George Papadopoulos and the Russia case: A timeline


George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian officials in connection with his work for the campaign. The following is a timeline of key events in the case, drawn from court filings and Times reporting.


Early March

Papadopoulos is named foreign policy advisor

George Papadopoulos, a 30-year-old former researcher at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, learns he will be a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump’s campaign, which he is told is seeking improved relations with Russia.

March 14

Italy meeting

Traveling in Italy, Papadopoulos meets an unidentified “professor based in London,” who claims to have substantial connections with Russian government officials.

March 19

Russian hackers

Hackers, later identified as being connected to Russian intelligence agencies, use a phishing scam to steal emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

March 21

Press introduction

The Trump campaign tells the Washington Post that Papadopoulos is one of Trump’s five foreign policy advisors.

March 24

London meeting

Papadopoulos meets in London with the professor, who brings a “female Russian national,” introduced inaccurately as a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They tell Papadopoulos they want to arrange a meeting for Trump and his campaign with “the Russian leadership.” A Trump campaign supervisor tells Papadopoulos not to commit to a meeting. “Great work,” the supervisor adds.

March 31

Russian connections

Trump meets in Washington with national security advisors, including Papadopoulos, who tells the group he has Russian connections who can arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. In the image, Papadopoulos is third from left.

April 18

Skype meetings

The professor introduces Papadopoulos by email to an unidentified individual in Moscow with “connection to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” They have multiple conversations on Skype and email about a possible meeting between the campaign and Russian officials.

April 26

“Dirt” on Hillary Clinton

Papadopoulos has breakfast in London with the professor, who says he has just returned from meetings in Moscow with Russian officials who claim to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and “thousands” of her emails.

April 27

Putin invitation

Papadopoulos emails a “high-ranking” Trump campaign official that Putin wants to invite “Trump and his campaign team” to Moscow “when the time is right.”

April 27

Foreign policy speech

Trump gives foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is in the audience and chats with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who is serving as a senior foreign policy advisor to the campaign.

May 21

Russia eager to meet Trump

Papadopoulos tells a “high-ranking” Trump campaign official that “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss.”

June 9

Meeting with Russian lawyer

Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner meet with a Russian lawyer and others at Trump Tower in Manhattan after being told that the lawyer worked with the Russian government and had damaging information about Clinton. Trump Jr. later said the information was insignificant.

June 19

Offer to visit Moscow

Papadopoulos offers to make an “off-the-record” trip to Moscow if Trump can’t go.

June 21

Campaign officials say no Trump visit to Russia

In emails, Trump campaign officials discuss the overture, noting that Trump “is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

Aug 15

Campaign encourages Papadopoulos to visit Russia ‘if feasible’

A Trump campaign supervisor tells Papadopoulos: “I would encourage you” to make the trip “if it is feasible.” The trip never occurs.


Jan. 24

FBI investigation

FBI agents, investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, interview Michael Flynn, then the White House national security advisor.

Jan. 26

Blackmail warning

Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, goes to the White House to warn officials that Flynn has lied about contacts he had with the Russian ambassador and could be vulnerable to blackmail.

Jan 27

Papadopoulos speaks to the FBI

FBI agents interview Papadopoulos. He falsely tells them that his contacts with the professor and other Russians occurred before he joined the Trump campaign. “I wasn’t even on the Trump team,” he says. He also minimizes his contacts with the professor and other Russians.

Feb. 13

Flynn resignation

Michael Flynn resigns.

July 27

Papadopoulos arrest

Papadopoulos is arrested at Dulles Airport outside Washington. He later agrees to cooperate with the FBI.

Oct. 5

Guilty plea

Papadopoulos pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI.