- The wife of Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos is making the bombshell suggestion that her husband drop a plea deal he has with special counsel Robert Mueller.
- Papadopoulos is scheduled to be sentenced in September as part of his plea deal for lying to the FBI.
- But Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos says her husband did not commit a crime. She says he should sue the federal government.
Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, the wife of former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, says her husband should find new attorneys and drop a plea deal he struck in October 2017 with the special counsel’s office.
In a tweet Wednesday, Mangiante Papadopoulos made a request for a lawyer to represent her husband pro bono.
“Your biggest reward will be #History. Your name will go down on history!” wrote Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian actress and model who once worked as an attorney in the European Parliament in Brussels.
“George should drop off his plea agreement, in my opinion,” Mangiante Papadopoulos told The Daily Caller News Foundation when contacted after her tweet.
“The idea is to find a lawyer to drop off his plea agreement and sue the government,” she added, noting that she and her husband plan to wait until after a court hearing on Friday to make a final decision.
Whether Papadopoulos, a 30-year-old energy consultant, can actually withdraw from his plea deal is another question. According to federal guidelines, defendants can withdraw from plea agreements only when they “can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2017, to lying to the FBI about the timeline of his contacts with a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud who claimed to have learned about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: A London Meeting Before The Election Aroused George Papadopoulos’s Suspicions)
Papadopoulos faces sentencing in the case on Sept. 7. The special counsel’s office will submit its recommendations for sentencing this Friday. While lying to the FBI carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, defendants in similar cases often receive six months or less in jail.
Papadopoulos told investigators that Mifsud told him during an April 26, 2016, meeting in London that he had learned Russia possessed “thousands” of Hillary Clinton-related emails. Mangiante Papadopoulos told TheDCNF that Papadopoulos believed Mifsud was referring to emails Clinton deleted from her private email server.
Papadopoulos also attempted to set up meetings between campaign officials and Russian government officials, but according to the statement of offense submitted by the special counsel’s office, the meetings never took place.
Mangiante Papadopoulos says she does not believe Papadopoulos committed a crime and is guilty instead of misremembering nuanced details of his interactions with Mifsud.
Prosecutors claim that during a Jan. 26, 2017, interview, Papadopoulos, who did not have a lawyer present, falsely claimed he met Mifsud prior to joining the campaign in March 2016. But Papadopoulos first met Mifsud about a week after learning he would join the Trump team. The pair remained in contact through the campaign.
As evidence that Papadopoulos did not intend to deceive the FBI, Mangiante Papadopoulos claims Papadopoulos volunteered Mifsud’s name to the agents who interviewed him.
Mangiante Papadopoulos has also denied that Papadopoulos took part in collusion between the campaign and Russian government. She also believes that government officials attempted to set up her husband with a series of approaches by government informants, including former Cambridge professor Stefan Halper. (RELATED: Simona Mangiante Says Her Husband Was ‘Absolutely Not’ Involved In Collusion)
“There is no crime. And this should have been objected to by Day 1,” she told TheDCNF.
Papadopoulos, who lives in Chicago, was the catalyst for the FBI’s collusion investigation, which began on July 31, 2016. The probe, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, was started after the Australian government shared information about a meeting that Papadopoulos had on May 10, 2016, with Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. (RELATED: Alexander Downer Describes Barroom Meeting With George Papadopoulos)
Details remain vague, but Downer allegedly claimed Papadopoulos mentioned Russia had derogatory information about Clinton.
Republican lawmakers have also questioned the premise of the FBI investigation and Downer’s role in the matter. One question has been why the information from Downer took over two months to reach the FBI. Downer’s claim also reportedly first landed on the desk of a U.S. official at the London embassy named Elizabeth Dibble.
Mangiante Papadopoulos has also questioned Mifsud’s motives in making contact with Papadopoulos. Mangiante Papadopoulos, who happened to have worked with Mifsud at a London-based think tank, says she does not believe the government’s claim that Mifsud was a Russian agent. She wonders whether he was working for Western intelligence agencies instead.
The one known approach of Papadopoulos by a Western intelligence agent came from Halper, the University of Cambridge professor. A longtime CIA and FBI asset, Halper paid Papadopoulos $3,000 in September 2016 to write a policy paper on Mediterranean energy issues.
Halper, a veteran of four Republican presidential administrations, also made contact with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and Sam Clovis.
Mangiante Papadopoulos, who met her husband in 2017, has also questioned approaches to Papadopoulos from Sergei Millian, a Belarus-American businessman who is said to be a source for the infamous Steele dossier.
Millian contacted Papadopoulos out of the clear blue on LinkedIn on July 22, 2016. The pair became fast friends, meeting several times during the course of the campaign. Mangiante Papadopoulos says George claimed Millian offered him $30,000 a month to work on Russian energy issues from inside the Trump administration. (RELATED: George Papadopoulos Was Approached By ‘Highly Suspicious’ Businessmen, His Wife Claims)
Papadopoulos, who did not obtain a role in the administration, rejected the offer, according to Mangiante Papadopoulos.
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