Schiff Memo Reveals that Mifsud Specifically Told Papadopoulos Russia Would Release Hillary Emails to Help Trump Campaign

“If it’s what you say I love it” – Don Jr., gleefully accepting Russian dirt after George Papadopoulos had been told Russia would release emails to help the campaign

HPSCI just released the Schiff memo responding to the Nunes memo. Mostly, it’s underwhelming.

But there is one piece of important news. The memo provides more details about what George Papadopoulos told Australian Ambassador, Alexander Downer, about the Russian outreach via Joseph Mifsud. That passage reads:

George Papadopoulos revealed [redacted] that individuals linked to Russia, who took interest in Papadopoulos as a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, informed him in late April 2016 that Russia [two lines redacted]. Papadopoulos’s disclosure, moreover, occurred against the backdrop  of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. We would later learn in Papadopoulos’s plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton emails.

While the description of what Papadopoulos said is redacted, the context makes it clear (as does this Adam Schiff tweet) that Papadopoulos didn’t tell Downer specifically what Russia had told him was available, only that they could release it to help Trump.

But that Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians were thinking of releasing it to help Trump is news, important news. It means the discussions of setting up increasingly senior levels of meetings between Russia and the Trump campaign took place against the offer of help in the form of released kompromat.

Which, particularly given the evidence that Papadopoulos shared that information with the campaign, makes the June 9 meeting still more damning.

34 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “That they could release it to help Trump.”

    Nice catch and nice work, period.

    I understand that Trump would accept help from anybody to win the election.  But he’s not the kind of guy, despite what he frequently says, who shows loyalty or keeps his promises.  The path to hell is strewn with decades of his broken promises and the people who believed him.

    Why are Putin and Russia different?  Trump was desperate to help them during the campaign, desperate to help them after the election, desperate to help them while in office.

    He ignores Congress and sanctions legislation against Russia that he signed, contending that he’s doing super secret things to hurt them (not), and that formal sanctions are not needed.  But he invents new, best evuh ™ sanctions to throw against lowly North Korea.  He ignores Congress and the intelligence community and everyone worried about legitimate threats to our electoral and voting systems.  But he replaces federal voting officials who believe in a Russian threat and creates a voting commission designed to make it harder for many people to vote.

    Trump acts like a run-down building’s super, who promises his tenants every day that tomorrow will be the day he fixes the elevator, the heat, the cold water, the broken doors, broken steps, broken mail boxes.  He never means it.  But when Vlad in the penthouse wants something, he gets it before he asks for it.  Why is that?

  2. Anne says:

    “He ignores Congress” is too generous. More like “Congress is complicit in his [fill in the blank]”.

  3. Trip says:

    Thanks for this, Marcy.

    What happened to Mifsud, it’s like he fell off the edge of the earth? The university didn’t tell the truth about when he was hired. It’s like no one in this clusterF can give a straight answer.

    MP writes to university about Trump-Russia academic
    Ben Bradshaw posed a series of questions to Stirling’s principal regarding Joseph Mifsud.

  4. gedouttahear says:

    Why hasn’t The Special Counsel offered Ms. Wheeler a position on his staff? Maybe they have and the offer was gratefully and gracefully declined because of the deprivation that readers of this blog would suffer were the offer accepted. I have no doubt that someone on Mueller’s team has been assigned to read Ms. Wheeler’s columns assiduously, to make sure, smart and careful as they are, that the prosecutors are not missing anything.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Get outta here!

      Position? No way.

      That would lead to ineffectiveness.

      More can be accomplished from the *outside*.

      Much more.

  5. SteveB says:

    That “they could release it to assist Trump” is something the Schiff memo says BUT only in the context of quoting Papadopolous plea statement [end note 5 ]

    That Mifsud explicitly stated this, or that Papadopolous said to Downer that Mifsud had said this is NOT in the memo.

    This post is a stretch on a gloss I’m afraid.

    BTW I very much applaud the efforts to tease out subtle nuances, but unless I woke up with my stupid head on, this seems a tease too far.

    • emptywheel says:

      When you read redacted documents, you look for necessary prior statements that are redacted. This is one such case. The reference “the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing” presupposes an earlier reference describing it.

    • Trip says:

      harpie, look above ^. I posted this yesterday. The university gave incorrect hiring dates, but came clean after being pressed.

      • harpie says:

        Oh, I’m sorry about that, Trip. I’m having a difficult time keeping up with everything. The internet is working really slowly for me today, as well.

  6. orionATL says:

    now this is interesting. it’s just what you would expect to read in one of christopher steele’s chapters, but it comes from american intelligence and so can’t be easily dismissed.

    another tie that binds – trump and the russsians – from another quarter. let’s see what mueller’s team makes of this.

  7. Willis Warren says:

    Trump made deals with the Russian mob to save his business. They talked him into running for president, promised him Moscow hotel.

    The Russians hacked the DNC. Trump won the primaries, probably with help (more hacks). They reached out to his campaign. He made a deal.

    I suspect the deal was to disrupt the election. Make it looked rigged, humiliate Hillary.

    Trump won. Now his balls are in a vice to Putin.

    This is going to get ugly

  8. DMM says:

    Do we know for sure what emails are even being referenced in these docs? They keep saying “Hillary Clinton emails,” but the election emails were from the DNC and Podesta, very few from HC, and not even all that many directly about HC.

    Makes me wonder if these references are actually about emails from her basement server.

  9. Michelle says:

    Adam Schiff is making this exact point on Chris Hayes, tying together the Russian’s offer of anonymously releasing emails to Don Jr’s response in the Trump Tower overture

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