Big Stuff in the Papadopoulos Plea Deal

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Here are some other points to note in the Papadopoulos plea deal …

1. In April, the Trump campaign knew from intermediaries from the Russian government that the Russians had “dirt” on Secretary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Those were almost certainly references to emails later released through Wikileaks in the second half of the year. Papadopoulos and his campaign colleagues may not have known precisely that the Russians had DNC and Podesta emails. But they would have realized what was happening once those emails started pouring out of Wikileaks in July. They must have wondered: why would Russian agents have emails incriminating Hillary Clinton? The entirety of the exchanges has a deep similarity to the Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr. on June 8th – just extended over a much longer period of time. They knew. They were looped deep into what Russia was doing.

2. There’s a key passage in the Papadopoulos plea agreement that I don’t think has gotten a lot of attention yet.

Here’s a tweet from President Trump with an image from that meeting. You’ll see President Trump is there. Now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions is there. Papadopoulos is the second man in a clockwise direction from Sessions in the lower left.

With Trump and Sessions there, according to the plea, Papadopoulos told the group “he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.” That’s not against the law in itself. It is bizarre to think that a presidential candidate would travel abroad to meet with the President of Russia during a campaign. But there’s no law against it. This is a key fact because Papadopoulos seems to have given a little speech about what he was up to and what he could do in a small meeting with Trump and Sessions themselves. This happened one week after Papadopoulos had met in London with as yet unnamed people who he knew had close ties with the Russian government. This is very significant.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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