George Papadopoulos, who advised Donald Trump in his 2016 presidential campaign, said on Tuesday that he may seek the California congressional seat being vacated by scandal-plagued representative Katie Hill, according to a new report from The Hill. The congresswoman announced her resignation on Sunday, as The Inquisitr reported. She was about to become the target of a House Ethics Committee probe over an allegation that she had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.
Hill was also apparently the victim of a “revenge porn” scheme when someone leaked nude photos of the 32-year-old that were published in censored form by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, according to the Inquisitr report.
Papadopoulos would come to the race with some baggage of his own. On December 7, 2018, he completed a two-week jail sentence after pleading guilty to lying to FBI investigators, who were attempting to question him about the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia connections.
According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation, Papadopoulos was told by Kremlin-linked academic Joseph Mifsud that Russia possessed “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of emails. Papadopoulos, in turn, repeated the information to “a representative of a foreign government,” Mueller reported.
Mueller cited the contacts between Papadopoulos and Mifsud as the events that sparked the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s purported Russia connections, according to a Washington Post account.
In announcing that he was planning a run for the vacated seat, Papadopoulos said that he was “smelling blood in the water” after Hill’s resignation, according to The Hill. The former Trump campaign adviser said that he would make an “announcement soon on my interest” in the ex-California representative’s seat.
But Federal Election Commission documents show that on Tuesday, the president’s former aide filed a statement of organization for a “George Papadopoulos for Congress” campaign committee.
Papadopoulos served 12 days of his 14-day sentence in November and December 2018. In March 2019, he published a book titled Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump. In the book, Papadopoulos claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy. He also alleged that Mifsud was not a Russian agent but was rather working for a western intelligence agency in a plot to feed him disinformation.
Papadopoulos’s claims have apparently been taken seriously by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who as The Inquisitr has reported, traveled to Italy in September to investigate Mifsud.
Mifsud resided in Rome but disappeared in November 2017. While in Italy, however, Barr reportedly listened to an audio recording of Mifsud provided by Italian police. On the recording, Mifsud is believed to have asked local law enforcement authorities for protection from people who “might want to harm him.”