Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Papadopoulos indictment: another ‘bombshell’ that is actually a damp squib

Indictment of Papadopoulos fails to show collusion between Trump campaign and Russia; suggests the opposite

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

15,490 Views

Possibly because Paul Manafort’s indictment has nothing to say about the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians which are the central focus of the Russiagate scandal, the emphasis in today’s media reporting has switched to the completely different indictment of George Papadopoulos, a much more junior Trump foreign policy aide who has also been indicted today.

A copy of the indictment against Papadopoulos can be found here.

The key point about this indictment is that Papadopoulos has NOT been charged with colluding with the Russians to steal the Presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump, which is the central allegation in the Russiagate scandal.

Instead he has been charged with lying to the FBI about certain contacts he had with certain people who appear to have had some connection to Russia, a crime to which he has pleaded guilty.

As it happens, if one turns to the facts set out in the indictment they actually provide further proof that no collusion in fact took place.

The facts briefly are these:  following his appointment as a foreign policy aide for the Trump campaign in March 2016 Papadopoulos was approached by an academic based in London who he and the FBI believe has top level contacts with the Russian government.

I should say that I have no idea who this academic is and I am not going to guess.

This academic introduced Papadopoulos to various well-connected Russians – including it seems officials from the Foreign Ministry – and to a Russian woman who Papadopoulos appears to have believed was President Putin’s niece (there is no indication that she was, and the fact that the indictment does not actually identify her as such strongly suggests that she was not).

Over the course of the next few weeks Papadopoulos conducted an intense dialogue by email and Skype with some or all of these people with a view to building the foundation for a better relationship between the US and Russia.  Most of his efforts seem to have focused on setting up a meeting between Russia’s President Putin and then US Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

These efforts came to nothing, with no meeting between Putin and Trump taking place.  The indictment in fact suggests Papadopoulos found it difficult to get the Trump campaign interested in what he was doing.

Over the course of these contacts in April 2016 Papadopoulos was told by the academic who had initiated these contacts that the Russians had “lots of dirt” on Hillary Clinton including “thousands of emails”.

Papadopoulos in turn reported this comment to the Trump campaign headquarters, eliciting a brief message thanking him for his good work.

That seems to have been the end of the matter.  The indictment suggests there was no follow-up,  which in relation to the academic’s comment means no collusion took place.

This is a very sad case.

Papadopoulos comes across as a well-meaning man anxious to do good according to his lights by doing what he could to help to help with a rapprochement between the US and Russia by setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump.

He was however clearly out of his depth, and gravely compounded his error of getting involved in this sort of high-level diplomacy by meeting with the FBI in January 2017 without a lawyer present to advise him.

As a result he said things which were untrue in an effort to diminish his role, landing himself in far greater trouble than he would have been in if he had simply told the truth.

This is sad because on the facts in the indictment there is nothing to suggest that he did anything wrong or broke any law.

It is not a crime to talk to Russian officials (or people whom Papadopoulos thought were Russian officials) in order to try to set up a meeting between President Putin and then-candidate Trump.  Nor is it a crime to be told by a third party that the Russians might have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and to pass this information on to the headquarters of the Trump campaign.

Papadopoulos was clearly not a person qualified to conduct high-level diplomacy – which is why his efforts came to nothing – but since the meeting he was trying to set up between Putin and Trump would have had to be held in public it is impossible to see how he can be accused of doing anything sinister or wrong.

As for the academic’s comment in April 2016 about the Russians possessing “lots of dirt about Hillary Clinton” in the form of “thousands of emails”, since there appears to have been no follow-up this comment it is not evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians but on the contrary the opposite.

Some are seizing on words in the indictment to the effect that the Special Counsel has more information than he is providing to imply that there is more information about this matter than the indictment says.

However the wording of the indictment clearly shows that what this wording refers to is further information to prove the charge itself – that Papadopoulos lied to the FBI – and not further information to prove some other charge eg. one involving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Given that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to the charge which was brought against him, the Special Counsel had no need to outline all the facts in his possession to prove the charge, and that is all these words in the indictment mean.

As to the truth of the academic’s comment about the Russians having “thousands of emails”, it is important to say that there is no information in the indictment about what was the academic’s source for this comment.

In April 2016 Hillary Clinton was under investigation by the FBI for her use of a private email server whilst Secretary of State and in March 2016 (ie. just before the academic made his comment) Wikileaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State.

Perhaps the academic simply guessed that the Russians were in possession of these emails – including the emails which had gone missing – and his comment may have amounted to no more than that.

At this point it is worth remembering that the emails which were published by Wikileaks which are at the heart of the Russiagate scandal are not Hillary Clinton’s own emails but are those of John Podesta and the DNC.

Though the language of the indictment is not clear, the impression it gives is that the academic was referring to Hillary Clinton’s emails, in which case his comment has no bearing on the Russiagate case.

This episode of George Papadopoulos and his dealings with the Russians reminds me strongly of the now notorious meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

That too was seized on at the time by partisans of the Russiagate conspiracy as ‘proof’ of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.  As I however pointed out at that time, in reality it did the opposite, providing more evidence that no collusion in fact took place.

As the true significance of the Donald Trump Junior/Veselnitskaya meeting has gradually sunk in the media has largely stopped talking about it.

I suspect the same will prove to be the case with the George Papadopoulos indictment.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Latest

Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

Published

on

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

Continue Reading

Latest

“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

Continue Reading

Latest

Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Advertisement

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement
Advertisements
Advertisement
Advertisements

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!

The Duran Newsletter

Trending