Ex-Trump campaign adviser pleads guilty to making false statement

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WASHINGTON — A former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government.

In court records unsealed on Monday, the FBI said George Papadopoulos “falsely described his interactions with a certain foreign contact who discussed ‘dirt’ related to emails” concerning Hillary Clinton.

In addition, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump campaign official Rick Gates surrendered Monday to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gates, 45, is a longtime business associate of Manafort, 68, having worked together since the mid-2000s, and served as his deputy on the campaign.

The two were indicted under seal on Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The charges against Manafort and Gates are unrelated to the Trump campaign, but Papadopoulos’ guilty plea brings the Mueller probe into actions that occurred during the 2016 campaign.

Papadopoulos lied to FBI agents “about the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” according to the complaint.

Mueller signed a 14-page statement regarding Papadopoulos’ offense, which lays out of the facts of the case.

The indictment against Manafort and Gates contains 12 counts: Conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

The charges do not cover any activities related to the campaign, though it’s possible Mueller could add additional charges.

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