Papadopoulos set to testify before House lawmakers

Papadopoulos set to testify before House lawmakers
© Greg Nash

George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFlynn, Papadopoulos to speak at event preparing 'social media warriors' for 'digital civil war' Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference Mueller hearings should lead Democrats to be shocked at abuse of justice system MORE is slated to testify before two GOP-led House panels on Thursday, the former Trump campaign adviser told The Hill.

Papadopoulos said Sunday he will interview behind closed doors with congressional investigators on the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, which are leading a joint probe into FBI and Justice Department conduct during the 2016 presidential race.

His appearance on the Hill comes after Papadopoulos was sentenced in September to 14 days in federal prison. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators last year about his Russia contacts.

Papadopoulos emerged as a key figure in the federal counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference after he told a top Australian diplomat during the 2016 race that the Russians had dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE’s campaign in the form of thousands of emails — a statement he made before WikiLeaks began releasing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. He’d learned the information from Joseph Misfud, a Kremlin-linked professor who took an interest in the young foreign policy adviser.

The Australians later alerted their American counterparts — a tip that the FBI used to open what is now the investigation into Russia's election interference.

While Papadopoulos cooperated with prosecutors, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's team has indicated that Papadopoulos did it begrudgingly and that the help they received from him was not substantial. He is the first person known to be cooperating with Mueller’s probe.

It's unclear whether Papadopoulos shared information about the damaging information with other members of the Trump campaign — a fact that could add fodder to Mueller's investigation probing whether the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow during the 2016 presidential race.

Following his sentencing, Papadopoulos told CNN that he has “no recollection” of sharing information about emails possessed by the Russians to other members of the Trump campaign, but couldn’t “guarantee” it.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE and his advisers have repeatedly denied any collusion between Russia and his campaign.

Since his sentencing, Papadopoulos has made frequent television appearances and has been outspoken on Twitter about his views of events during the 2016 campaign — a drastic difference compared to the quiet approach assumed by the other cooperators in Mueller’s probe.

He has gone from being disavowed by members of the Trump campaign to a frequent guest on Fox News opinion shows hosted by Sean Hannity and Jesse Watters, pushing conspiracy theories that the the United Kingdom and Australia targeted him as part of an effort to “sabotage” Trump’s campaign.

He has claimed the two U.S. allies colluded with the Obama administration to “fabricate collusion and crimes” — a tweet that received the equivalent of an eye-roll from former national security officials on Twitter. 

He has also claimed that Misfud was a British agent rather than a Russian one.

“To understand why I was a target by both the Australians and UK as an individual, and as part of the plot to sabotage Donald Trump, all one has to look at is my work as a policy and energy advisor paving the road for American oil companies in Israel and Cyprus. UK wanted in game,” Papadopulos tweeted last week.

“I repeat: the British and Australian governments were illegally spying on the Trump Campaign by April 2016. Let that sink in,” he tweeted in September.

The interview is slated to take place one day after the chairmen and ranking members of the two committees interview Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' MORE behind closed doors about his decisionmaking before and after the 2016 election as it relates to the Russia probe.