The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


This week, President Donald Trump’s former foreign policy campaign adviser George Papadopoulos reported to federal prison to serve out his two-week plea bargain sentence for lying to investigators in connection with the Russia probe. Papadopoulos, whose remarks to an Australian diplomat about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton partly triggered the Russia investigation in the first place, had been requesting a delay of his sentence, but was denied by a federal judge.

But even when Papadopoulos gets out of jail in mid-December, his troubles may not be over.

According to a report from The Atlantic, the House Intelligence Committee is now looking into a letter from a source claiming that Papadopoulos sought a business deal with the Russians that would benefit himself and Trump — and that he did so in the weeks immediately after Trump was elected:

The letter, obtained last week by The Atlantic, was sent to Democratic Representative Adam Schiff’s office on November 19 by an individual who claims to have been close to Papadopoulos in late 2016 and early 2017. The letter was brought to the attention of Schiff and House Intelligence Committee staff, according to an aide who requested anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The letter was also obtained by federal authorities, who are taking its claims “very seriously,” said two U.S. officials who also requested anonymity due to the sensitivities of the probe.

The statement makes a series of explosive but uncorroborated claims about Papadopoulos’s alleged coordination with Russians in the weeks following Trump’s election in November 2016, including that Papadopoulos said he was “doing a business deal with Russians which would result in large financial gains for himself and Mr. Trump.” The confidant said they were willing to take a polygraph test “to prove that I am being truthful” and had come forward now after seeing Papadopoulos “become increasingly hostile towards those who are investigating him and his associates.”  A lawyer for Papadopoulos declined to comment.

This information could potentially open up new liability for Papadopoulos. But it also raises questions about whether Trump knew and approved of this supposed business deal, which could suggest another element of collusion.

This news follows a report from Tuesday that Trump’s convicted former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met in secret with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which also suggests a possible way the campaign could have had knowledge and approval of the Russia-backed theft of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails and dissemination through WikiLeaks.

The connections between the Trump team and nefarious actors in Russia are slowly but surely being exposed — and the president should be worried.

Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.



Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Roger Stone Has Strong Connections To Insurrestionists

Image via Wikemedia Commons

Last week's indictment of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes for seditionist conspiracy revealed more than simply the mountain of evidence that the Justice Department has acquired in the prosecutions of key players in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. It also made clear the DOJ’s larger strategy of moving up the food chain of players in the historic attack—with Donald Trump and his inner circle now only steps away.

Much of the attention has focused on former Trump adviser Roger Stone, whose connections to the “Patriot” movement—and particularly to the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who spearheaded the siege of the Capitol—are well established; indeed, earlier on Jan. 6, two Oath Keepers now charged alongside Rhodes with sedition in the conspiracy were part of Stone’s personal security detail. But as Marcy Wheeler incisively reports, more recent court documents also make clear that the investigation into militia groups’ activities that day now encompasses Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden Ramps Up Delivery Of Free Covid-19 Tests

Photo by Budiey/ CC BY-NC 2.0

The Biden administration is taking several steps to address the latest wave of COVID-19, including the creation of a response team designed to head off possible future variants of the coronavirus.

Experts say the month of February will likely be "tough" in terms of omicron, though there are signs that the wave may be peaking as reported infections and hospitalizations slow. Health officials are simultaneously concerned about future variants developing and groups like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control continue to monitor the ever-changing situation.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}