Buried amidst news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed criminal charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates is news of the guilty plea of a former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos.
“Papadopa-who?!” Well allow me to reference the smart and clever writing of Law Newz’s Ronn Blitzer :
Foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements during a January 27, 2017 interview with the FBI. The topic? His communications with a professor who had ties to the Russian government and who discussed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. According to a court document signed by Papadopoulos, he was in communication with the professor after assuming his role within the Trump campaign, and met with him in London to discuss the supposed dirt on Clinton and a connection in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 14-page statement of offense paints a clear picture of alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. It points to evidence that this individual, in his capacity as a member of the Trump campaign, had repeated contacts with Russian nationals with the purpose of soliciting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
The big question that Papadopoulos plea begs is this — how significant a role did he play in the Trump campaign? Was he a hanger-on with whom then candidate Donald Trump never met? Apparently not. Turns out that, on March 31, 2016, Papadopoulos met with Trump during a meeting with roughly a dozen individuals, a photo of which was memorialized via Trump’s official Instagram photo:
This photo doesn’t prove anything apart from the fact that at least once, Papadopoulos sat at a the same table with Trump in what appears to be a rather intimate, or more exactly, exclusive meeting. This could be a simple photo op, or could be the one time that Trump and he were in the same room together. It does mean, however, that Trump and his surrogates cannot correctly claim that Trump and Ppaodopoulos had never met or been in the same room together. Because there is proof that happened.
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