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Declassified FBI memos undercut Mueller team claims that - Papadopoulos hindered Russia probe

Posted: Feb 25th, 2020 - 5:03 pm

Prosecutor who recently resigned from Roger Stone case signed court filings omitting evidence of witness cooperation

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Newly declassified FBI memos directly conflict with court filings that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team made in asking a federal judge to send former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to prison, further calling into question the government’s conduct in investigating the now-debunked “Russia collusion” narrative.

The memos, released under federal Freedom of Information laws, are likely to focus renewed attention on former Mueller prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, who played a key role in prosecuting Papadopoulos before working on the case of longtime GOP operative and Trump confidant Roger Stone.

Zelinsky recently made headlines in Washington by resigning from the Stone case over a dispute with Attorney General William Barr over the length of prison time Stone deserved. Zelinsky recommended 7 to 9 years, Barr wanted less, and the judge ultimately decided on a lower sentence of just 40 months.

Earlier, Zelinsky was one of three Mueller team prosecutors who signed a sentencing memo in August 2018 seeking prison time for Papadopoulos. They argued there that Papadopoulos hindered federal prosecutors’ ability to question or arrest a European professor named Joseph Mifsud in mid-February 2017 while the Maltese academic was in Washington.

According to the sentencing memo signed by Zelinsky and fellow Mueller prosecutors Jeannie Rhee and Andrew Goldstein: Papadopoulos’ “lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States. The government understands that the Professor left the United States on February 11, 2017 and he has not returned to the United States since then."

But FBI 302 reports detailing agents’ interviews with Papadopoulos show that he had in fact supplied information that would have enabled investigators to challenge or potentially detain or arrest Mifsud while he was in the United States.

Papadopoulos, a former volunteer foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, told agents during an interview on Feb. 10, 2017 that he “inquired to Mifsud about how he knew the Russians had [Clinton’s] emails, to which Mifsud strangely chuckled and responded, ‘they told me they have them.’”

According to the Mueller Report, in an interview with the FBI on the same day, Feb. 10, Mifsud “denied that he had advance knowledge that Russia was in possession of emails damaging to candidate Clinton.”

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LINK/URL: Declassified FBI memos undercut Mueller team claims that


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