Politics

Ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos, who went to jail in Mueller probe, to run for Katie Hill's House seat

Key Points
  • George Papadopoulos, a former campaign advisor for President Donald Trump, plans to run for the California House seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Katie Hill.
  • Hill said on Sunday she'd resign after the announcement of a House Ethics Committee probe into sexual relationships she may have had with subordinate employees.
  • Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy advisor for Trump during his 2016 campaign for president, served 12 days in prison after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into links between the campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos arrives at a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee October 25, 2018 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

George Papadopoulos, a former campaign advisor for President Donald Trump, is planning to run for the California House seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Katie Hill.

Papadopoulos, who was a foreign policy advisor for Trump during his 2016 campaign for president, served 12 days in prison after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible links between the campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Papadopoulos became a key figure in the Mueller probe after the FBI learned of a meeting he had with a Russian intermediary who offered him "dirt" in the form of thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails.

Papadopoulos filed paperwork on Tuesday with  the Federal Election Commission indicating he will run for the seat. He will run as a Republican in the swing district, California's 25th, which had been in GOP hands for 26 years before Hill flipped the seat in the 2018 midterm elections as part of the blue wave that propelled Democrats to a House majority.

A campaign website on Tuesday asked supporters to "help fight back against Democrat corruption by joining George's campaign today," according to BuzzFeed. That website was no longer active Wednesday.

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Former Trump advisor pleads guilty to making false statements to FBI agents

Papadopoulos signaled his intention to run for the seat after the announcement of Hill's resignation, tweeting that "California's 25th congressional district is looking very tempting and wide open for the taking."

Hill said she would resign on Sunday after the announcement of a House Ethics Committee probe into sexual relationships she may have had with subordinate employees. Hill admitted to having a relationship with a female campaign staffer after a series of photos and texts were published by a conservative outlet. But Hill has denied having a sexual relationship with congressional staffer Graham Kelly, her legislative director. That relationship was also alluded to in the article. It is against House rules to have sexual relations with a subordinate congressional staff member.

Read more: Embattled Rep. Katie Hill's husband claims he got jobs at non-profit where she worked because of her "influence"

Papadopoulos will likely have company on the campaign trail. Steve Knight, a former two-term representative who held the seat until Hill won in the 2018 midterms, said he is seriously considering a run.

"Yes, I'm absolutely considering that," Knight told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal on Sunday. "Let's say I'm more than considering that." He will make a formal announcement "very quickly," he said, according to the news outlet.

Neither Papadopoulos nor Knight immediately responded to a CNBC request for comment.

Correction: Papadopoulos filed paperwork on Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission indicating he will seek the seat. An earlier version misscharacterized the move.