Who’s who in the George Papadopoulos court documents – Washington Post
Newly released court documents show that Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos communicated with several senior campaign officials about his outreach to the Russian government over a period of months. The recipients of Papadopoulos’s emails are not named in the filings, but The Washington Post has identified several individuals based on interviews and other documents. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty this month to lying to federal agents about his outreach to Russia.
“The Campaign Supervisor”: Trump campaign national co-chairman Sam Clovis
Victoria Toensing, an attorney for Sam Clovis, confirmed that several references in court filings to “the campaign supervisor” refer to the onetime radio host from Iowa, who served as Trump’s national campaign co-chairman.
At one point, Papadopoulos emailed Clovis and other campaign officials about a March 24, 2016, meeting he had in London with a professor, who had introduced him to the Russian ambassador and a Russian woman he described as “Putin’s niece.” The group had talked about arranging a meeting “between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” Papadopoulos wrote. (Papadopoulos later learned that the woman was not Putin’s niece, and while he expected to meet the ambassador, he never did, according to filings.)
Clovis responded that he would “work it through the campaign,” adding, “great work,” according to court documents.
In August 2016, Clovis responded to efforts by Papadopoulos to organize an “off the record” meeting with Russian officials. “I would encourage you” and another foreign policy adviser to the campaign to “make the trip, if it is feasible,” Clovis wrote.
Toensing said Clovis “always vigorously opposed any Russian trip for Donald Trump and/or the campaign.” She said his responses to Papadopoulos were courtesy by “a polite gentleman from Iowa.”
“High-Ranking Campaign Official”: Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
Emails previously described to The Post indicate that the “high-ranking campaign official” described in court documents is onetime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The emails were among more than 20,000 pages that the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees after review by White House and defense lawyers.
Lewandowski, who was pushed out of his post in June 2016, did not respond to requests for comment.
Papadopoulos wrote to Lewandowski several times to let him know that the Russians were interested in forging a relationship with the campaign, court filings show.
In one email on April 27, 2016, Papadopoulos wrote “to discuss Russia’s interest in hosting Mr. Trump.”
“Have been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin wanting to host him and the team when the time is right,” he added.
In May, Papadopoulos forwarded to Lewandowski an offer of “cooperation” from a Russian with links to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Is this something we want to move forward with?” he asked.
There is no indication if or how Lewandowski responded to those messages. But in June, when Papadopoulos emailed him again about Russia, Lewandowski referred him to Clovis because he “is running point,” according to court documents.
“Another high-ranking campaign official”: Campaign chairman Paul Manafort
The court filings indicate that Papadopoulos emailed “another high-ranking campaign official” on May 21, 2016, with the subject line “Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump.”
The Post has previously identified this official as Paul Manafort, who was indicted Monday on unrelated criminal charges.
Manafort forwarded Papadopoulos’s email to another campaign official, stating: “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips,” referring to a trip to Russia. “It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni in August told The Post that the campaign chairman’s response indicated that “any invitation by Russia, directly or indirectly, would be rejected outright.”
“Another campaign official”: Manafort deputy Rick Gates
The Post has previously identified the official who received the May 21, 2016, email from Manafort as his deputy, Rick Gates. Gates was indicted Monday on unrelated criminal charges.
“Senior Policy Advisor”: Unknown
The court filings indicate that on April 27, 2016, Papadopoulos emailed a “senior policy advisor” and wrote, “Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right.”
The Post has not identified this official.
“The Professor”: Joseph Mifsud, director of the London Academy of Diplomacy
According to emails previously described to The Post, the London-based professor who was a key contact for Papadopoulos in his Russian outreach is Joseph Mifsud, who formerly served as a government official in Malta.
Mifsud did not respond to a request for comment Monday. In an email to The Post in August, he wrote that he had “absolutely no contact with the Russian government” and said his only ties to Russia were through academic links.
Papadopoulos met Mifsud in March 2016 while traveling in Italy, according to court records. The professor “seemed uninterested” in Papadopoulos until he learned that he was a campaign adviser, according to court filings.
Five days after Trump named Papadopoulos as one of his advisers during a meeting at The Post, Papadopoulos and Mifsud met in London. The professor brought with him a Russian woman who was introduced as a relative of President Vladimir Putin who had connections to senior Russian government officials.
The following month, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow, where he had learned from high-level Russian government officials that Russia had “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.”
“The Female Russian National”: Unknown
Court documents show that Papadopoulos corresponded with a “female Russian national” whom he initially believed was Putin’s niece.
At one point, she wrote to him, “The Russian Federation would love to welcome [Trump] once his candidature would be officially announced.”
The Post has not identified the woman.
“A Russian National Connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”: Ivan Timofeev
In April 2016, Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos over email to a man in Moscow who told Papadopoulos that he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, court records show.
Emails previously described to The Post indicate that the man is Ivan Timofeev, a program director at a Russian government-funded think tank called the Russian International Affairs Council.
Papadopoulos communicated via Skype and email with Timofeev to discuss establishing ties between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
On Monday, Timofeev declined to comment, referring a reporter to a statement the Russian International Affairs Council posted in August in response to a Post story. The statement said that Papadapoulos had contacted the council and “put forth the idea of a possible visit to Russia by Mr. Trump or his team members.”
“Given the RIAC’s established practice of hosting public meetings with prominent politicians and public figures from the U.S. and other countries, the U.S. initiative was a matter of routine for the Council,” the statement said, pointing out that among the council’s guest speakers was former U.S. ambassador Michael McFaul.
Timofeev told The Post in August that the idea of a meeting with Trump officials was dropped after he received no official request from the Trump campaign for a meeting.
David Filipov in Moscow, Karla Adam in London, and Tom Hamburger and Robert Costa in Washington contributed to this report.
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