Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos will remain in a plea agreement with the special counsel’s office, his wife said Wednesday.
“George will take responsibility for some inaccuracies during the interview with the FBI,” Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos told ABC News.
Mangiante Papadopoulos told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Aug. 15 that her husband was strongly considering withdrawing from a plea agreement that he entered in October 2017. She has said she believes that Papadopoulos was targeted by overzealous investigators.
“George should drop off his plea agreement, in my opinion,” Mangiante Papadopoulos told TheDCNF, shortly after she announced on Twitter that Papadopoulos was looking for new lawyers to represent him in his case. (RELATED: Papadopoulos’s Wife Says He Should Scrap Plea Deal With Mueller)
Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to giving false statements to the FBI during a Jan. 26, 2017 interview with the FBI. The special counsel’s office said he made false statements about the timing of his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who claimed to have connections to the Russian government.
Papadopoulos acknowledged that Mifsud told him during an April 26, 2016 meeting in London that he had learned that the Russian government had “dirt” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.
Two weeks later, Papadopoulos told Alexander Downer, who then served as Australia’s top diplomat to the U.K., that Russia had derogatory information on Clinton. More than two months later, the FBI would open its investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion based on the information from Downer.
Mangiante Papadopoulos has told TheDCNF that her husband did not collude with Mifsud or Russians. She says that Papadopoulos believed Mifsud was referring to emails Clinton deleted from her private email server. She also says that Papadopoulos did not see, handle or disseminate any emails.
Though Papadopoulos was the spark for the FBI’s collusion probe, he appears to no longer be a central focus of the investigation, which is being overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Papadopoulos will be sentenced in the case on Friday, Sept. 7. Mueller has recommended that he be sentenced to between zero and six months in jail.
In a court filing submitted on Aug. 17, Mueller argued that Papadopoulos’s false statements “substantially hindered” the government’s ability to “effectively question” Mifsud during an interview with him in Washington, D.C., in February 2017.
“The defendant’s crime was serious and caused damage to the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” Mueller said.
Mangiante Papadopoulos, a former lawyer in the European Parliament, has questioned that allegation, saying that the FBI had ample opportunity to question Mifsud.
“How this affected the investigation or its criminal relevance, it stays obscure to me,” she tweeted Wednesday.
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