The victory of President Donald Trump at the 2016 US presidential election was not only surprising, but was also marred by accusations of Russian influence. Even before the election, there was already an investigation on the collusion case which was intensified after the election. Among those at the center of the investigation is George Papadopoulos who worked with the Trump Campaign as a member of the foreign policy advisory panel.
George Papadopoulos’ Biography
It was on August 19, 1987, at the Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago that George Papadopoulos was born. He was brought up in Lincolnwood, Illinois by his Greek immigrant parents. There is hardly any surprise that he would later find himself having something to do in the political cycle because his father was a local politician in the Greek-American community.
Able to speak multiple languages such as Arabic, English, French, and Greek, Papadopoulos had his high school education from the Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois before moving to DePaul University where he obtained a BA in political science and then a masters in security studies from the King’s College London.
Although he held various positions since 2011 when he was through with his education, it was the Trump Campaign that brought him to the limelight after he joined the train in March 2016 to work with the campaign’s foreign policy adviser team.
Wife – Simona Mangiante
In March 2018, George Papadopoulos got married to his lover, Simona Mangiante at a private event that held at Chicago’s City Hall. Before becoming man and wife, the couple had been engaged for ten months but they couldn’t go for a honeymoon after their wedding because Papadopoulos was not allowed to travel as a result of the Russian investigation going on. Nonetheless, the couple planned to have a second wedding in Italy in order to celebrate with Mangiante’s family.
A very vocal defender of her husband, Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos is an attorney. She once worked as a specialist in child abduction cases for the European Union and then she was employed to work for what was said to be London Centre of International Law Practices by a professor, Joseph Mifsud who would later be linked to both George Papadopoulos and Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, because she did not understand the job and was not paid, she decided to call it quits only after 3 months.
Simona Mangiante who has worked tirelessly to help her husband and even took to her Twitter handle to try to get an attorney for him claimed she has been accused of being a spy. Nonetheless, the former EU attorney has maintained that her husband was not involved in any collusion and he had nothing to do with Russia.
Why Was George Jailed For 14 Days?
The journey of George Papadopoulos to prison began on March 14, 2016, when he met a London-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, linked to some high Russian officials. They met on his way to Italy and the next time that both men would meet was in London on March 24, 2016, where Mifsud told the then-Trump campaign foreign adviser that he had learned that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
From 2015 to 2016, the Democratic National Committee suffered some cyber attacks which had been linked to Russia. Before the news of the hacking became known, Papadopoulos, who had already told some members of the Trump campaign about the dirt Russia had on Clinton also shared the information with Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer.
Immediately the news of the hacking was reported and Russia was named the suspect, Downer contacted the American intelligence with the information George Papadopoulos shared with him. This led to an FBI investigation into the campaign of Donald Trump which began in July 2016.
Papadopoulos continued to pressure the campaign organization to send people to Russia for a meeting with officials there.
In 2017, a Special Counsel investigation to be headed by a former FBI director, Robert Mueller, to investigate a collision between the Trump Campaign and Russia in the 2016 US election was launched. On January 27, 2017, the investigative team interrogated Papadopoulos who would later be arrested exactly 6 months later on July 27 for making a false statement to the FBI.
He would plead guilty to the crime on October 5, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. After his guilty plea became public, Donald Trump who had previously described him as an excellent guy was quick to distance himself from him, describing him as a liar and a low-level volunteer to the campaign.
As the first person to get a plea bargain and plead guilty in the Muller investigation, George Papadopoulos was sentenced on September 7, 2018, to 14 days in prison for false statement to the FBI. He is to also be on probation for 12 months and have 200 hours of community service. There is also a fine of $9500 that he was ordered to pay for the crime.