USDA Nominee is ‘Campaign Supervisor’ in Mueller Probe Documents

October 30, 2017 11:18 PM
USDA Nominee Sam Clovis has been identified as the "campaign supervisor" mentioned in a Russia Probe document.

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller dropped a bombshell Monday, unsealing a nearly month-old guilty plea by former Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos who admitted lying to FBI investigators. The statement of facts signed by Papadopoulos repeatedly mentioned a “campaign supervisor” who was Papadopoulos’ contact with the campaign.  The Washington Post reports that USDA Nominee Sam Clovis has confirmed through an attorney that he is that campaign supervisor.

Clovis was tapped by President Donald Trump in July to serve as USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. Clovis’ confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee has been delayed as his nomination has been challenged because his doctorate is in economics, not science. Opponents also questioned Clovis’ past statements as an Iowa talk radio host that questioned climate science and opposed crop insurance. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has urged President Trump to withdraw Clovis’ nomination.

Twenty three of the major agriculture organizations ranging from Farm Bureau to the Western Growers Association issued a letter of support for Clovis citing his ability to push the priorities of USDA in the White House.

The “campaign supervisor” is mentioned in six separate points in the Papadopoulos plea statement, starting with an initial conversation where Papadopoulos was told that “a principal foreign policy focus of the Campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia.”

Other mentions of the “campaign supervisor” in the document include:

Following his March 24, 2016 meeting with the Professor and the Female Russian National, defendant PAPADOPOULOS emailed the Campaign Supervisor and several members of the Campaign's foreign policy team and stated that he had just met with his "good friend" the Professor, who had introduced him to the Female Russian National (described by defendant PAPADOPOULOS in the email as "Putin's niece") and the Russian Ambassador in London. 1 Defendant PAPADOPOULOS stated that the topic oftheir discussion was "to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump." The Campaign Supervisor responded that he would "work it through the campaign," but that no commitments should be made at that point. The Campaign Supervisor added: "Great work."


After several weeks of further communications regarding a potential "off the record" meeting with Russian officials, on or about August 15, 2016, the Campaign Supervisor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS that "I would encourage you" and another foreign policy advisor to the Campaign to "make the trip{], if it is feasible."

This is a developing story. Watch for continuing coverage.

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