Skip to main content

Full text of "Court Documents from U.S. v. George Papadopoulos"

See other formats


Case l:17-cr-00182-RDM Document 10-2 Filed 10/03/17 Page 1 of 3 


Exhibit A 



Case l:17-cr-00182-RDM Document 10-2 Filed 10/03/17 Page 2 of 3 


DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT’S 
MOTION TO SEAL DEFENDANT’S PLEA AGREEMENT AND 
TO CLOSE THE COURTROOM FOR PLEA HEARING 


I, Jennifer Zelski Edwards, declare: 

1. I am a Special Agent with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). I have been a 
Special Agent with the FBI since 2006. In the course of my duties, I have been responsible for 
investigating a variety of criminal and national security matters. Additionally, I have received 
significant training in various investigative techniques and procedures. I make this declaration in 
support of a motion to seal the plea agreement and to close the courtroom for the plea hearing of 
the defendant, George Papadopoulos. 

2. The facts in this declaration come from my personal observations, my training 
and experience, and information obtained from other agents and witnesses. This declaration is 
intended to show that there is a compelling interest to seal the plea agreement and courtroom; 
this declaration does not set forth all of my knowledge about this matter. 

3. Iam currently assigned to the ongoing investigation run by the Special Counsel’s 
Office into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. In that capacity, I have worked 
on the investigation of the defendant, and I continue to work on aspects of the Special Counsel 
investigation related to the defendant’s statements. 

4. The defendant’s guilty plea (if accepted) will result in the first criminal 
conviction arising from the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 
presidential election. The investigation is ongoing and includes pursuing leads from information 
provided by and related to the defendant regarding communications he had, inter alia, with 
certain other individuals associated with the campaign. The government will very shortly seek, 
among other investigative steps, to interview certain individuals who may have knowledge of 


1 






Case l:17-cr-00182-RDM Document 10-2 Filed 10/03/17 Page 3 of 3 


contacts between Russian nationals (or Russia-connected foreign nationals) and the campaign, 
including the contacts between the defendant and foreign nationals set forth in the Statement of 
Offense incorporated into the defendant’s plea agreement. 

5. In my training and experience, the disclosure of a defendant’s plea may 
discourage individuals of interest who are associated with the defendant from speaking with 
investigators. Such reticence is more likely when the investigation is a focus of intense public 
interest, as is the case here. Publicity arising from a plea in high-interest circumstances is likely 
to discourage individuals from cooperating with investigators, either because of the prospect of 
criminal exposure or because they fear becoming the subject of renewed media coverage 
themselves. Even where an individual of interest is willing to speak with investigators, the 
individual could potentially shape his or her statements in light of knowledge of the defendant’s 
plea. 

6. Public disclosure of the defendant’s guilty plea at this time could thus 
significantly compromise the government’s ability to carry out the planned interviews described 
above and the investigative steps that may precede or follow them. In particular, disclosure of 
the defendant’s plea could likely discourage persons of interest, including individuals associated 
with the campaign, from speaking with investigators about their interactions with the defendant 
and related matters. Because individuals who become aware of the Special Counsel’s focus on 
events related to the defendant’s plea may well be dissuaded from providing information, the 
investigation would be irreparably jeopardized by disclosure of the defendant’s plea. 

Respectfully submitted, 

JennMgr&plski Edwards 

Special Agent 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 


2