The series of events that landed George Papadopoulos in jail in connection with the Trump-Russia investigation should make all Americans stop and think about the ramifications of government surveillance, said the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser on “Fox & Friends" Friday.
"This is not a partisan issue. Illicit surveillance of American citizens by the FBI or CIA or whoever it might be and issuing the FISA warrants on Americans, let alone a presidential campaign? ... Let's remember what a FISA warrant is, right? This is a surveillance warrant usually designed for terrorists and spies and you are issuing it on campaign advisers who are trying to assist a rival running against Hillary Clinton. It's unheard of. It's un-American," he said.
When it comes to taking legal action against the Justice Department in light of Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz's report, Papadopoulos said he is exploring the options with his legal team.
Earlier this week, Horowitz released the highly anticipated findings from his nearly two-year review concerning the origins of the Russia investigation and the issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants for a Trump campaign official.
Despite the inspector general’s finding that there was no evidence of political bias or improper motivation in launching the probe, Horowitz’s report revealed there were at least 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in the Carter Page FISA applications.
Papadopoulos – who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in 2017 and served 12 days in jail – said he still questions the series of events that led to him meeting with an Australian diplomat in London in 2016. Papadopoulos mentioned how Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, prompting the diplomat to alert the FBI and trigger the counterintelligence investigation.
But Papadopoulos said Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham-- who is investigating the origins of the Trump probe-- are now disputing that his conversation with Alexander Downer was sufficient cause to launch the investigation.
"I think we're going to learn a lot more about actually what this Australian diplomat was really doing when he was trying to meet with me. Why were the Australians meeting with me on April 20th and then Joseph Mifsud told me about the emails April 26th and the Australians wanted to meet me again a week later? There is something fishy going on there. I think Durham is looking into it," he said, adding that he feels personally "vindicated" by Horowitz's report.
"It was a great day for America," he concluded.