George Papadopoulos believes his former defense lawyers may have had a hand in setting him up.
During a Thursday episode of the Law&Crime Network’s Brian Ross Investigates, the controversial couple of George and Simona Papadopoulos appeared together to dish on the “love and loathing” they’ve experienced over the past year–in which the duo were wed and suffered through George’s brief stint inside a federal penitentiary for admittedly lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Early on in the interview, the one-time Trump 2016 campaign policy advisor castigated the legal acumen of his former defense team before casting aspersions on their allegiances. Host Brian Ross began by noting that Papadopoulos had changed his story about lying to the FBI after spending 12 days in prison–and receiving that extremely light sentence largely due to plea deal and attested admission of culpability before a federal judge.
“It’s a very complicated story,” Papadopoulos said. “There’s been such misunderstanding and misrepresentation about who George Papadopoulos is.”
The man Trump’s team once dismissed as a low-level “coffee boy” then remarked that, to him, the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into whether Trump campaign staff colluded with the Russian government was never in doubt. Attorney General William Barr said in a four-page letter that Mueller did not allege a grand conspiracy between Russia and President Donald Trump and/or members of his campaign.
“Quite frankly, I predicted that all along,” Papadopoulos said.
“Are you regretting pleading guilty to lying?” Ross asked.
“I have new counsel for a reason. I believe my old counsel was possibly compromised,” Papadopoulos answered.
Other notable allegations leveled by Papadopoulos during the interview concern former attorney general Jeff Sessions‘ denial that he ever supported Papadopoulos’ idea to meet in Russia with Vladimir Putin.
“My recollection differs from Jeff Sessions’ about that event,” Papadopoulos said. “Sessions was enthusiastic about going on a foreign policy trip and even meeting with Vladimir Putin himself.”
Papadopoulos also claimed that he worked with Stephen Miller on the arrangements for the trip that never happened–noting that at the time, Miller was a relatively unknown adviser to Sessions.
“Stephen Miller and I continued to coordinate for several months,” Papadopoulos said. “The notion that Jeff Sessions pushed back against me–as I attempted to set up a meeting with senior foreign policy advisors–is absurd.”
Near the end of the interview, Ross pressed George Papadopoulos on whether he was changing his tune on the guilty plea due to a possible pardon.
“Are you just saying this now because you’re trying to get a pardon?” Ross asked.
“A pardon doesn’t actually practically impact my life right now,” Papadopoulos answered.
“I was set up and it was made to seem that I was up to no good [and] working with Russians or Russian intermediaries,” Papadopoulos said. “I’m not spouting conspiracy theories.”
“These were not Russian operatives who were engaging with me but Western intelligence operatives,” Papadopoulos said at another point. “Possibly FBI operatives themselves.”
“Have you heard from the White House?” Ross inquired, “Are you going to get a pardon?”
Papadopoulos said he hasn’t directly or indirectly been involved in such an endeavor, but did say his new lawyers believe that a pardon would be in his best interest.
Attention then turned to Simona Papadopoulos, who claimed she was the first person to push for a pardon.
“It’s a love story in the middle of one of the hugest investigations of the last century,” she said.
[image via screengrab/Law&Crime Network]