Special Counsel Robert Mueller threatened to charge former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos as an unregistered agent of Israel, according to his wife.
Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian attorney who married Papadopoulos roughly 90 days ago, claimed that Mueller had evidence her husband had worked on behalf of Israel without registering as a foreign agent during his time as an energy consultant, and prior to joining the Trump campaign. The claim was made in interviews with the Daily Caller and the Washington Post - where Simona also said George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to avoid the Israel-linked charges.
“I know he doesn’t have anything to do with Russia,” she told The Post. “We know he was under scrutiny because of his ties to Israel, not his ties to Russia. So what’s this about?”
In October 2015, Papadopoulos wrote a column for the Israeli publication Haaretz entitled “Natural Gas Isn’t Just about Israel.” He also attended a series of energy conferences in Israel, including one held in April 2016, just days after he was named to Trump’s campaign, according to Israeli media accounts.
During those years, he became acquainted with Eli Groner, who has served since 2015 as a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. -WaPo
Simona's new claims are vastly different than what she said in January before she and George married - when she suggested to the Washington Post that Papadopoulos would be remembered like John Dean, the former White House counsel who flipped on Nixon's administration and became a key witness.
“There’s a lot to come,” she said then. “He was the first one to break a hole on all of this.”
On Tuesday, however, her tune had changed - saying that her earlier comments were misinterpreted and that she and George had reassessed events after learning that Cambridge professor Stefan Halper had been conducting espionage on the Trump campaign for the FBI. Halper hired Papadopoulos to write an energy paper in London in the fall of 2016, paying him $3,000 for his efforts.
“George took responsibility for lying to the FBI and cooperated with the government. Cooperating doesn’t mean following an agenda,” she said. “Cooperating doesn’t mean against the president. . . . It means cooperating with the truth.”
Simona says George has been wronged and deserves a pardon from President Trump - that he is “a victim, honestly,” who "made a mistake. He pleaded guilty for that mistake. It would make sense for the president to pardon him.”
Before joining the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos lived in London, working as a researcher for the Hudson Institute think tank, and later as an independent energy consultant. Despite his work on Israel, Cyprus and Greece while at the Hudson Institute, a person familiar with the Institute told the Washington Post that nobody from the Special Counsel's office has ever contacted them regarding Papadopoulos's work there.
Meanwhile, it was Papadopoulos' May 10 alleged "drunken barroom admission" to former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the Russians had information which "could be damaging" to Hillary Clinton. Papadopolous was originally told of the allged Russian plot two weeks earlier on April 26, by Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud (missing since October 2017) - whose organization George Papadopoulos met his wife through.
Which brings us to an interesting thread...
Noting that Papadopoulos and his new wife met on LinkedIn, Twitter user @rising_serpent makes the case that some things just aren't adding up. The 27-part tweetstorm is condensed underneath the first post:
1. Fiction is truly anemic compared to the rich tapestry of the bizarre that we are privy to in daily life: consider this:— Rising serpent (@rising_serpent) June 6, 2018
Simona Mangiante first connected with Papadopoulos on LinkedIn after Papadopoulos noticed they shared a mutual connection.
2. That connection was Joseph Mifsud, a most mysterious former Maltese government official who ran an institute called the London Centre of International Law Practice in Britain. THE Joseph Mifsud now made infamous by her husbands indictment by Robert Muller.
3. Mangiante, started working at the organization after meeting Mifsud while she was employed at European Parliament in Brussels. Papadopoulos, who had worked for Mifsud’s organization as well, reached out to say he liked her profile picture.
4. Mangiante left the London Centre of International law after three months, after concluding the law office was “a facade for something else.” But the two continued to talk over the Internet, before meeting in person for the first time in New York in spring 2017.
5. Mangiante was introduced to Mifsud in 2012 by Gianni Pittella, a well-known Italian MEP who in 2014 became president of the Socialists and Progressive Democrats group. “I always saw Mifsud with Pittella,” So, Mangiante knew Mifsud for many years before she did Papadopoulos
6. Mangiante worked for 2 European parliament officials, Mairead McGuinness, a vice-president & McGuinness’s Italian predecessor Roberta Angelilli. She was also admin to home affairs committee under Martin Schulz, then a German MEP & now leader of Germany’s Social Democrats
7. So Mangiante moved within the corridors of power within Europe's Italian Democrats & German social democrats. When her contract expired, Pittella suggested she go work for Mifsud in London who offered her a job in 2016 at the London Centre of International Law Practice
8. in September 2016, Mangiante received a message on the LinkedIn social network from George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had worked at the same London Center of International law centre briefly before joining Trump’s campaign. That was the beginning of their acquaintance.
