George Papadopoulos, the foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign whose contacts with a foreign professor about Russian involvement in the election and subsequent comments to an Australian diplomat led to the FBI's initial investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, was recently released from federal prison after a two-week sentence for lying to the FBI.
But according to investigative journalist Scott Stedman, the FBI is now opening a fresh investigation into him, barely a week after Papadopoulos' sentence was completed. Specifically, Stedman writes, the FBI is looking into the author of a letter sent to Congress making new allegations about Papadopoulos' dealings with Russia:
The memo sent to Congressman Adam Schiff by a former confidant of Papadopoulos on November 19, as first reported by this reporter and Natasha Bertrand of the Atlantic, made a series of allegations against the ex-Trump campaign adviser. First and foremost, the letter claimed that in December 2016, Papadopoulos said "that he was doing a business deal with Russians which would result in large financial gain for himself and Mr. Trump. Mr. Papadopoulos told me that this deal with Russians would set him up for life." The author also says that (s)he witnessed a phone call between Trump and Papadopoulos. None of the claims have been substantiated, though Congress plans to dig into the specific allegations.
The FBI's interest in the letter and its writer signals that federal authorities are taking the allegations seriously and continue to investigate Papadopoulos even after he served 12 days in a federal prison for lying to investigators about his interactions with a Maltese professor who claimed that Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
Papadopoulos, who Trump previously tried to dismiss as a mere "coffee boy," has shown little remorse for his involvement in the Russia affair, trying to argue he was "framed" by special counsel Robert Mueller and go back on his plea agreement. He is even now toying with the idea of running for Congress.
If the FBI is not finished with him, however, he could be in for a rude awakening.
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