During the final week of 2017 there’s been yet again, a giant pile of bombshells dropped on the Trump Administration. First of course you have Trump’s own rambling, embarrassing impromptu interview with the New York Times where he proclaimed he has the power to “do what he wants with the Justice Department” — suggesting both they he has the power to force yet another re-investigation of Hillary Clinton, but also to shut down the current investigation of him by Robert Mueller. Technically he has the power to pick and choose who does and doesn’t work for him, but he doesn’t have the power to make them distort the rule of law into a Cinnamon Pretzel to serve his whims like a tin-pot Banana Republican Dictator Tyrant Asshole.
Apparently he doesn’t know that.
But the worst part of this was that he felt the obviously compulsive need to proclaim that “there’s no collusion” as many as 16 times during a 30 minute interview. That’s obviously once every 112 seconds, which means he’s really really desperate to convince himself — and anyone else — that this is the truth.
Unfortunately for him, it’s not.
There were many attempts to collude by both Trumpsters and the Russians. Starting with Don Jr. trying to get info from Wikileaks and also from Russians in exchange for modifying the Magnitsky Act sanctions before he himself manufactured a lie about that meeting claiming it was “about adoptions”, Manafort and Gates being indebted to Russians through money-laundering and trying to give them a personal briefing about the campaign, JD Gordon blocking an anti-Russian RNC plank that supported Ukraine which Manafort’s Russian friend Kilminik took credit for, Dearborn and Popadoplous trying to setup of a personal meeting between Trump and Putin, Don Jr. actually meeting Dearborn’s Russian gangster contact even after Kushner turned it down. Carter Page meeting with Russians after Sessions and Manafort said Trump himself couldn’t go, Kushner & Flynn meeting with Russians multiple times to setup a “back channel” that U.S. intel couldn’t detect, Flynn trying to build Nuclear Power Plants with Russia, being paid by a Russian Oligarch to support Turkey kidnapping and renditioning a rebel cleric for Erdogan and also suggesting to Kislyak that sanctions would be dropped. Cohen & Sater trying to build Trump Tower Moscow with Putin’s help and also get Sanctions dropped with a Ukrainian “Peace Deal”, and everyone lying about all this and not reporting it on their security forms or to the FBI, especially Popadopoulos and Flynn, let alone telling them Russia had told Popadopoulos they had “thousands of Hillary’s emails” months before anyone else — including the FBI — even knew that had happened.
And now we know that in May of 2016 Papadopoulos didn’t keep what Russian Professor Mifsud told him to himself, he also bragged about having “Dirt on Hillary Clinton” to Australia’s top diplomat to Britain, Alexander Downer, in a Kensington wine bar. The fact that Papadopoulos was willing to share this with someone who was pretty much as stranger in a bar, makes the odds of his not also telling other members of the Trump campaign practically less then nil and zero. It’s also telling that as soon as the Australians had even the slightest inkling that what their heard from Papadopoulos was potentially true they immediately informed U.S. Authorities — but no one from the Trump campaigned even considered doing the same thing, even after they were briefed by the FBI to do exactly that. In fact the FBI already knew that they were in contact with the Russians when they told them to report all contacts, which means they were given an “integrity test” — and failed.
In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter.
The warning came in the form of a high-level counterintelligence briefing by senior FBI officials, the officials said. A similar briefing was given to Hillary Clinton, they added. They said the briefings, which are commonly provided to presidential nominees, were designed to educate the candidates and their top aides about potential threats from foreign spies.
The candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns, the officials said.
Trump was “briefed and warned” at the session about potential espionage threats from Russia, two former law enforcement officials familiar with the sessions told NBC News. A source close to the White House said their position is that Trump was unaware of the contacts between his campaign and Russians.
However, this isn’t true. Trump was aware of contact between his campaign and the Russians because Papadopoulos had told him about them face-to-face with J.D. Gordon and Jeff Sessions sitting right there.
He also told him again during a private one-on-one meeting. Via Newsweek.
Marianna Kakaounaki, an investigative reporter for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, said Papadopoulos told her that Trump called him personally after he was hired to the campaign in March 2016. Trump later met with Papadopoulos one-on-one, when the aide told Trump about his ongoing efforts to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kakaounaki said.
Around the same time, Trump told The Washington Post that Papadopoulos was an “excellent guy.” The Trump administration maintains that Papadopoulos only met Trump on March 31 for a group photo shoot.
“I felt that he was probably lucky, having just met Trump in person and then Trump being interviewed and mentioning his name,” Kakaounaki told Politico. “That mention opened a lot of Greek doors for him, and probably in other countries too.”
After Papadopoulos made contact with Professor Mifsud, Sergey Millian who had contacts with the Kremlin’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and model Olga Vinogradova who claimed to be “Putin Niece” he specifically emailed members of the campaign about the contacts he had made.
Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”
The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.
But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials.
The concerns brought up by Kubic and others were well founded and show that the Trumpsters really can’t proclaim amateur ignorance when it comes to their many, many, many contacts with various Russians. They were told it was illegal by Kubic. They are told it was dangerous by the FBI.
Yet, still — they persisted.
And then they lied about it, just Trump continues to lie by saying there was “no collusion.” At this point it doesn’t matter if anyone in the Trump campaign actually managed to succeed making a deal with the Russians it’s very clear that they attempted to do exactly that time and time again and even if they failed to make a verbal deal, an implied deal or a contract written in blood — they both ACTED LIKE THEY HAD A DEAL OF DIRT FOR HILLARY IN EXCHANGE FOR DROPPING SANCTIONS — it doesn’t matter because in trying to hide all these attempts — they’ve conducted a conspiracy of silence.
It was specifically Trump’s lies that there “were no contacts” between his campaign and Russians that prompted Papadopoulos to lie to the FBI. There was probably a similar motivation behind Michael Flynn lying to the FBI.
And yet there is another irony that Papadopoulos admitting the truth to the Australian Diplomat appears to be exactly why the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign in the first place — not anything that was alleged by the Christopher Steele Dossier.
When hacked Democratic National Committee emails began leaking two months later, the Australians told the FBI about Papadopoulos’ claims, the Times reported, citing four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the contact.
The revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about the hack was the driving factor behind the FBI’s Russia investigation — not, as Trump and his supporters have alleged, a salacious dossier compiled by a former British spy.
So the Russia investigation isn’t a “Witch Hunt.” It didn’t come from a partisan hatchet job that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton to knee-cap Trump, although if that was the goal, why exactly did no one even admit the document existed until October or that there was even an investigation until after the election was over?
If that was the plan it didn’t work very well.
And now it seems that the leader of the GOP Cabal against the FBI and Muller, Devin Nunez, seems to have been issuing subpoenas against the FBI in their Steele Dossier Snipe Hunt that weren’t approved by the House Leadership.
As The Washington Post reported Sunday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said his “heart would be broken” if Nunes follows through “on reported plans to issue a corruption exposé about the FBI.”
The Post‘s Karoun Demirjian wrote that Gowdy suggested Nunes may have moved to obtain information in his apparent FBI and Justice Department probe “without the express blessing” of House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The bottom line here is that this investigation is not a “hoax”, it’s not a “witch hunt”, it’s not simply a way for Democrats and the Deep State FBI to “Get Trump.” It’s an investigation into an attempt by a hostile foreign agency to subvert our democracy potentially with the support and aid of Americans.
That’s worth digging into and finding out what really happened.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.