"Lies about contacts with Russia-linked people
On or about the 27th day of January, 2017, defendant GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS did willfully and knowingly make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, to wit, defendant PAPADOPOULOS lied to special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, concerning a federal investigation based out of the District of Columbia, about the timing, extent, and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.
Mr. Papadopoulos is charged with lying to the F.B.I. during an interview in early 2017. A 14-page statement of the offense that accompanies the brief criminal information filing shows that Mr. Papadopoulos was questioned by the F.B.I. about his interactions during the campaign with two apparent Russian agents — an unnamed professor and an unnamed ‘female Russian national,’ who each had substantial connections to Russian government officials. The filing says Mr. Papadopoulos falsely played down the significance of those conversations and falsely said he had not yet joined the campaign when they reached out to him.
Lying to federal investigators is a felony that can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison, giving Mr. Papadopoulos an incentive to cooperate in exchange for leniency."