Today’s big story is the indictment of a Donald Trump campaign chairperson for a range of alleged offenses by the United States Special Counsel, Robert Mueller III. An indictment is serious, of course, but defendants Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are presumed innocent. No longer presumed innocent, however, is George Papadopoulos who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Papadopoulos was a foreign policy advisor for the Trump campaign. He has acknowledged colluding with the Russian government to assist the campaign of his boss. Stop me if you heard this one before, but the Russians gained access to Papadopoulos by promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
While there will undoubtedly be a concerted effort to minimize the importance of Papadopoulos by Trump and his surrogates, the campaign identified him as one of five foreign policy advisors to The Washington Post in March, 2016. He also kept senior campaign officials, including one Donald J. Trump, apprised of his contacts with representatives of the Russian government.
This is the first conviction resulting from Mueller’s investigation – at least that we know of – but there must be a bevy of nervous people who foolishly signed up for the Grifter-in-Chief’s con game. In Papadopoulos’ acknowledgement of guilt, he identified a “Campaign Supervisor,” “Senior Policy Advisor,” and “High-Ranking Campaign Official” as being aware of – indeed, encouraging – his frequent contacts with representatives of the Russian government.
Keep in mind that these are no longer allegations. They are included in a sworn statement he and his attorney signed on October 5. But they should not come as a surprise to those in the Trump Administration. He made many of the same statements on his Facebook account. Seriously. He talked about colluding with the Russians on Facebook and then lied to the FBI about it.