Tuesday, March 26, 2019

UPDATED: George Papadopoulos: Deep State Target

George Papadopoulos is out of prison--he served 14 days back in November, a sort of joke consolation sentence for Team Mueller--and putting his time to good use. He has a book out all about his experiences with the Deep State and how he was framed as part of the attempted coup against Trump: Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.

Fox News spoke to him, and he has some interesting things to say about his interrogation. Bear in mind that Joseph Mifsud--the "professor" he refers to--is almost certainly an FBI asset, as commenter Mike Sylwester has convincingly argued. Probably works for CIA and MI6, as well. While the "official" accounts say that Mifsud is "missing," the truth is almost certainly (see previous link, if you haven't already) that the three named intel agencies told him he needed to adopt a new identity that they would provide for him and to relocate. The point being that the Deep State--to include the British relations--didn't want Mifsud being questioned by people like HPSCI or OIG or John Huber. What? You thought it was to protect him from the Russians? LOL!

Anyway, here's the interesting part of what Papadopoulos had to tell Fox. It illustrates how the whole Team Mueller extension of the Russia Hoax worked. Recall that yesterday I quoted Mark Penn to that effect:

It’s an abuse of power without precedent. The Mueller investigation systematically went after everyone named in the Steele dossier, using the toughest possible tactics. Rather than investigate the crime, they investigated the people, finding unrelated crimes to use as leverage to squeeze out any potential drops of evidence related to collusion.

Of course, we know that it was actually even more nefarious than Penn says--although I'm quite sure he understands what was really going on. So here's George, describing how he was targeted through the "OCUNUS lures" (h/t Peter Strzok: Is It Time To Rethink Some Things?) that the FBI was getting approved as far back as December of 2015.

[Papadopoulos] said on “Fox & Friends” that he knew the probe by Robert Mueller was a “hoax” but could not speak out about it until after he was sentenced. 
“There has been so much misinformation about what my real case was all about. It was about a professor I met in London who the FBI told the world was a Russian agent,” he said. 
Papadopoulos was talking about Joseph Misfud, whom the FBI has said was a Russian agent with connections to high-ranking Russian officials. He was declared missing by Italian officials in September 2018. 
“I met this man through an intermediary who represents the FBI in the U.K. and I met him at a university in Rome [which appears to be a front for US and UK intel]. I never expected this guy to be a Russian agent,” Papadopoulos said. “Then one day, this person tells me that the Russians have Hillary Clinton’s emails, out of the blue. I don’t believe him. This was not a credible person.” 
Papadopoulos said that meeting and a subsequent “bizarre” meeting with Alexander Downer, the top Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom [and also an FBI asset], where he commented about the claim that Russia had Clinton’s emails, triggered the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign [We know that's not actually the case]. 
“I actually was the one who reported Downer to both the FBI and Bob Mueller because of his very bizarre, strange behavior during my meeting with him. He was pulling his phone out, he was recording me. It was very bizarre,” he said.
Papadopoulos, who served 14 days at a federal prison in Wisconsin, said he was questioned more than 20 hours where officials allegedly tried to force him to “admit” that he had told someone on the Trump presidential campaign about his meetings with Misfud.
“Because if I had told anyone in the campaign, it would have been a conspiracy, but it would have been based on Western intelligence basically fabricating the entire thing,” he said. “As I am talking to Mueller’s people and they are trying to get me to say something that I know is not true, I just couldn’t. I had to stick to the facts, the truth.”

Yes, that last part get's to the heart of the matter (h/t/ Graham Greene). Because Papadopoulos didn't act as the FBI had hoped he would--communicating about his supposed Russian connections to the Trump Campaign--Team Mueller tried to coerce him into saying that he had. This was to create the conspiracy--the "big there" that just wasn't "there" in Crossfire Hurricane, as Strzok put it in May, 2017.

Does any of this give you warm fuzzies about the FBI or our Intel "Community" in general? Me neither. If justice is ever to be done, then the injustices inflicted on Papadopoulos and many others will need to be addressed.

