Federal authorities had cornered the man they suspected could be part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — and they might have been more successful in their investigation in early 2017 if it had not been for George Papadopoulos, the special counsel alleged on Friday.
…Papadopoulos lied to the FBI in January 2017 about his contact in London with Joseph Mifsud,identified in the filing as “the Professor.” Mifsud had told Papadopoulos the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
…Papadopoulos lied “to minimize both his own role as a witness and the extent of the campaign’s knowledge of his contacts,” the prosecutors said.
Among “at least a dozen” lies at the interview, Papadopoulos concealed the “significance” of when he had learned that Russians possessed thousands of emails about Clinton. Papadopoulos said wrongly several times he had communicated with Mifsud before he joined the Trump campaign.
…In another curious detail in the filing, the special counsel team said Papadopoulos had been given $10,000 in cash “from a foreign national whom he believed was likely an intelligence officer of a foreign country.” The filing noted that the country was “other than Russia.”
Mueller has also recommended a $9,500 fine.
Papadopoulos is scheduled to be sentenced in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Sept. 7.
Another defendant, Alex van der Zwaan, also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. He received 30 days in prison.