Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Papadopoulos says he would testify before Senate

AP, WASHINGTON

George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to US President Donald Trump who triggered the Russia investigation, is willing to testify before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Now that the criminal case is resolved, “we’ll make him available upon a proper request,” Thomas Breen said.

Papadopoulos on Friday last week was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries.

Breen’s comments come after Papadopoulos on Wednesday tweeted to committee Chairman Richard Burr and the top Democrat on the panel, Senator Mark Warner, that he would testify if his lawyers approved.

The panel is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s campaign was involved.

The tweet was one of several since the sentencing, as Papadopoulos has vented anger with the FBI and implied he was set up in the investigation.

He said on Twitter that he would like to talk to the committee about his “suspicious encounters” with an Australian diplomat and a missing professor who were links to his case.

Papadopoulos also tweeted that he wanted to speak to the committee about two people he said were US intelligence officers in London and “wanted to ingratiate themselves in campaign via myself.”

Papadopoulos was the first to plead guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and the first Trump campaign adviser to be sentenced.

Also on Wednesday, the US Senate approved the release of a transcript of a closed-door intelligence committee interview with W. Samuel Patten, a business associate of a codefendant of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The resolution, passed by voice vote, would allow US Department of Justice prosecutors to use it in Manafort’s upcoming trial.

The trial in Washington, scheduled to start later this month, is to be Manafort’s second on charges brought by Mueller’s office.

Last month, Manafort was convicted by a northern Virginia jury of eight counts of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on 10 other counts.

Patten on Friday last week pleaded guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian political party and also admitted his role in a US$50,000 donation scheme involving the US presidential inauguration.

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