The Papadopoulos Case Needs a Closer Look

Dec 2014
16,692
5,996
The Milky Way
#1
It surely does as it stinks.


The Papadopoulos Case Needs a Closer Look




Instead, after the big 13-page wind-up, Papadopoulos ends up pleading guilty to a minor false-statements charge — one that is convoluted and, in the scheme of things, trivial. In essence, Papadopoulos is said to have lied about the timing and scope of his contact with the Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud. Mueller, Rhee & Co. allege that Papadopoulos falsely claimed that the contacts started before he joined the Trump campaign. It turns out that they started on March 14, 2016; this was some time after he “learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the campaign” (page 3, paragraph 4) but a week before the campaign’s March 21 announcement that he was a campaign “policy advisor” (page 4, paragraph 6).

In concluding that this seems picayune, it is not my purpose to challenge the technical legal sufficiency of the charge. The requirement to prove a false statement was “material” (see Section 1001 of the federal penal code) is a very low hurdle. My point is — and has been — that, since allegations of “collusion” have roiled the nation and threatened a presidency for nearly two years, a ho-hum false-statements charge is a strange way to treat the one and only guy who, according to the special counsel, colluded up a storm.

But this only scratches the surface of strangeness.

While much that has gone on in the Mueller investigation is curious, I have assumed the candor of the special counsel’s portrayal of the Papadopoulos case: The young man was approached by an agent of Russia, who eventually informed him (on April 26, 2016) that the Kremlin had “dirt” on the Democratic party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the form of “thousands” of “emails of Clinton” (pages 3–7). To my mind, then, the only questions involved (a) the nature of Mifsud’s relationship to the Putin regime and (b) whether the emails in question were the hacked DNC emails (which Democrats have suggested) or the thousands of emails Clinton deleted from her homebrew server (which seemed to me more likely).

Yet, important reporting by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, and Lee Smith at Real Clear Investigations calls for a more exacting perusal of Mueller’s allegations. Specifically: (1) Is Mueller really claiming that Papadopoulos was approached by an agent of Russia and (2) did this agent actually claim that the Russians’ “dirt” involved emails — and if so, is there reason to believe he knew what he was talking about?

When one looks carefully at Mueller’s statement of the offense, and at the one-count criminal-information to which Papadopoulos pled guilty, one realizes Mueller is not claiming that Mifsud and his associates truly were Kremlin operatives — only that Papadopoulos was under the impression that they were. The information legalistically accuses Papadopoulos of lying about his “interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials” (emphasis added). That is, Papadopoulos is accused of misrepresenting his subjective state of mind, not objective reality.

...

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/george-papadopoulos-case-needs-closer-look/
 
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Dec 2014
16,692
5,996
The Milky Way
#3
More.

Again, so what, right? Papadopoulos is cooperating with Mueller and has said he heard Mifsud talk about emails. So what more do we need to know?

Well . . . maybe a lot.

Remember, there is no allegation that Mifsud actually knew that the Russians had Clinton emails, let alone that he ever showed Papadopoulos any such emails. The claim is that Mifsud was told by unidentified Russian officials that the Kremlin had the emails.

So, what happens after Mifsud, allegedly, told Papadopoulos the Russians had these emails? According to Mueller’s statement of the offense, the following day Papadopoulos sends two emails to high-ranking Trump-campaign officials about his meeting with Mifsud, and neither one of them says anything about emails. It appears that Papadopoulos was myopically focused on the possibility — farfetched, but apparently real to Papadopoulos — that Mifsud could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin.

Now, again, this does not mean Mifsud did not mention emails to Papadopoulos. But let’s consider the critical events that Mueller and Rhee omit from the statement of the offense.
 
Jun 2014
48,298
48,653
United States
#5
You mean the nothing he has PLED guilty to cause Papapolous and his LAWYERS are DUMB?

He was fortunate to only have to plead guilty to one small crime. Had he not agreed to cooperate, he'd have gotten the book thrown at him, and he knows it. That's why he pleaded guilty.

This ain't exactly brain surgery, or rocket science. ;)
 
Likes: 1 person
Jul 2015
33,033
24,370
Florida
#8
He was fortunate to only have to plead guilty to one small crime. Had he not agreed to cooperate, he'd have gotten the book thrown at him, and he knows it. That's why he pleaded guilty.

This ain't exactly brain surgery, or rocket science. ;)
I don't know about loose lip Papapolous but Mueller can make other charges as he has done with Manafort and as is hanging over Flynn's head still.
 
Dec 2014
16,692
5,996
The Milky Way
#9
People with no comprehension skills shouldn't comment. But that never seems to matter to them.

On approximately May 10, just two weeks after the April 26 meeting with Mifsud, Papadopoulos has his barroom meeting with the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Both Chuck Ross and Kim Strassel note that, in an interview with the Australian press, Downer recounted that Papadopoulos was not specific about what kind of material he’d heard Russia was holding. He did not say emails. He did not even say it was “dirt” on Clinton; only that whatever it was “could be damaging to her.”

As Strassel observes, the New York Times blockbuster report that touted the Papadopoulos–Downer meeting as the catalyst for the FBI’s Russia investigation does not actually say that Papadopoulos told Downer the Russians had emails. Moreover, Strassel’s reporting contradicts the suggestion floated by the Times and government officials that Downer reported Papadopoulos’s statements to Australian intelligence, which then passed them along to the FBI. Instead, Downer gave his information directly to . . . wait for it . . . the Obama State Department (that would be the State Department whose former boss was the Democratic nominee for president). This is consistent with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’s revelation that the FBI’s opening of a counterintelligence investigation was not predicated on any reporting from a foreign intelligence service.

Meanwhile, in September 2016, Stefan Halper, a British-American academic with longtime connections to the CIA, was tasked by the FBI to approach Papadopoulos. As Ross has reported, based on an unidentified source with knowledge of the conversation, Papadopoulos told Halper he knew nothing about any emails or Russian hacking — notwithstanding Halper’s aggressive, loaded questioning on the subject.

It is very hard to understand what is going on here. But in light of the centrality of Papadopoulos to the Obama administration’s purported suspicions about Trump-campaign “coordination” in Russia’s election-meddling — suspicions that are said to have justified the use of the government’s counterintelligence powers against the administration’s political opposition — it is essential to nail down what the Papadopoulos prosecution has established.
 
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