Pardon the Interruption,

but there’s someone I’d like you to meet. His name is George Papadopoulos, and he has quite the story to tell.

In early March 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the Campaign. Defendant PAPADOPOULOS was living in London, England, at the time. Based on a conversation that took place on or about March 6, 2016, with [Sam Clovis] (the “Campaign Supervisor”), defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood that a principal foreign policy focus of the Campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia. […]

On or about March 31, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS attended a “national security meeting” in Washington, D.C., with then-candidate Trump and other foreign policy advisors for the Campaign. When defendant PAPADOPOULOS introduced himself to the group, he stated, in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin. […]

On or about ApriI 18, 2016, the Professor introduced defendant PAPADOPOULOS over email to an individual in Moscow (the “Russian MFA Connection”) who told defendant PAPADOPOULOS he had connections to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“MFA .. ). The MFA is the executive entity in Russia responsible for Russian foreign relations. Over the next several weeks, defendant PAPADOPOULOS and the Russian MFA Connection had multiple conversations over Skype and email about setting “the groundwork” for a “potential” meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials. […]

The government notes that [Paul Manafort] forwarded defendant PAPADOPOULOS’s email to [Rick Gates] (without including defendant PAPADOPOULOS) and stated: “Let[‘]s discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should
be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

What’s especially fascinating is when all this happened. Not the bits detailed in the “Statement of the Offense,” mind, but the fact that Papadopoulos was arrested in July of 2017 and pled guilty on October 5th. Robert Muller not only has a critical witness to Trump-Kremlin collusion in his back pocket (see section 6 on page 4, plus this tweet), he’s managed to keep that from leaking out for months. Even worse, Papadopoulos has close connections to Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump.

RYAN: Thank you… We’ve heard you’re going to be announcing your foreign policy team shortly… Any you can share with us?

TRUMP: Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names… Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joe Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do, but that’s a representative group.

See what I mean? I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from Papadopoulos in future.

Goddammit, could they at least pace this stuff out?

The Court being in receipt of the government’s letter of October 30th, 2017, and having considered the government’s representation that sealing of the plea proceedings in the above-captioned case is no longer necessary … it is hereby

ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall unseal and make available on the public docket any and all documents filed with the Court pertaining to the above-captioned case, including: the information; defendant’s plea agreement (including the Statement of Facts); the transcript of the October 5, 2017 plea hearing, the government’s October 5, 2017 motion to seal; and the Court’s order granting the motion of seal; and it is further

ORDERED that the dockets in the above-captioned criminal case [Papadopoulos’ false statement case] and the associated miscellaneous case (No. 17-mc-2482) shall be unsealed in their entirety.

A few hours later, documents are starting to rain down on us. You’ll need a paid PACER account to read that one, but it’ll only be a matter of time until someone makes the document public. As that happens, I’ll try to update this post with links.

Also, what is “17-mc-2482?” That’s not the Manafort/Gates indictment, and Google searches come up empty. I guess we’ll find out shortly…

Sorry for all the shouting, courts just like to do that. In order of appearance, right from the top:

Sigh, I haven’t spotted any filings in Papadopoulos’ legal case in a few days. I guess they are pacing this out.

In the meantime, the White House’s denials that Papadopoulos had a non-trivial role in Trump’s campaign are beginning to unwind.

“Papadopolous was only one among the many contacts [the American Jewish Committee] established and maintained among advisers to both parties’ 2016 presidential candidates and in the two parties’ national committees,” AJC spokesperson Ken Bandler said in a statement. […]

The AJC forum, occurred on the third day of the RNC in downtown Cleveland. Papadopolous sat on a panel with Reps. Tom Marina, R-Pa., and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave opening remarks.[…]

Papadopoulos’ public role for the Trump campaign continued. In late September, just six weeks before Election Day, he gave an interview as a Trump campaign official to the Russian Interfax News Agency, where he said that Trump will “restore the trust” between the U.S. and Russia.

And he met with Israeli leaders during the inauguration in January as a foreign policy adviser for the newly-sworn in president. “We are looking forward to ushering in a new relationship with all of Israel, including the historic Judea and Samaria,” Papadopoulos told the Jerusalem Post the following day.

Naturally, Carter Page isn’t helping the situation.