Pundits claimed Special Counsel Robert Mueller had a slam-dunk case.
The experts believed Mueller had finally built a case against the President with the cooperation of one surprise witness.
But that all changed when this piece of paper turned the Mueller investigation upside down.
Mueller is Forced to Show His Hand
When former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pled guilty to making a false statement to the FBI, anti-Trump journalists cheered.
They claimed that since Papadopoulos lied about his contacts with a professor who had informed him the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, that Mueller was beginning to building the case that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.
The FBI also claimed – after their previous leak that the dossier kicked off the Russia investigation – that Papadopoulos’ meeting with the professor was what actually kicked off the probe.
Mueller showed his cards in a sentencing memo.
The special counsel alleged Papadopoulos’ lies prevented the FBI from interviewing Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud.
The defendant’s lies to the FBI in January 2017 impeded the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Most immediately, those statements substantially hindered investigators’ ability to effectively question the Professor when the FBI located him in Washington, D.C. approximately two weeks after the defendant’s January 27, 2017 interview. The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States. The government understands that the Professor left the United States on February 11, 2017 and he has not returned to the United States since then.
There is no evidence Mifsud and Russia are connected in any way.
In fact, investigative journalist Lee Smith reported Mifsud had worked with western intelligence agencies—most likely in Italy.
That didn’t stop journalists from unleashing a runaway train of speculation.
Pundits floated the idea that Papadopoulos wore a wire to collect incriminating evidence of collusion against his former Trump campaign colleague.
Journalists also claimed that since no one had heard of Papadopoulos before his guilty plea, that Mueller was sitting on a treasure trove of evidence he was keeping hidden from public view.
The Truth Comes Out
The facts blew both of those theories out of the water.
Mueller submitted a sentencing memo to the court where his office recommended Papadopoulos be sentenced to one month in prison to a maximum six-month sentence.
In the memo, Mueller revealed that Papadopoulos failed to provide “substantial assistance.”
This revealed that, contrary to the media speculation, Papadopoulos was a bit player in the investigation.
Mueller also wrote:
The defendant did not provide “substantial assistance,” and much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own emails, text messages, internet search history, and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas well after the defendant’s FBI interview as the government continued its investigation. The defendant also did not notify the government about a cellular phone he used in London during the course of the campaign – that had on it substantial communications between the defendant and the Professor – until his fourth and final proffer session. This cell phone was not among the devices seized at the airport because it was already in the defendant’s family home in Chicago. Upon request, the defendant provided that phone to the government and consented to the search of that device.
Yahoo investigative reporter Michael Isikoff also burst the anti-Trump media’s balloon by pointing out how little Papadopoulos contributed to the Mueller probe.
What’s notable here is that, according to the sentencing memo, even after agreeing to cooperate, Papadopoulos provided no substantial information that the FBI didn’t already have.
Anti-Trump journalists pinned their hopes of nailing Donald Trump for collusion on the idea that Papadopoulos spilled his guts about the conspiracy.
But it was just another supposed “bombshell” to fizzle.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in Robert Mueller’s rigged witch hunt against the President.