Apparently putting to rest suggestions that he might withdraw his guilty plea, Simona Papadopoulos says her husband George, the one time Trump advisor, will admit to certain “inaccuracies” in his interview with the FBI.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to agents about his contacts with a European professor who reportedly offered dirt in the form of Hillary Clinton emails. His wife Simona told NBC 5 that while he will admit to certain “inaccuracies”, she hopes the judge will realize the “irrelevance” of those statements and his “lack of criminal intention.”
“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 Putin---he did not talk even once about dirt on Hillary Clinton!”
Indeed, Papadopoulous, a frequent and outspoken defender of her husband on Twitter, has suggested he may have been set up, and referred to him as a “sacrificial lamb” in the Russian investigation.
“George’s role has been completely understood,” she said. “Or better, fabricated in a way to lead people to believe he was conspiring against the United States.”
Central to the case is Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor who prosecutors have suggested was a key middleman between Papadopoulos and Russian officials. Court documents say the professor told Papadopolous the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
Complicating the issue, The Guardian reported that Simona Papadopoulos actually worked for Mifsud in 2016 before her husband ever met him, but only stayed in the job for three months.
“He is sneaky---someone you can’t read,” the Guardian quoted her as saying. “He was vague about everything.”
In the government’s “statement of offense” filed last October, prosecutors said Papadopolous claimed his interactions with the professor occurred before he was an advisor to the Trump campaign.
“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,” the document stated. “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.”
Papdopoulos signed that statement of the offense and said it was “true and correct”. That document stopped short of saying that he took actions related to the Russian emails. But published reports say Papadopoulos’s reported boasts to an Australian diplomat about the Russian emails, set the entire Russian probe in motion.
Simona Papadopoulos says she knows the public believes her husband was at the center of the entire Russian affair, and that all she has ever tried to do was set the record straight.
“I trusted the job of Mueller until I found out that George was officially the reason why the investigation originated,” his wife told NBC5. “The judge is going to judge George to give a picture which is based on the facts, and not opinions.”
In a text message Thursday afternoon, she said she was hopeful the court would see the entire matter in a larger context.
“I hope the judge will take into account these inaccuracies, in order to assess George’s role in the investigation,” she said. “and yes, definitely decide for zero jail time.”