Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was the “high-ranking campaign official” former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos emailed about arranging a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Washington Post reported late Monday.
“Have been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin wanting to host him and the team when the time is right,” Papadopoulos wrote in April 2016 to a person identified only as “a high-ranking official of the Campaign” in court documents unsealed Monday.
The Washington Post reported, citing previously described emails that Trump’s campaign handed over to congressional committees, that the campaign official in question was Lewandowski.
Papadopoulos was arrested in July and pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI. The case against him was unsealed Monday.
In May 2016, according to the court documents, Papadopoulos emailed Lewandowski again to say the “Russian government” had “relayed” to him “that they are interested in hosting Mr. Trump.”
Lewandowski in June 2016 referred Papadopoulos to “the campaign supervisor,” according to court filings, a person Yahoo News identified on Monday as Sam Clovis, who joined Trump’s campaign in August 2015 as a co-chair and policy adviser. Clovis, a non-scientist and open skeptic of climate change, is Trump’s pick to be the USDA’s chief scientist.
According to the court documents, Clovis in August 2016 told Papadopoulos that he “would encourage” him to meet with Russian officials.
“Another high-ranking campaign official” named in the court documents matches the description of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair who surrendered to the FBI on Monday.
According to court documents, Manafort forwarded Papadopoulos’ email suggesting that Trump travel to Russia to “another campaign official.”
In an addendum to the email, Manafort suggested that “someone low level,” rather than Trump himself, should travel to Russia “so as not to send any signal.” According to the Washington Post, the other campaign official Manafort sent the email to was Rick Gates, his business associate.
Manafort and Gates on Monday pleaded not guilty to 12 counts against them, including conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, conspiracy against the U.S. and failure to file reports on foreign bank accounts.