top officials from Trump’s campaign signals a dramatic new phase of Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team, as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former Manafort business associate were indicted on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts.  

The guilty plea by the former adviser, George Papadopoulos, marked the first criminal count that cites interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russian intermediaries during the campaign (Dallas News, 2017).  Records describe an email between Trump campaign officials suggesting they were considering acting on Russian invitations to go to Russia (Herb, CNN).

Court papers also revealed that Papadopoulos was told about the Russians possessing dirt on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails on April 26, 2016, well before it became public that the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails had been hacked (Dallas, 2017).  Papadopoulos has been cooperating with investigators, according to court papers, a potentially ominous sign for others in the Trump orbit who might be implicated by his statements.  

President Donald Trump says alleged misdeeds by his former campaign chairman were what feels like years ago and insists there was NO COLLUSION between his 2016 campaign and Russia (Dallas News, 2017).  Papadopoulos’ guilty plea brings the Mueller probe into actions that occurred during the 2016 campaign.

The charges against Manafort and Gates are unrelated to the Trump campaign, though it’s possible Mueller could add additional charges (Herb, CNN).

“He was accused with co conspiracy with Russia.  The news is bias, but if they have critical evidence on him, prosecute, but they’ll have to look at more evidence in order to be able to do that,” said freshmen, Claire Haiker.

Sources:

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/donald-trump-1/2017/10/30/report-former-trump-campaign-manager-manafort-told-surrender-federal-authorities

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/politics/paul-manafort-russia-investigation-surrender/index.html