Yesterday before the indictments were made public, I speculated who would be the first to be arrested.
My guess is that it will be minions; those on the fringe who Mueller can offer immunity in exchange for testimony.
At that time, I didn’t know about George Papadopoulos. But then, neither did the rest of the outside world. So, who is he?
- He graduated in 2009 from DePaul University in Chicago, where he studied international political economy, before moving to the University College London to earn a master’s degree in security studies, according to his LinkedIn page. There, he wrote a dissertation “focused on the deleterious effects of low governance and state capacity levels in the Middle East,” his page states. “My research allowed me to safely infer that the rise of pacified and violent Islamist groups was directly correlated with the aforementioned indicators and the paramount reason that the ‘Arab Spring’ currently reverberates throughout the entire Middle East.”
- From 2011 to 2015, he said he worked as a research associate for the Hudson Institute, a well-known conservative think tank in Washington.
- He briefly served as an adviser to then-Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson before joining the Trump campaign in March 2016. Barry Bennett, who had served as Carson’s campaign manager, told The Post in May that Papadopoulos “was someone who worked for me at the Carson campaign for, like, 15 minutes” and then somehow ended up on Trump’s list of foreign policy advisers. “I was, like, how in the hell did that happen?”
- In a 2016 interview with The Washington Post editorial board, Trump said Papadopoulos, an “energy and oil consultant,” was an “excellent guy.”
- As The Washington Post reported in August, days after Trump claimed Papadopoulos as one of his youngest advisers, Papadopoulos sent an email to Trump campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership — Including Putin.” According to an internal campaign email, which was read to The Post, he volunteered to broker “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump.”
He was arrested in July and pleaded out in early October. He’s been cooperating with the Mueller team all along.Yesterday was Day One. There’s a lot more to come.
Backstage at the White House, they’re freaking out.
Away from the podium, Trump staffers fretted privately over whether Manafort or Gates might share with Mueller’s team damaging information about other colleagues. They expressed concern in particular about Gates because he has a young family, may be more stretched financially than Manafort, and continued to be involved in Trump’s political operation and had access to the White House, including attending West Wing meetings after Trump was sworn in.
Some White House advisers are unhappy with Thomas J. Barrack Jr., Trump’s longtime friend and chair of his inauguration, whom they hold responsible for keeping Gates in the Trump orbit long after Manafort resigned as campaign chairman in August 2016, according to people familiar with the situation. Barrack has been Gates’s patron of late, steering political work to him and, until Monday, employing him as director of the Washington office of his real estate investment company.
If you remember Watergate, you remember John Dean. Among Papadopoulos, Gates, and Barrack, I think we’ve got Trump’s Dean.
Bonus Track: Here’s a Guy who knows Robert Mueller and can testify to both his integrity and the seriousness of the charges against Manafort and Gates.