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Very glad to hear Paul Manafort and his confederate Rick Gates have been busted for some of their many crimes against the people of the United States, and I'm not going to lie, it was bigger than I was expecting, but it's this morning's other Trumprussia story that really makes my heart beat faster, because it's really Trumprussia, and it looks like my story, the one I've been constructing, developing in an extremely major way, in the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who kept trying to set up meetings between Russian officials and the campaign: pleaded guilty on October 5, we learn today, to lying in an interview with the FBI in January, and what he lied about was a meeting with a "Russian professor":
A “statement of the offense” document released by the special counsel’s office states that “on or about March 31, 2016,” Papadopoulos attended a national security meeting with Trump and other advisers, at which Papadopoulos stated that he “could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin”.
Papadopoulos told investigators as part of the plea that he befriended a London-based professor with “substantial connections” to Russian government officials after he became an adviser to the campaign.
Papadopoulos initially told investigators that he met the professor before joining the campaign.
The professor was not named in court documents but is described as a person with close connections to the Kremlin who told Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”.
Those would be the 20,000 emails from the Clinton campaign from John Podesta's personal Gmail account, which was hacked in March 2016. The Fancy Bear attacks on the Democratic National Committee began in April, and were over by sometime in May. On June 9, a Russian party led by Natalya Veselnitskaya met in Trump Tower with a Trump campaign party nominally led by Donald Jr. but really for the attention of Paul Manafort, who took careful notes on his phone while young Trump and Kushner fidgeted with annoyance as Veselnitskaya told her long and largely irrelevant story.
I've suggested that the purpose of that meeting was actually to pass Manafort samples of the DNC's April-May emails, as proof of what the Russian government had accomplished in its attempts to spy on the Democrats, possibly without Donald Jr. and Kushner realizing what had just taken place (though they knew that the meeting itself, entertaining an offer of campaign assistance from a foreign government, was unlawful), based on the descriptions supplied by Rinat Akhmetshin, who had less reason (or no reason at all) to lie about it than Veselnitskaya did.
Following that came the many secret meetings between Trump people and Ambassador Kislyak, in particular at the Republican National Convention in July when the Trumplings matched the Russian quid with their own quo, pulling the condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine out of the party platform and demonstrating that they intended to reduce US sanctions against the Russian government and associated individuals. And almost instantly following the Republican convention, July 18-21, things began to move:
nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails. Some indicate that party officials favored Clinton over Bernie Sanders, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigns as party chair. Spread in part by Twitter bots, the emails further pit Clinton and Sanders supporters against each other.Three days before the Democratic convention, WikiLeaks publishes
Rep. Mike Pompeo, tweets, “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down? BUSTED: 19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked by WikiLeaks.” (Pompeo later deletes the tweet.)Today's revelation provides a key link in the sequence, showing how the existence of the emails was communicated to the Trumplings, ripening them for the June 9 meeting. It looks more and more like what must have actually happened. Trump’s future CIA director,