Saturday, May 11, 2019

Reading For Papa-d Junkies

I really can't think of a way to add to sundance's account of Weissmann's attempted entrapment of Papadopoulos, so I'll just provide the link--it's a really good read:

EXPLOSIVE – FOIA Documents Show Evidence of Weissmann/Mueller Entrapment Scheme…


  1. I don't think we needed Weissman's schedule to conclude this- the arrest story at Dulles was probably enough to know that, at the very least, the FBI knew Papadopoulos received 10K in Israel, and they thought he would bring back in his luggage.

    I do think caution needs to be used here- Weissman could well have been talking to Cyprus about Manafort. This question can be answered definitively by questioning the people who arrested Papadopoulos at the air port and ordered the search of his luggage- precisely, "What were you looking for?"

    1. Good point re Manafort and Cyprus. Cyprus is a pretty well known money laundering center and haven for dirty Russian money.

      The real point is that Papadopoulos was met at the airport by the FBI, who seemed to know about the money. The FBI does not get involved in customs enforcement unless it's part of a preplanned operation.

  2. FWIW, Undercover Huber, with an assist from Techno_Fog, points out a caveat worth knowing about (link below). He shows that Weismann was dealing with Cyprus and MLAT for Manafort-related dealings, as well, and in the same early June time frame. So it's possible - just possible - this had nothing to do with GP.

  3. I am puzzled by the supposed money-laundering element of this scheme. How was any money being laundered?

    The story is that Charles Tawil gave $10,000 to George Papadopoulos as the first payment in a consultancy retainer of $10,000 a month. If so, then the money-laundering charge should have targeted primarily Tawil -- not Papadopoulos.

    It's plausible that Tawil indeed was laundering money -- some of it through Papadopoulos -- in a scheme that was completely separate from the RussiaGate matter. It's further plausible that Papadopoulos was detailed at Dulles Airport because he might be carrying a large amount of cash that Tawil was laundering.

    Of course, these plausibilities were likely just a pretext to pressure Papadopoulos in relation to Donald Trump.

    However, if Mueller and the FBI are criticized effectively about this detention of Papadopoulos, I foresee that they will defend themselves with their yarn that they detained him at the airport only because they really were investigating a money-laundering crime.

    After all, Rod Rosenstein said that Mueller could investigate any other crimes that came up.


    For a while, there was a lot of speculation that Papadopoulos had agreed to wear a wire in further conversations with Trump's associates -- or with Joseph Mifsud and so forth.

    In retrospect, those speculations make less and less sense. In his various conversations with other people, Papadopoulos was the only person who was not recording the conversations secretly for US Intelligence.

    Furthermore, Mueller and his gang surely foresaw that if Papadopoulos indeed would record conversations with Trump associates, then all such recordings would prove that those associates were not involved in any collusion with Russia. Such recordings would be worse than useless for Mueller's efforts to slander Trump.

    1. Assuming this wasn't a setup, and that Tawil wasn't a cooperating witness, the fact that Tawil gave the money to Papadopoulos wouldn't absolve Papadopoulos of legal responsibility for reporting the currency when entering the country. He'd simply then be a co-conspirator.

      Re "any other crimes that come up," they would need to show that they came up with evidence of P's money laundering in the course of their authorized investigation, as you say. It's conceivalble that they could argue that, since they had "four American" members of this "enterprise CI investigation," including Papa-d and Manafort, that if money laundering could be attributed to Manafort then they could investigate all members of the enterprise for money laundering as well on the theory that money laundering was a part of the enterprise's operation!

      Does that give you an idea of just how intrusive this Mueller inquisition was? Because we know that the "enterprise" was really non-existent, a pure "narrative," and that they knew it.

    2. Maybe the idea was to "prove" that Tawil and Papadopoulos were moving some of Manafort's Russian money from Cyprus to the USA as part of the plot to steal the election from Clinton for Trump.

    3. Conceivably. There had to be some at least superficial justification. That's why Barr's statements strike fear into these people, because he's talking about going back to the original predication that's behind it all.

