The New York Times reported Saturday that George Papadopoulos inadvertently kickstarted the Russia investigation after saying too much to top Australian diplomat Alexander Downer during “a night of heavy drinking” in May 2016. Papadopoulos was Trump’s former foreign policy adviser; in October, he admitted to lying to the FBI about his communication with Russian nationals and pleaded guilty for the fact.
Three weeks before drinking with Downer at a bar in London, Papadopoulos had been told that Russians in Moscow were in possession of thousands of potentially stolen emails that could cause injury to Hillary Clinton. For whatever reason, he thought it’d be a good idea to share this with the Australian diplomat.
In July 2016, WikiLeaks began publishing hacked emails from within the Democratic National Committee. This led Australian officials to contact their American colleagues and share the information Papadopoulos had revealed to Downer.
According to The Times, the fact that the DNC had been hacked and the revelation that people on the Trump campaign could possibly be collaborating with Russian officials to obtain damaging information on Clinton were “driving factors” that led to the FBI’s decision to start a probe.
Trump introduced Papadopoulos to the American public as an “excellent guy” and member of his foreign policy team during a March 2016 interview with The Washington Post, but downgraded him to a “low level volunteer” after special counsel Mueller indicted Papadopoulos in October.
Image: Greek Reporter