One of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers has taken up the cause of Wayne Simmons, the former TV military analyst who stood accused of fabricating a career in the CIA as a paramilitary officer.
Joseph Schmitz, an attorney who was once the Pentagon’s inspector general, is serving as a “defamation counsel” to Mr. Simmons.
Mr. Schmitz told The Washington Times on Friday that the news media is falsely reporting that Mr. Simmons pleaded guilty to lying about a career in the CIA. Mr. Schmitz said that while Mr. Simmons pleaded guilty April 29 in District Court to various charges, he did not admit guilt on that charge.
Mr. Schmitz said the federal prosecutor in the case acknowledged at the pleading that Mr. Simmons “is not agreeing to that ultimate conclusion.”
Mr. Simmons still maintains that he took part in secret CIA operations and was paid in cash in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
“I actually represented Wayne early on before he needed a criminal defense lawyer,” Mr. Schmitz said. “He basically came to me. I have a lot of experience with knocking down false information in the press.”
Mr. Simmons pleaded guilty to defrauding the government and making false statements about his financial and criminal history. He also admitted to defrauding a person out of $125,000 in a bogus real estate deal. He will be sentenced July 15.
He regularly appeared on Fox News, which said he was not a paid analyst.
Mr. Schmitz has signed on as an adviser to the campaign of Mr. Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president.