  4. I agree with the above comments. Just wondering, though -- since I haven't read Papadopoulos' book -- why he stayed in Cyprus for so long, and in the company of someone he feared and suspected of setting him up. Pap was there from June 9 to July 27. What was he doing there? Nor do I understand why he went there in the first place (and again, with Tawil).

    1. Hopefully someone can answer that for us. His actual area of expertise was in fact in that area--Levant, Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus is the focus of a lot of gas discovery, as well as off Israel and Lebanon, talk of pipelines, etc. That's why all Papadopoulos' real contacts were in that area. Whether there was anything intel related in his activities there (because he repeatedly claims he was suspected of ties to Israeli intel) seems irrelevant to using him to advance the Russia Hoax story--which totally fell flat.

    2. I'm not at all trying to hammer on a guy as young as Papadopoulos here, but it definitely doesn't seem - and I've read his book - like he's given us a 100% honest and complete accounting of all his actions and motivations. For me, the question is whether it's mostly just white lies he tells/facts he omits in order to keep things simple and to avoid embarrassment for naivete, bad judgment, etc., or is it perhaps something with more significance. None of what he could say would alter the core truth of the actions of the US Govt and others in all this, but I definitely do see little holes here and there in GP's accounting of it all.

      Well, shoot, now that I've gone this far, I'll just go ahead and say I'm especially not satisfied with his position of "I have no memory of mentioning Mifsud's remarks to Andrew Downer." If he did mention this to Downer, then Downer would have replied and at least some short conversation would have ensued. You'd have to have brain problems to completely forget the fact of this happening, especially in what was a very brief meeting. You may forget the *details* of the event, fine, but not its very existence.

      And if Downer made no reply at all, this would be stranger and more memorable still. Imagine: "Hey, Mr. Commissioner, this Mifsud guy told me the Russians have thousands of Clinton's emails." And then Downer just ignores him, refuses to respond. That would be just weird, and impossible to forget.

      All P has to say is, "Look, if we had talked about Russians having Clinton's emails, no way could I forget that. So no, it didn't happen." That he sticks to a more lawyerly phrasing leaves me with doubts about that part of his story. I wouldn't be surprised if he actually did say something, that his words have been completely turned around to suit the needs of the hoaxers, and that he sorta kinda (hedging his bet in case the conversation was in fact recorded) maintains he said nothing because he doesn't want to be blamed for being the patsy that gave the hoaxers this thin little reed on which to publicly justify the Crossfire Hurricane predication.

    3. Brad, you have the advantage over me because I haven't read the book. I have no problem with your assessment. For me, as for you, the bottom line is what the USG was up to and how they tried to "fit him up" to get at Trump. Papadopoulos doesn't have to be a saint--we hold our investigators and prosecutors to a higher standard, and should.

    4. Brad,

      I think Papadopoulos is telling you that he didn't talk about Mifsud's remark with Downer, but can't explicitly say that any longer because Downer is a witness against him vis a vis Papadopoulos' FBI interviews. In other words, given Downer's statement, which is the EC that supposedly started this whole investigation (not that I believe that story at all), GP is forced to simply say to the FBI guys that he doesn't recall saying it, thereby giving Mueller no grounds to indict him for another lie to the FBI.

    5. Cheers, both. I agree completely, Yancey, that your very good explanation is enough to explain P's choice of words. A guy who's been through what he's been through is going to do what his lawyer tells him, and it could easily be just as simple as that. Since I also agree with Mark (and anyone with eyes to see) that the real story is what USG, et al did, I'll just assume you're view to be correct unless the evidence changes, and get back to the meatier parts of this surreal drama.

    6. Chiming in on Brad's comment above about GP's book...

      I've now read the book. It paints a fascinating and contradictory portrait of a deeply flawed young man who found his way on to the campaign of a controversial (and also deeply flawed) candidate for election to our nation's highest office. I recommend that anybody who is interested in GP read it.

