On March 21, the Washington Post reported: “For the first time, Trump also listed members of a team chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that is counseling him on foreign affairs and helping to shape his policies: Keith Kellogg, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares and Joseph E. Schmitz.”
That was about a month before Trump's big foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27, 2016, which also turned out to be more pro-Russian than probably any foreign policy speech given by a serious U.S. presidential candidate in decades. Potential conversations during that event between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Survey Kislyak have come under scrutiny, with Sessions admitting in June testimony that it was "conceivable" that he spoke with Kisylak though he claimed he "did not recall" such discussions.
In any case, Papadopoulos will be filling out a narrative for both Mueller and a jury that goes beyond what can be gleaned by emails and other documents.
Remember, Papadopoulos tried multiple times to set up meetings between Team Trump and the Kremlin. His repeated contacts with the Russians is perhaps most notable for the suggestion that Moscow was looking for multiple entry points into Trump's campaign.
The charging document states that from about mid- to late-April, "defendant PAPADOPOULOS and the Russian [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Connection had multiple conversations over Skype and email about "setting the groundwork" for a "potential" meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.
The charge also states that during correspondence between Papadopoulos and a "Female Russian National" described in one email as "Putin's niece," the female Russian contact welcomed the suggestion of "a potential foreign policy trip to Russia”:
As mentioned, we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.
Not specifically named but alluded to several times in the charge are several members of Team Trump labeled as a "Campaign Supervisor," a "High-Ranking Campaign Official" and a "Senior Policy Advisor," all of whom Papadopoulos corresponded with about potentially setting up a meeting with the Russians.
Papadopoulos was previously reported to have sent emails to campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, one-time campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and one-time campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Papadopoulos surely has plenty more to share and, although his lawyers have abstained from commenting at this time, they added in a statement on Monday:
"We look forward to telling all of the details of George's story..."
One thing we look forward to hearing: the story behind these “thousands of emails” mentioned by the Russian professor to Papadopoulos around April 26, 2016. Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email was hacked about a month before that, on March 19, 2016.
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