George Papadopoulos says he is returning to Greece to raise $ 10,000 in cash that he says has fallen on his lap by the CIA or FBI as part of their efforts to & # 39; capture & # 39 ;.
The former Trump campaign consultant told Fox news on Sunday that he received the money in the summer of 2017 by an Israeli-American businessman who worked for American intelligence.
Papadopoulos says he was "very happy" that the subject came up when Republican congressman Devin Nunes asked former Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the payment during Wednesday's hearing before the House of Representatives.
"I was very happy to see that Devin Nunes brought that up," Papadopoulos said.
George Papadopoulos (above) says he is going to Greece to raise $ 10,000 in cash, which he says has been used by the CIA or the FBI to capture him & # 39;
"A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money (in Israel) under very suspicious circumstances.
"A simple Google search about this person will reveal that he was an asset of the CIA or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in South Africa in the 90s and 2000s.
"I think around the time that Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.
"So I have my theory that it was all about."
Mueller specifically refused to respond to the payment and said the matter fell outside the scope of his investigation.
Papadopoulos hinted that the payment was part of a government plan to accuse him.
"I gave the money to my lawyer in Greece because I thought it was given to me under very suspicious circumstances," he said.
& # 39; And when I returned to the United States, I had about seven or eight FBI agents looking through my luggage for money. & # 39;
Robert Mueller, the former special counsel who testified before Congress on the two-year investigation into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, refused to discuss payment to Papadopoulos
Papadopoulos says it was a "setup" from "probably the FBI, or even from the office of the special counselor."
He claims that the "setup" is designed to "file a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) violation against me."
Mueller was appointed in 2017 to investigate alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.
Both the Russian government and the Trump campaign deny that there was a conspiracy to turn the elections to the Republican candidate.
In his book, Papadopoulos claims that he was duped by Mueller to plead guilty and says that his attributed lies were memory loss and unintended
Mueller's report found that there was insufficient evidence to accuse Trump or campaign officials of conspiring with Russia, although it raised the question of whether the president had impeded justice.
Papadopoulos told Fox News that he wants the Ministry of Justice, which is investigating how the Russia investigation started, to investigate the suspicious payment.
"I actually want Congress, (Bill) Barr, (DOJ Inspector General Michael) Horowitz and (American Attorney John) Huber to review the bills, because I still have the bills and I think they are marked," said Papadopoulos.
& # 39; These accounts that are still in Athens need to be investigated by the researchers because I think they are marked and they go all the way back to DOJ, under the previous FBI under (James) Comey, and even the Mueller team.
"If the Mueller team picks up campaign workers and Trump employees, they do the same to me – I'm sure they didn't do it alone – it opens a huge can of worms.
"I think we should figure out exactly how this story started, but why they trapped us."
Papadopoulos, who was plucked from the darkness to work as a foreign policy advisor for the Trump presidential run, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in October 2017 about his communication with two Russian citizens and a Maltese professor with Russian ties while working on the campaign.
He was the first accused in the Mueller investigation.
Papadopoulos was hired by the Trump campaign to work as a foreign policy advisor. He is seen as the third from the left during a campaign meeting in 2016. Donald Trump is seen as the second from the right. Jeff Sessions is seen on the far left
Papadopoulos later released a book in which he condemned his guilty plea and alleged that he did not lie to the FBI and was unfairly pressured by Mueller's prosecutors to close a deal.
Papadopoulos says the Mueller team threatened that if he did not agree with the plea, he would be accused of the more serious crime of not registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his Israel-related work.
Papadopoulos said he believed there were reasons to withdraw his guilty plea.
Among other factors, he quoted in early 2017 advice from his previous legal team that it was acceptable to deactivate his Facebook account, a movement that led to an obstruction.
In his book, Deep State Target: How I caught sight of the plot to bring down President Trump, Papadopoulos claims he was guilty of pleading guilty and says that his admitted lies were memory lapses and unintended.
Under his plea deal, Papadopoulos acknowledged that Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic, told him in April 2016 that Russia & # 39; dirt & # 39; was with then-democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, three months before hacked emails appeared online and damaged the Clinton campaign.
Papadopoulos told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer about drinks in May 2016 that Russia was politically dirty on Clinton.
Australian officials passed on that information to their US colleagues two months later, allowing the FBI to activate the probe in Russian attempts to influence the Trump campaign.
Although Papadopoulos said he didn't regret taking part in the Trump campaign, he said he wanted him to go to the FBI immediately after Mifsud told him that the Russians had thousands of emails about Clinton.
"It would probably have been better if I had told someone immediately when I heard that information," he said.
Papadopoulos and his wife Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos arrive in the US District Court on 7 September 2018 for his conviction in Washington, DC
In May, Barr announced that he had appointed John Durham, the American lawyer in Connecticut, to investigate the origin of the Russian investigation and to determine whether intelligence gathering regarding the Trump campaign was legal & appropriate & # 39; used to be.
The Durham appointment came about a month after Barr told members of Congress that he believed & # 39; espionage was taking place & # 39; on the Trump campaign in 2016.
He later said he meant nothing pejorative and he was assembling a team to investigate the origin of the special counsel's investigation.
Barr did not provide details about what & # 39; espionage & # 39; took place, but seemed to refer to a security order that the FBI had received from a former Trump employee, Carter Page, and the use of an FBI informant while the Papadopoulos agency was investigating.
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