      In many (if not most) ways GP (as he presents himself) is a total idiot. Yes, he is young and ambitious and makes terrible errors of judgment, but its really far worse than that. He speaks without authorization for the Trump campaign, he attempts to make deals with foreign countries by himself, by his own admission he is confronted with numerous sleazy operators who offer him booze, flirtatious women, money, travel, access, and he always accepts the offer. He says he finds the likes of Mifsud, Millian and Halper incredible (as in non-credible) and yet he inevitably pursues further connections with them or submits to additional meetings with them. His romance and subsequent marriage to an Italian lawyer with prior contacts with Mifsud simply strains credulity.

      And yet...while he certainly (unsuccessfully) pursued high-level contacts with the Russian government, and admits he tried very hard to broker a Trump-Putin meeting...I could find no reason to believe (either on the printed page or reading between the lines) that he was a Russian agent or that he was colluding, or even trying to collude, with the Russian government or any Russian official to influence the 2016 election. I also found plenty of good reasons to believe that the US govt, or Deep State, or Mueller team, or whatever you want to call it, acted wrongfully to make out a criminal case against GP, presumably in order to coerce him into giving evidence against Trump. Perhaps most damning to me, it looks like the Mueller team used threats of possible total ruination -- long prison terms, financial catastrophe, and the like -- to persuade GP to admit to a crime he really didn't feel he had committed, and which the government really didn't think he had committed. A tactic they have obviously used more than once.

      The police and prosecutorial power of the United States is awesome and if it is wrongfully used that should be a matter of great concern to all citizens, regardless of party.


    7. "The police and prosecutorial power of the United States is awesome and if it is wrongfully used that should be a matter of great concern to all citizens, regardless of party."

      For anyone without experience of this, to see what Team Mueller did to its targets should be scary. To have the full weight of the Federal government behind an effort to muscle you is very difficult to resist. The treatment of Manafort--months of solitary--should shock anyone. Hopefully most readers here have no experience of what incarceration--let alone solitary--is like. If I sound at times intolerant or vindictive toward some of the main players like Rosenstein, that's why.

    8. Any right-thinking American should be intolerant or vindictive towards some of the main players. We have become so similar to the old Soviet Union, it's scary.

      One reason: too many laws. When the government is in the business of regulating how many ounces of soda that I can buy, you know that something's wrong.

      Let's reclaim our liberty.

    9. I read these comments about Papa D on Sunday and thought about them before I fell asleep. Papa D is still fairly young and it appears to me that he had dreams of bigger success. I don't know the man and haven't yet read his book. Perhaps he was guilty of boasting or exaggeration.

      If he was naive, that's no crime. He was probably a perfect patsy. All the powers of the Deep State came upon him and thank God he didn't take the $10,000.

      As far as he and Simona, Papa D isn't the most handsome man. Maybe Simona was attracted to his vulnerability or a basic sense of decency. It's hard to say. My father taught he to give the benefit of the doubt. He seems to really be in love with her. She is a beautiful woman and if she loves him, I say good for him. He's been through enough.

    10. Re his being young and dreaming of big success, he mentions somewhere--when asked how he supported himself through these various internships, etc.--that his family supported him, his parents. So, they were dreaming big for him, as well.

  5. Seems to me Papad was genuinely intimidated by Downer. If he remembers being intimidated, he wouldn't be able to confidently contradict what Downer claims.

    From the book:
    "Fast-forward to early 2019: I don’t remember Downer asking me a question about the Russians. I have searched my memory repeatedly, trying to remember this exchange. Each time I come up with nothing. I still don’t know the specific remark Downer attributed to me. The contents of the cable he sent to his superiors in Canberra remain a mystery. What did he quote me as saying? In a 2018 interview with an Australian newspaper, he revealed I never used the words “dirt” or “emails” in my alleged remarks about Clinton and Russia. “He didn’t say dirt,” Downer told the paper. “He said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.” I’ve been told by sources with Congressional ties that Downer was recording our conversation, that there is a transcript.

    Papadopolous, George. Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump . Diversion Books. Kindle Edition. "

    1. Good point. That's my recollection of Papadopoulos' account of his meeting with Downer--he was very taken aback by Downer's aggressiveness.