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Mueller investigation: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty

Published: Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

George Papadopoulos, Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser, Pleads Guilty

George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser for then-candidate Donald Trump before Trump won November’s presidential election, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to the FBI, according to court records released Monday.

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Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to lying to federal authorities investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump campaign officials. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel to head the investigation in May.

Mueller's office released unsealed court records on Monday showing Papadopoulos admitted to misleading FBI agents during interviews on Jan. 27 and Feb. 17 about his contact with people thought to be connected to high-ranking Russian officials.

The case marks the first known guilty plea connected to the Mueller investigation.

>> Related: Mueller investigation: Paul Manafort, 2 other former Trump campaign staffers indicted

Papadopoulos told investigators that he understood that one of the Trump campaign's main foreign policy goals was to improve relations between Washington and Moscow. To that end, he tried several times to set up meetings between Trump campaign and Russian government officials.

He failed to disclose his attempts to authorities, despite inquiries from the FBI.

George Papadopoulos counts by National Content Desk on Scribd

He admitted that he lied about when he met a London-based professor who claimed that the Russians had "thousands of emails" that amounted to "dirt" on Trump rival Hillary Clinton. He told that he met the professor before joining the presidential campaign in March 2016 and attempted to downplay their communications, telling agents that he believed the professor "was 'BS'ing, to be completely honest."

However, officials determined that the meeting took place in London days after Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign and that Papadopoulos kept contact with the professor for months. He believed the professor was well-connected in Russian government circles and communicated with him about foreign policy issues in an effort to arrange a “history making” meeting between Trump campaign and Russian government officials, court records show.

George Papadopoulos Plea Agreement by National Content Desk on Scribd

He also lied about his contact with an unnamed Russia woman, who he identified in an email as “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s niece,” and contact with a person who said he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, court records show.

Authorities said Papadopoulos believed the unidentified Russian woman could help him to arrange a possible foreign policy trip to Russia. 

>> Related: Reports: Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, told to surrender to federal authorities 

Officials indicated that Papadopoulos made moves to bury his ties to the professor and the person connected to the Russian Foreign Ministry when, one day after his second interview with FBI officials, he deactivated a longtime Facebook account that he kept "which contained information about communications he had with the Professor and the Russian MFA Connection," authorities said. He created a new Facebook page a short time later, which did not have the information on it. 

George Papadopoulos Statement of the Offense by National Content Desk on Scribd

Papadopoulos also switched to a new phone number that same month.

Authorities arrested Papadopoulos at Washington Dulles International Airport on July 27 and has since agreed to cooperate with investigators, according to court records.

Mueller’s investigation continues.

>> Related: What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with?

Two other Trump campaign advisers, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, were indicted on a slew of charges Friday, including accusations that they conspired against the United States. Both men turned themselves in to authorities Monday.

Paul Manafort And Rick Gates Indicted

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6-year-old boy, 3 family members shot outside Texas steakhouse

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:06 AM

A Young Boy And Family Members Shot Outside Texas Steakhouse

Police are investigating after a 6-year-old boy and three of his family members were shot Sunday evening in the parking lot of a Texas Roadhouse steakhouse in San Antonio.

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Police Chief William McManus said Sunday that the shooting, which happened as people were waiting outside the restaurant to eat, left the 6-year-old with a gunshot wound to his leg. Police said two of the boy’s three injured family members, all adults in their 20s, were hospitalized Sunday in critical but stable condition.

The shooting happened around 8:40 p.m. outside the Texas Roadhouse steakhouse on Cinema Ridge, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

“We do not believe that this shooting is random,” McManus said. “There were a number of people that were standing (outside the restaurant). All the people that were hit were from the same family.”

The gunman, who has not been identified, fired about 10 shots at the family within 15 feet of the front of Texas Roadhouse, the Express-News reported. He was masked at the time of the shooting, according to the newspaper.

Police continue to investigate the attack.

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Police: Woman said she was frustrated when she tossed dog out of moving car

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

Woman Accused of Tossing Dog Out of Moving Car

A woman in Texas has been arrested after she was caught on camera tossing her small dog named Pumpkin out of a moving vehicle.

The Chihuahua-mixed breed survived the incident and was found Thursday roaming a family's rural property in Weatherford, WFAA reported. Surveillance cameras on the property provided clear identification of the vehicle. The dog's microchip further confirmed the owner's identity. 

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When questioned by Sgt. Ricky Montgomery, Janet Byas, 43, initially denied tossing the dog out of the vehicle. When the evidence of her involvement was presented to her, Montgomery said she admitted that she threw the dog out of the car because she was frustrated with it. She said Pumpkin would not stay on her property and she "couldn't handle it anymore," WFAA reported.

When WFAA asked for Montgomery's reaction to Byas' reasoning for throwing the dog out of the car, Montgomery said, "Grow up."

Byas was arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Pumpkin is recovering from the ordeal and will eventually be available for adoption, Parker County Animal Control said.

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Man arrested 18th time for indecent exposure, police say

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 1:03 PM

Nebraska Man Arrested For 18th Alleged Indecent Exposure

A Nebraska man has been arrested for the 18th time for indecent exposure, authorities said.

The latest incident took place Thursday at an Omaha food court, KETV reported.

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Witnesses told KETV that Shawn Noble, 39, was yelling obscenities when he emerged from the food court restroom completely naked. When the property manager ordered him back into the bathroom to put on his clothes, he lunged at her, witnesses said.

Food court employees were able to barricade Noble inside the restroom until police arrived, KETV reported. Noble was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct and taken to the Douglas County Jail.

Noble, a lifetime registered sex offender and transient, has over 30 arrests, including 17 previous arrests for alleged indecent exposure, KETV reported. He recently completed a six-month jail sentence for a 2017 indecent exposure conviction, according to court documents reviewed by KETV.

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Florida woman ‘just out of rehab’ had open 12-pack of beer, child in car, deputies say

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

Roque
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Roque(Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

A Florida woman was arrested on Thursday after deputies said she drove intoxicated with a child sitting above an open case of beer tucked in the back seat.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over Miami resident Stephanie Roque, 30, about 11 a.m. after she made a complete stop in her SUV in the center of a lane, the Palm Beach Post reported. The deputy said that Roque’s drivers license was suspended, and noticed she had a “strong smell of alcohol,” the arrest report states.

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Roque told the deputy that she “just got out of rehab today for a drinking problem,” according to the report. The deputy found a child in the backseat of the car with an open 12-pack of beer sitting underneath the child’s feet, the Palm Beach Post reported. Only nine of the 12 beers were in the case, the report states.

The deputy had Roque perform roadside sobriety tests, and then arrested her on charges of DUI and child neglect. Roque was booked into the Palm Beach County jail and released Thursday after posting a $4,000 bond, according to jail records.

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