I think this will make more sense if viewed from the perspective of what the FBI was attempting to accomplish within their administrative framework--into which everything had to fit.
It appears that a decision was made early on that trying to label a single person--or even two more or less unconnected persons--associated with the Trump campaign as a Russian spy would not be sufficient. If that had been tried, the failure to warn and brief Trump would have been utterly implausible. What was needed was to present a plausible case that the supposed Russian connection to the Trump campaign was systemic. For that what was needed was a network of individuals that was active in a key part of the campaign--the foreign policy shop. If such a de facto network of Russian agents working within the Trump campaign could be plausibly claimed, then the FBI could do what it actually did do with Crossfire Hurricane--open an "enterprise counterintelligence investigation," with the de facto network being the targeted "enterprise."
As I explained in Mueller's Enterprise Witchhunt, an "enterprise investigation" is defined in the FBI's guidelines (DIOG) as follows:
Enterprise defined: An enterprise is a group of persons associated together for a common purpose of engaging in a course of conduct. The term “enterprise” includes any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact, although not a legal entity.
Associated in fact defined : The term "associated in fact" means the persons have an ongoing organization, formal or informal, and that the persons function together as a continuing unit. (DIOG 8.2)
The problem for the FBI, then, was to establish such an "enterprise", an informal group of persons functioning as a unit in fact, although not a legal entity. Who would be the members?
Manafort, with his long years of Russian and Ukrainian involvement was a perfect fit--and I remain curious whether Manafort may have been cleverly steered to the campaign. Flynn, on the other hand, while possessing Russian connections was more of a singleton, a free agent rather than a member of the team. Carter Page, of course, was manna from heaven--so much so that, again, I wonder whether he was somehow steered to the campaign by persons working against Trump. And as if his past Russian connections weren't enough, his trip to Russia to give a commencement address was almost too much to hope for (which again causes one to wonder about how that invitation came about--really).
And then there was Papadopoulos, who had no Russian connections at all. It would have been easier to dispense with him, but an enterprise with only two members--Manafort and Page--would not have been terribly compelling. This, I believe, is why Papadopoulos' true if unwitting function in the Russia Hoax--for the FBI--was simply to serve as a member of the bogus enterprise, an extra body to present a more compelling case. This explains the remarkable lengths that the FBI went to to entrap Papadopoulos in Russian related conversations, including the Hillary email angle. Ultimately, Papadopoulos declined to be entrapped, but all that undercover activity surrounding him had served its purpose. At that point, the FBI lost interest in Papadopoulos for a few months, because the focus had shifted to getting the FISA and, for that, Papadopoulos was of no help.
Of course, when Trump actually won, the FBI had a Papadopoulos problem. The fix was to quickly frame him and get him to plead guilty. It didn't matter how ridiculous the case of "lying" that was brought against him was--the 14 day sentence that he received speaks volumes--as long as he could be pressured to shut up. This, to the benefit of all, he has refused to do.
My reason--and not just my reason, but that of most others, including the House investigators and the IG--for focusing on Carter Page is because Page was made the vehicle for obtaining a FISA on the Trump campaign (for practical purposes). I believe that FISA abuse represents the most likely avenue for bringing criminal charges against the Russia Hoax conspirators.
However, the importance that the whole Papadopoulos episode now takes on is becoming more apparent every day. It exposes the formation of the Russia Hoax plot as far more than a spur of the moment, opportunistic undertaking. We can now see that the plans for it must have stretched back much further than most people have suspected. John Solomon wrote, last week, that the Russia Hoax was strategized and planned as early as January 2016. He also states that evidence will be forthcoming to show that the planning took place in the Obama White House, as appears to be confirmed in the Strzok/Page text: "this is being run by the WH."
Should be an interesting week coming up. If even half of this pans out--and thus far, it all has--then the Dem/Media combine's collective Barr induced pro-obstruction hysteria balloon is about to be deflated.
ADDENDUM: Techno Fog has a tweet that plays right into some of my obsessions. In this post I mention that evidence that this whole Russia Hoax was planned months before the first steps were taken. I've also repeatedly stated that I suspect FBI involvment somewhere in connection with the Trump Tower meeting, that was nominally run by Fusion GPS. Now read Techno Fog:
Isn't it curious that Fusion GPS and former FBI informant Steele would look into Trump/Russia after the FBI/IC started that same inquiry?
What are the odds?
Are the basic assumptions all wrong- was Fusion not retained for campaign research, but to bolster the FBI investigation?
4:40 PM - 20 Apr 2019