‘Treason is so expensive’: Sad GoFundMe page for Trump aide
THE wife of former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos embroiled in the special investigation into collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia has turned to the public for help in paying legal fees.
Mr Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators about his contacts with people linked to Russia during the campaign. He then became a key cooperator for special investigator Robert Mueller who is leading the probe into Russian election interference and possible co-ordination with Donald Trump's associates.
But the legal bills are stacking up and Mr Papadopoulos' wife, Simona Mangiante, has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his legal defence saying it is in "the interest of all America to get to know the truth".
But the call-out has gone down like a lead balloon.
The page is hoping to raise $200,000 but after nearly two days it has managed just $340 in donations with those commenting quick to evoke words like "traitor" and "treason".
"My husband, George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, needs legal representation," the page says.
"His role in the 'Russia Investigation' has been profoundly misunderstood and abused. His young life has been on hold for too long now, and all our savings are now exhausted in legal fees."
Simona Papadopoulos has been very vocal, frequently appearing in the media, but the initial reaction to the crowd-funding effort did not include much sympathy.
"Treason is SO expensive! Good luck, but … I really don't care," wrote one commenter. Another simply wrote: "LOL nope."
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is asking a US federal judge to set a sentencing date for Mr Papadopoulos. This week US prosecutors said in a new court filing that Mr Papadopoulos could be sentenced as early as September 7.
The move suggests prosecutors may be wrapping up at least part of the investigation soon.
In recent weeks, Papadopoulos' wife has said in media interviews that her husband had nothing to do with Russia. She has also called for President Trump to pardon her husband.
Despite photos showing Mr Papadopoulos sitting with President Trump and other high ranking members of Trump's campaign team during meetings, the US President has publicly called him a "liar" and a "young, low-level volunteer".