The Disturbing Timeline of George Papadopoulos’ Russian Contacts On Behalf of Trump Campaign.
While the media is focusing on Paul Manafort’s indictment today, the real bombshell coming out should be the breaking news of a guilty plea by former Trump Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos for lying to the FBI during its investigation of possible Trump Campaign collusion with Russians. The Statement of Offense that Papadopoulos pled guilty to details a longstanding and coordinated effort by the Trump Campaign to collude with the Russian Government to get dirt on Hillary Clinton related to her emails. The following timeline, focusing on Papadpoulos is a more focused version of my general Russia-Gate Timeline that is even more damning.
Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos is appointed as a Foreign Policy Advisor to the Trump Campaign. He is quickly contacted (on March 14th) by a “Russian Professor” later shown to have high connections to the government. As detailed below the professor arranges a meeting with a Russian woman identified as Putin’s niece. She promises to provide the Trump Campaign with thousands of Hillary Clinton emails damaging to her campaign. Papadopoulos spends much of the Summer attempting to arrange meetings between the Trump Campaign and these Russians for this purpose.
March 24, 2016: Trump Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos first meets with “Russian Professor” and female Russian identified as a relative of Putin. Papadopoulos emails the Trump Campaign Supervisor stating the meeting with “Putin’s niece” was to “to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump.” While not making a commitment to meet, the Campaign Supervisor responded “great work.”
March 31, 2016: Papadopoulos attends a National Security Meeting led by Donald Trump. At the meeting Papadopoulos informs the group he has made connections to facilitate a meeting with Putin. Trump tweets a picture of the meeting that includes Papadopoulos (second chair to the left of Jeff Sessions).
April 2016: Trump Former Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos has a series of emails with the Russian Professor and “Putin’s niece.” Papadopoulos requests the Professor set up “a potential foreign policy trip to Russia.” The Professor responds “This is already been agreed. I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma,” the Russian legislature. “Putin’s niece” responds “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request. … As mentioned we are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump. The Russian Federation would love to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced.”
April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos meets the Russian Professor for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told Papadopolous that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high level Russian government officials. The Professor tell Papadopoulos that on that trip he (the Professor) learned the Russians had obtained “dirt” on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor tells Papadopoulos “They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.”
May 21, 2016: Papadopoulos emails Paul Manafort, informing him “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss.” Manafort forwards the email to future co-indictee Rick Gates (see October 30, 2017 entry). “We need someone to communicate that [Donald Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
May through Mid-August 2016: George Papadopoulos pursues what his Statement of Charges he will later plead guilty to describes as an “off the record” meeting between one or more Trump Campaign representatives and “members of President Putin’s office.”
June 19, 2016: after several email and Skype exchanges with the Russian Connection, George Papadopoulos emails a High Ranking Trump Campaign Official, with the subject line “New message from Russia” The emails state: “The Russian ministry of foreign affairs messaged and said that if Mr. Trump is unable to make it to Russia, if a campaign rep (me or someone else) can make it for meetings? I am willing to make the trip off the record if it’s in the interest of Mr. Trump and the campaign to meet specific people.”
August 15, 2016: The Trump Campaign Supervisor tells Papadopoulos that “I would encourage you” and another foreign policy advisor to the Campaign to “make the trip, if it is feasible.” That would be the secret trip described by Papadopoulos in June. Notwithstanding this approval, the trip is never taken.
January 27, 2017: Former Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos is interviewed by the FBI. He lies during this interview and later pleads guilty to doing so (see October 30, 2017 entry). Papadopoulos falsely tells the FBI that he met the “Russian Professor” before joining the Trump team. The first meeting was after and was because Papadopoulos told the Professor he joined the Trump team. Papadopoulos falsely told the FBI the Russian Professor was “a nothing” even though he knew when he said it that the Russian Professor had high connections to the Russian Government. He falsely stated he never met other Russian officials the Professor introduced him to. He falsely stated he met “Putin’s niece” before starting to with the Trump Campaign and falsely characterized their emails as amounting to “Just, “Hi, how are you?” “That’s it.” It should be noted that at the same time Sally Yates was warning the White House that Director of National Security Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI and as potentially compromised to the Russians. This is also the same day Trump had his notorious dinner with Comey where he demanded the loyalty pledge.
Feb. 16, 2017: Papadopoulos is interviewed by the FBI again. His attorney attends the meeting with him and pledges his client’s cooperation.
Feb. 17, 2017: Papadopoulos deactivates his Facebook account. It had included information about his conversations with the Russians. The FBI undoubtedly viewed this as a betrayal of his promised cooperation the day before.
July 27, 2017: George Papadopoulos is arrested at Dulles Airport. He later pleads guilty to lying to the FBI regarding the Russia investigation.
October 5, 2017: George Papadopoulos accepts a plea agreement wherein he pleads guilty to the Statement of Offense prepared by the government. He agrees the Statement of Offense (which this timeline relies on) “fairly and accurately” describes his conduct related to the alleged offenses. The plea agreement is not revealed until October 30th.
October 30, 2017: News breaks that former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos secretly pled guilty to charges of lying to the FBI during Mueller’s investigation (see January 27, 2017 entry). Papadopoulos is known to have encouraged Trump to meet with high ranking Russian officials during the campaign. The DOJ releases the Statement of Offense to which Papadopoulos pled guilty. The Statement of Offense details Papadopoulos repeatedly meeting with and communicating with a Russian Professor and “Putin’s niece” to get thousands of emails containing dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Statement of Offense also details Papadopoulos’ months long communications with high ranking officials of the Trump Campaign to arrange a meeting with Trump Campaign officials (including Donald Trump himself). They also show the Trump Campaign approved the idea of Papadopoulos secretly meeting with Russian Government officials on behalf of The Campaign, even if the meetings he attempted to arrange never happened.