In a revelation that had folks entertaining thoughts of former FBI director James Comey or former CIA director John Brennan doing perp walks, George Papadopoulos told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo he plans to retrieve a $10,000 payment he received in what the former Trump adviser said was an effort to entrap him.
Papadopoulos appeared on “Sunday Morning Futures” to say that the money, which is in his attorney’s possession in Greece, may be marked.
In response to former special council Robert Mueller’s testimony last week, where Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) questioned him about the 2017 payment, Papadopoulos said the man who gave him the money was once a CIA or State Department asset.
“I was very happy to see that Devin Nunes brought that up,” he said. “A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money [in Israel] under very suspicious circumstances. A simple Google search about this individual will reveal he was a CIA or State Department asset in South Africa during the ’90s and 2000s. I think around the time when Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.”
He continued, “So, I have my theory of what that was all about. The money, I gave it to my attorney in Greece because I felt it was given to me under very suspicious circumstances. And upon coming back to the United States I had about seven or eight FBI agents rummaging through my luggage looking for money.”
He told Bartiromo he thinks it was a “setup” by the “FBI likely, or even the special counsel’s office,” who was looking to “bring a FARA violation against me.”
The Foreign Agents Registration Act helped with the prosecutions of former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, Fox News reported.
During an appearance in May, Papadopoulos told Bartiromo he wanted authorities at the Justice Department, now under Attorney General William Barr, to follow the trail of the potentially marked bills.
“These bills that are still in Athens right now must be examined by the investigators because I think they are marked and they’re going to go all the way back to DOJ, under the previous FBI under [James] Comey, and even the Mueller team,” he said.
Papadopoulos explained that he was approached while on vacation in Greece with his now-wife by a man who wanted to do business with him, suggesting he go to Israel with him.
“I go to Israel with him, and he drops $10,000 in my lap in a room, in Tel Aviv,” he said. “I don’t understand what is happening, I am very disturbed by the events. I fly to Athens the next day and give the money to my lawyers and this person tells me he doesn’t want his money back, so immediately I thought there was something wrong.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal investigators and served 12 days in prison and paid a $9,500 fine.
Citing a 2018 court filing, Fox News said Mueller’s team wrote that Papadopoulos had “provided information about $10,000 in cash he received from a foreign national whom he believed was likely an intelligence officer of a foreign country (other than Russia).”
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