9. It appears that Mangiante started her job around September 2016, the same time as she started corresponding with Papadopoulos. Mangiante was not happy with her work in London.
10. The entire institution seemed “fake”, “artificial”, with Mifsud interested solely in organising political meetings. “I didn’t smell a culture of academia" Mifsud’s diplomatic activity, Mangiante now believes, was a facade. “I never met any Russians there”
11. Mangiante quit her post there after three months, in November 2016. In the meantime, Mangiante’s romance with George began. After several unsuccessful efforts to get together in London, they met in March 2017 in New York. They hit it off, began dating and fell in love
12. Prior to meeting Mangiante, FBI had interviewed Papadopoulos Jan 2017 in connection with the collusion investigation. Papadopoulos gave federal agents a false account of his meetings with Mifsud. So he deleted his Facebook account and changed his cellphone number.
13. So almost 3 months prior to Papadopoulos actually meeting Mangiante he was already in the crosshairs of FBI, he was deleting facebook, changing phone numbers and like James Bond, was actively romancing a beautiful woman. Plausibility check # 1, what do you think ?
14. On the day Papadopoulos pleaded guilty, Mangiante was at her boyfriend’s family home in Chicago. There was a ring at the door. A casually dressed man informed her that he was a federal agent. He was serving her with a subpoena from Mueller.
15. Mangiante decided not to hire a lawyer after discovering they cost $800 an hour. She turned up alone at Chicago FBI headquarters. the FBI was interested in her relationship with Papadopoulos. Was it genuine? “They asked: “Do you love him?” “Yes”. They replied: ‘He is lucky’”
16. Plausibility check # 2. Do you think about how much lawyers cost when the FBI tells you that your boyfriend is chin deep in legal manure and you may be too? Stormy Daniels gets a lawyer for free, but someone being investigated by the FBI thinks about a lawyers cost?
17. March 2016 Papadopoulous learned he would be Trumps foreign policy advisors, he ended up meeting Mifusud on March 14 2016 while he was traveling in Italy (where Mangiante was, coincidentally). Important: He met Mifsud first in Italy, see indictment (click here)
18. Mifusd's interest is piqued when he learned that Papadopoulos was going to be involved with the Trump campaign. They meet again subsequently in London on March 24th 2016 when Mifusd was accompanied by the "Putins niece" Olga Vinogradova, who like Mifsud has now disappeared.
19. Papadopoulos met Mifusd again on April 24th 2016 for breakfast at a London hotel. This is the first time that Mifsud tells him he knows the Russians have "dirt" on Hillary. Mind you the DNC leaks weren't published till June/July 2016. Important point right there.
20. That DNC was hacked by the Russians remains a matter of great contention and those with exquisite expertise in cybersecurity don't agree with the assertion that Russians hacked it. Remember the only people that conducted the investigation into the hack were CrowdStrike
21. Now we turn the bizarre dial to 11, why did Papadopoulos say to Mangiante when he was looking at her LinkedIn profile that they worked for the same company? Two things wrong with this: I couldn't find any evidence that Paps worked for the London center of international law
22. and if he did, he would have known Mifsud from his work, so the whole theory of his being introduced to Mifusd falls flat.
23. The BIG question: by the time Papadopoulos began corresponding with Mangiante in Sept 2016, he was a part of the Trump Campaign, what was he looking at LinkedIn profiles of people working at the London center of international law for? What am I missing here?
24. I have more questions than answers, but the timeline just doesn't add up, there is a lot missing here apart from my functioning neuronal circuitry. All of this is important in the context of Mangiante's recent media blitz and her asking for Trump to pardon Papadopoulos.
25. Feel free to add to what I have just outlined. Things are not only a little askew here but seems that we are seeing this whole matter askance and many facts are obscured by layers of hearsay disguised as factual information. -fin.
26. Addendum: anybody else find it most peculiar that Mangiante worked for Italian and German social democrats? Especially now that we know that MI6 (Downer/Steele/Halper) were probably involved with the genesis of the Steele dossier?
27. Mifusud appears to be more aligned with the UK than he is with the Russians, Mangiante herself said so. Also she has since dialed down her touting of her husbands role in the Trump campaign, why?
Questions? An even deeper analysis into Papadopoulos and Mifsud can be found here.