Earlier this month the Donald Trump campaign voluntarily turned over internal emails to federal investigators which revealed that fairly obscure adviser George Papadopoulos had sought to set up a meeting between the campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the time this led to questions of whether the Trump team might have been scapegoating Papadopoulos to try to protect bigger fish. And now, sure enough, the probe has turned up evidence tracing that attempted Putin meeting back to Jeff Sessions.
The original August 14th report on the matter from the Washington Post. It identified Papadopoulos as having sent persistent emails to Trump campaign higher-ups aimed at putting together a meeting with Putin, but that none of the higher-ups seemed interested (link). But today CNN is reporting that Trump adviser Rick Dearborn was sending emails pushing the same exact idea (link). Dearborn was the Chief of Staff for Senator Jeff Sessions, and would never have pushed such an idea without Sessions being on board with it.
As Palmer Report noted several months ago, it was Rick Dearborn who brought Russian-spy-connected Carter Page into the Donald Trump campaign, and it was Jeff Sessions who first introduced Page to Trump himself. Trump has since named Sessions as his Attorney General, and he’s named Dearborn as his White House Deputy Chief of Staff. This continues a longstanding pattern in which Trump has given key White House jobs to people who are believed to have helped him collude with the Russian government to rig the election.
And in hindsight it now looks very much like the Trump campaign may have tried serving up relative nobody George Papadopoulos on a silver platter to investigators, in the hope that he might end up singularly scapegoated for the high level Russian collusion that the campaign is still trying to keep under wraps. But if that was the plan, it clearly hasn’t worked. Investigators have already traced the attempted Putin meeting back to Dearborn, which means it traces back to Sessions.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report