Donald Trump’s longtime personal aide, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to federal investigators about his involvement with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Papadopoulos’ plea agreement, unsealed in court in Alexandria, Virginia, does not specifically mention the Russian election meddling, but prosecutors said he agreed to cooperate in the probe.
It does not address the Trump campaign, which is also facing scrutiny.
Pavadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russians.
The plea agreement says Papadopolous did not discuss the Trump team’s Russian election interference with his Russian contacts.
The former Trump campaign aide admitted to lying and cooperating with Russian agents in June 2016 when he testified under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had been told in August 2016 that Russian officials were trying to get Trump elected.
In a separate statement to The Associated Press, Papadoulos said he would cooperate with the special counsel.
The plea agreement does not specify how Papadolous and his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, would be paid, or how much money the two men could expect to earn if convicted.
The AP did not know whether the two lawyers would be representing the Trump administration or the Trump family.
In court Thursday, Papas pleaded not guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, two counts of lying about contacts with Russian officials and one count each of making false statements to the federal government.
Papadopoulous also admitted to one misdemeanor count of making a false statement to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and one misdemeanor violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which prohibits agents from working for foreign governments.
Federal prosecutors have said Papadoulous lied about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
They also said he made false statements about meetings he had with foreign officials and failed to disclose his Russian connections in his public filings with the Justice Department.
In his plea agreement filed Thursday, the former campaign aide said Papads contacts with Russians were limited to brief meetings and no longer included any contacts involving Trump campaign officials.
Pamela Korn/AP President Donald Trump holds a news conference in the Oval Office in Washington, DC, March 11, 2021.
President Donald Trumps son, Donald Trump Jr., walks down the aisle at a pre-inauguration event in New York, New York.
President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are sworn in as the 45th and 46th President of the United States.
Trump is the first sitting president to take the oath of office.
Trump’s son-on-law, Jared Kushner, is sworn in for the second time as President Donald J. Trump.
Kushner’s family is being investigated by the FBI for possible collusion with Russia.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters in the briefing room that the president’s son, who has been the focus of media reports about possible collusion, had been unaware of the FBI investigation until after the election.
The president’s sons have been the targets of intense media scrutiny since news of Papadadopoulos plea broke.
Trump Jr. had told The Washington Post on Tuesday that he was asked about Papadads plea in June, but did not answer directly.
Kushner, for his part, has been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation, which the AP says could be a way to force him to testify about his interactions with the Papadapoulos.
In addition to Papadampoulous, the AP said the other person named as a potential co-conspirator is George Papagopoulos, a former senior campaign aide.
Papagoulous pleaded guilty in January to lying on a federal registration form about his communications with Russians and has been cooperating with prosecutors.
Trump has repeatedly denied Russian interference in the election, and his team has accused the FBI of investigating him to discredit him.
Trump fired Papados son, President Donald Jr., on Friday after reports that he spoke to Russian officials about potential Trump campaign contacts.
The president has also said there is no evidence that he ever discussed sanctions on Russia with Moscow.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, Papads lawyer, Brian Fallon, said Papades plea was a “significant” development and that he and his client will cooperate fully with special counsel Robert Mueller.
The AP reported that the plea agreement also includes a separate agreement between Papadolys attorney, Robert Kelner, and the special agent in charge of the bureau’s Russia investigation, Peter Strzok.
Strzoks wife, Lisa Page, also pleaded guilty.
A plea agreement was sealed Thursday because of the threat of the Justice department seeking to use the agreement to pressure Papadophos into a guilty plea.
The Justice Department has threatened to file charges against Papadpas son, a move that the White House has denied.
In a separate news conference, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that the government is still pursuing “every conceivable lead”