What Is a ‘Proactive Cooperator’?


Professor Bruce Green was quoted in The Atlantic about former Trump foreign-policy aide George Papadopoulos who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump – Russia investigation.

Did George Papadopoulos wear a wire?

On Monday, the former Trump campaign foreign-policy aide pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents investigating alleged Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. Papadopoulos had been offered “dirt” on Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from an unnamed professor believed to have Russian connections, and sought to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Although the plea was unsealed Monday, Papadopoulos was arrested at Dulles Airport on July 27. The next day, in the motion to seal the filings associated with his arrest, the office of the special counsel argued that “public disclosure of the defendant’s appearance” would “significantly undermine his ability to serve as a proactive cooperator.”

“I assume that means he wouldn’t be able to wear a wire and trick a target of the investigation into making incriminating statements, because his cooperation would then be known,” said Bruce Green, a former associate counsel in the Iran-Contra affair and a Fordham Law School professor.

“Everyone who had previously dealt with Papadopoulos knew there was an investigation; they may have been incautious,” Green said, “but they’d have to have been truly stupid to engage in incriminating conversations with Papadopoulos at this point.”


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