The more you think about it, the less sense it makes. Why would a guy who’s cut a plea deal, pleaded guilty, spilled his guts to federal prosecutors, and already been sentenced, suddenly be asking for immunity? Yet that’s the situation we now find ourselves in when it comes to the Trump-Russia scandal.
To be clear, some aspects of what’s going on here do make logical sense. George Papadopoulos long ago testified about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal to two different House committees, which are both unofficially under the control of Donald Trump, and have been essentially trying to get all of Trump’s allies off the hook. Now the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has largely been trying to do a bipartisan job of legitimately getting to the bottom of Trump-Russia, reportedly wants a piece of Papadopoulos as well.
If this were all there was to it, things would make sense. Papadopoulos can say whatever he wants to Trump’s puppet committees and he’ll be fine. But if he screws up and confesses to a crime to the Senate Intel Committee, or gets caught lying to the committee, he’ll end up behind bars for it. But, as we all recall, Papadopoulos has already pleaded guilty, spilled his guts to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and been sentenced. He’s already admitted to his crimes, and he’s been assigned his punishment for it. So what’s really going on here?
Papadopoulos has posted so many baseless and ridiculous Trump-Russia conspiracy theories on Twitter of late, it’s possible that he’s simply not being rational about anything anymore. Maybe his request for immunity is based on sheer confusion or paranoia on his part. But there’s another possibility here. What if he lied to Mueller, and he’s afraid the Senate is going to expose it? In such case, Mueller would revoke the deal, and push for a much longer prison sentence.
George Papadopoulos is generally thought of, by the media and the public, as a fairly minor player in the Trump-Russia scandal. This raises the question of why the Senate Intel Committee has suddenly decided to make it a priority to force him to come in and testify. It suggests they know something we don’t. When you consider that this is the one committee that’s always appeared to be in lockstep with Robert Mueller, you have to wonder if Mueller is a part of whatever the Senate Intel Committee is doing here. There has to be more to this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report