Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has asserted that several campaign officials knew about his efforts at conspiring with the Russian government, including Jeff Sessions. As a result, Sessions is now admitting that Papadopoulos did in fact tell him about it. By default, Sessions is admitting that he lied under oath earlier this year when he insisted he was not aware of any Trump campaign coordination with Russia. Moreover, Sessions may have just gotten another Trump campaign adviser arrested in the process.
Follow the timeline. After the Papadopoulos story became public, but before Sessions admitted to knowing about Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign adviser named J.D. Gordon fed a story to a reporter asserting that neither he nor Sessions knew what was going on at the time (link). Now Sessions is admitting he did know. This suggests that Gordon was lying, and was merely trying to cover for Sessions. It is not automatically illegal to lie to a reporter. But if this is the same story that Gordon gave to Robert Mueller or the FBI, then it is illegal.
George Papadopoulos was indicted and arrested specifically for lying to the FBI. His subsequent confession about conspiring with Russia was merely an attempt on his part at avoiding prison. We now know that Mueller’s strategy is to aggressively go after anyone who lies to investigators. So if Gordon did tell the same phony cover story to the Feds that he told to the reporter, then it’s likely that Mueller will move to indict and arrest Gordon.
From there, J.D. Gordon – a longtime political adviser with no known criminal history of any kind – would probably cut a deal and admit to everything he learned or witnessed while he was working for the campaign. Gordon met with the Russian Ambassador during the Republican National Convention, but there is no publicly known evidence that Gordon illegally conspired with Russia. However, simply lying to the Feds would be enough to get him arrested.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report