According to filings in federal court, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos claims Donald Trump approved his proposal of a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ahead of the 2016 presidential election. I still do not see that effort as particularly sinister or incriminating. Bach channels have long been established in politics. What is most notable is that he states that Attorney General Jeff Sessions also approved the trip. That fact only reaffirms the clearly correct decision that Sessions made to recuse himself despite the President continued attacks on Sessions. Indeed, the account of the Papadopoulos testimony could conflict with Sessions’ testimony before Congress – making recusal all but inevitable.
The disclosure came in a court filing late Friday as Papadopoulos seeks to avoid a prison stint. In a surprising move, Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not formally ask for jail time but told the court that up to six months would be fair. That is pretty steep for a false statement and a cooperating witness.
The Associated Press is reporting that the filing suggests that Sessions liked the idea — as opposed to his prior testimony that he “pushed back” on the idea: “While some in the room rebuffed George’s offer, Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it. George’s giddiness over Mr. Trump’s recognition was prominent during the days that followed.”