ADDENDUM: There are a number of murky areas in the whole George Papadopoulos saga. Rather than get into them here, I'll just point to an earlier post that discusses them in a fair amount of detail: Could Papadopoulos Blow The Russia Hoax Wide Open?

UPDATE: CTH has what looks like a screen grab from Papadopoulos' book, and a brief intro, that fills out the details that I referred to in a comment below. Here goes:

When Robert Mueller took over the Crossfire Hurricane operation, the FBI ran an elaborate entrapment string against Papadopoulos using a CIA asset in Israel and a payment of $10,000 in cash.  FBI Agents were waiting at the airport in Washington DC for Papadopoulos to return.  However, that part of the Mueller plan failed because Papadopoulos left the money behind.  So they applied pressure another way, from his book:


  1. told him he needed to get a new idea that they would provide for him

    I think you meant to write some other word than idea.

    You don't have to publish this comment.

    1. Tx Mike. I made another small change at that point, too. And I think I should add something re the attempt to frame Papadopoulos bringing cash into the country.

  2. The FBI needed to get a FISA warrant to collect and analyze communications about Russia within Trump's campaign staff and his sphere.

    Since Carter Page was the Russia-expert advisor to the campaign staff, he might have been targeted with a FISA warrant. However, the problem with Page was that he had served as an FBI informant recently. Furthermore, Page had been an informant in a successful FBI sting operation against a Russian Intelligence officer.

    Instead, therefore, the FBI targeted George Papadopoulos through a FISA application. Like Page, Papadopoulos had volunteered to serve as a foreign-relations advisor to the Trump campaign. A problem with Papadopoulos, however, is that he had no professional relationship with Russia. Papadopoulos was an expert on petroleum issues in the eastern Mediterranean. Collecting and analyzing his communications would not tell the FBI much about Trump's colluding with Russia.

    Therefore, Papadopoulos was directed to meet Mifsud, who was assigned to make Papadopoulos an instant expert about Russian Intelligence's collection of political dirt about Hillary Clinton.

    This scheme did not work for the FBI. One FISA application was rejected in the early summer of 2016, and it was likely to target Papadopoulos.

    Because the Papadopoulos FISA application was rejected, the FBI had to target Carter Page, even though Page recently had been an FBI informant.

    1. It makes sense, Mike. That supposedly rejected FISA is rather a mystery--I've never been able to truly nail it down, whether re the target or precise timing. The supposition that it might have been Papadopoulos makes good sense re the timing, since we can accept that it was being drafted as the FBI assets were making their approaches, inducing him to travel, etc. I have no idea whether he addresses any of that in his book, but I do recall that he has insisted that the FBI had a FISA on him. There have also been rumors that the FBI was investigating him already as an Israeli agent but, again, impossible to nail down and problematic in some respects.

  3. I speculate that the idea was that George Papadopoulos -- as a young and new advisor to Donald Trump's campaign staff -- would eagerly report to that staff his conversation with Joseph Mifsud about Russia having political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    However, Papadopoulos did not report about that conversation to Trump's campaign staff. I speculate that Papadopoulos did not do so because he felt that such information about Russia was far outside his own field of expertise.

    1. It seems clear that they were playing to his ego, but he didn't fall for it--for whatever reason. Pretty classic approach.

  4. I am a little bothered by Papadopoulos' claim that he was "the one who reported Downer to both the FBI and Bob Mueller". This can only be true (with a caveat to follow) after the end of May 2017 when Mueller became the special counsel, but Papadopoulos was questioned in February of 2017. Now, he may be simply speaking imprecisely and meant that he told the FBI interrogators in February and that Mueller then gets the story in May when he takes over.

    In any case, I think I will buy his book, though I see the House deposition is now available in full.

    1. I agree, Yancey, and that's exactly why I didn't bold that portion. There's no doubt he's flogging his book, but he does have a legit and important story to tell.

      Just before I checked comments, I saw that his testimony is now available. Hafta see what he says. What's becoming apparent with the release of the testimony of various individuals is that in some cases the House knows quite a bit more than has been publicly said.