Trump adviser George Papadopoulos and the lies about Russian links

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Campaign foreign policy aide who attempted to arrange Putin meeting is first to be charged over foreign attempts to interfere in 2016 election

For months the White House has denied collusion with Russia. But in court documents released on Monday, new evidence emerged of an ambitious plot by a former Trump foreign policy aide to arrange a meeting with Vladimir Putin on behalf of the future president. The plan featured a mysterious London professor, a female Russian national inaccurately referred to as “Putin’s niece” – and bold promises that the Kremlin was ready to dispense “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

The most explicit evidence yet of a campaign official’s attempts to work with the Kremlin emerged in an indictment brought by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who since May has headed the investigation into Trump-Russia contacts.

Natalia Veselnitskaya

Related: Russia inquiry charges: how close does this get to Trump?

Related: The Russia scandal has gone from phony war to heavy shelling | Richard Wolffe

It is not clear whether it is possible for US presidents to pardon themselves. The constitution does not explicitly prohibit self-pardons, but it has never been done before. 

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