As recently as a week ago, former Donald Trump adviser George Papadopoulos and his wife Simona were publicly suggesting that George might rip up his longstanding plea deal and take his chances at trial. That’s now off the table, as Papadopoulos has formally decided to go along with the deal – although he does intend to ask the judge during his September 7th sentencing for a more lenient sentence than the one recommended by Robert Mueller. His new approach: directly incriminating Donald Trump.
Attorneys for George Papadopoulos made their official court filing for the upcoming sentencing hearing. The filing documents how Papadopoulos met with Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions during the campaign, and told them that he could get Trump a meeting with Vladimir Putin, and that “Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it.” So why is this important?
For one thing, it directly accuses Donald Trump of having been in on the Trump campaign plot to work with the Russian government. On its own, there wouldn’t have been anything illegal about Trump meeting with Putin during the election. But when coupled with other revelations, including separate reports that Donald Trump knew in advance about his son’s meeting with Russian government representatives who were illegally offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, this new revelation helps incriminate Trump. It also means Jeff Sessions lied under oath to the House Judiciary Committee.
Of course this court filing is only for sentencing purposes. But it finally reveals at least part of what George Papadopoulos told Robert Mueller when he began cooperating with him; Mueller has had this information all along. This helps build the criminal case against Donald Trump for illegally plotting with the Russians during the election. It also means that Mueller has Sessions nailed on at least two counts of perjury, when you include the lies that forced him to recuse himself to begin with. Yesterday we learned that Trump-Russia players are being criminally pursued for committing perjury.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report