Today’s arrests of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have gotten the most headlines thus far, but the plea deal and confession of George Papadopoulos may prove to be the bigger storyline in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. It was revealed today that Papadopoulos was secretly arrested four months ago, and has since confessed to using his position with the Trump campaign to collude with the Russian government during the election. In the process he sold two key Trump campaign officials down the river. One of them is likely to flip on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
George Papadopoulos admits that he met with a Kremlin-connected professor in the hope of getting his hands on emails stolen from Hillary Clinton. This is a first-hand formal confession that the Trump campaign did indeed collude with the Russian government to try to influence the outcome of the election, thus striking down Donald Trump’s months of public denials. In his confession, Papadopoulos spells out that two Trump officials knew what he was doing and went along with it, making them criminally complicit. They’ve now been revealed as Manafort and Sam Clovis (link). Clovis may be the key here.
Sam Clovis was the direct supervisor of Papadopoulos, which is why Papadopoulos ran the collusion past Clovis. But the overall supervisor of the team in question was a guy named Jeff Sessions. It’s difficult to believe Clovis wouldn’t have turned around and run this collusion past Sessions before proceeding. In fact, Mueller is almost surely about to use Papadopoulos’s confession to nail Clovis, who based on his nature is likely to cut his own deal. That would involve giving up whoever he told.
This would mean Jeff Sessions isn’t merely a guy who had a series of suspicious meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign and then lied about it. Instead, it would mean Sessions signed off on his campaign underling’s collusion with the Russian government. That would nail the Attorney General of the United States for one or more felonies. Lock him up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report