- The Washington Times
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A former Trump campaign aide at the center of the Democrats’ “Russia collusion” claims now wants to run for a seat in Congress.

And not just any seat.

George Papadopoulos announced Tuesday he is running to replace the disgraced Democratic lawmaker who resigned over a banned sexual relationship with a staffer.

The Hill posted the paperwork Mr. Papadopoulos had filed with the Federal Election Commission declaring that he will seek California’s 25th Congressional District formerly held by Rep. Katie Hill.

Mr. Papadopoulos also took to Twitter to tease a formal announcement.

“Announcement soon on my interest in Katie Hill’s soon to be vacant seat in the 25th district!” he wrote.

He had said Sunday, also on Twitter, that he is “smelling blood in the water,” calling the 25th District, a longtime Republican stronghold that Ms. Hill flipped in 2018, “wide open for the taking. Someone has to step up. I love my state too much to see it run down by candidates like Hill.”

Ms. Hill announced her resignation Sunday over accusations, some of which she admitted, of sexual relationships with members of her congressional and campaign staff. The House ethics panel had announced an investigation, based on media reports of the affairs and some explicit pictures, the previous day.

For his part, Mr. Papadopoulos is one of the few Americans to be criminally punished in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

He served 12 days in jail after pleading guilty last year of lying about his contacts with Russia-linked persons, though he was not convicted of any underlying crime.

Mr. Papadopoulos, part of the Trump campaign’s foreign-policy advisory team, was approached by Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese-born British professor with reputed Kremlin links. Mr. Mifsud, who is now missing, reportedly told him the Russians had dirt on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

There is no evidence anything came of the approach or of efforts to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.