Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New disclosures suggest Jeff Sessions was deeply involved in effort to get hacked Hillary Clinton emails via Joseph Mifsud and his connections to Russia

George Papadopoulos (right), with Simona Mangiante
and Jason Wilson
(From ThinkProgress)
Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions knew about hacked Hillary Clinton emails and encouraged a campaign adviser to find out more about them from an academic with strong ties to Russia, according to a new report at ThinkProgress (TP).

George Papadopolous, the adviser who has pleaded guilty to charges about his Russia-related activities during the Trump campaign, told an acquaintance at a Chicago nightclub that Sessions knew about the emails allegedly connected to Prof. Joseph Mifsud and encouraged Papadopolous to learn more about them. If proven true, the new information would contradict Sessions' sworn statements before Congress. From TP reporter Judd Legum:

At a London bar in May 2016, after numerous drinks, Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat the Russians had obtained damaging information on Hillary Clinton. The diplomat reported the conversation to American officials, which prompted the FBI to launch their investigation of the Trump campaign and its connections to Russia.

On Thursday at a Chicago nightclub, Papadopoulos had some drinks and, in a conversation with a new acquaintance, allegedly made new and explosive claims about Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

According to TP, Papadopoulos went on to suggest that much more damaging information will be coming out about Sessions' ties to the Trump-Russia scandal. But first, Legum outlines the new information:

Papadopoulos, according to this new acquaintance, said that Sessions was well aware of the contact between Papadopoulos and Joseph Mifsud, an academic from Malta with high-level connections in Russia. Papadopoulos’ indictment revealed that Mifsud had told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails.'”

Jason Wilson, a computer engineer who lives in Chicago, told ThinkProgress that Papadopoulos said during their conversation that “Sessions encouraged me” to find out anything he could about the hacked Hillary Clinton emails that Mifsud had mentioned.

Wilson said he recognized Papadopoulos and his wife Simona Mangiante at Hydrate, a Chicago nightclub, on Thursday night at approximately 11 p.m. Wilson sat down at their table and introduced himself. He said the couple, who were drinking vodka, were extremely friendly and a bit flattered that Wilson had recognized them.

After some conversation about the city and their marriage, Wilson turned the topic to the Russia investigation, asking Papadopoulos whether he thought Wilson would be disappointed when all the facts came out. Papadopoulos responded that things were “just getting started” and emphasized Sessions’ role, particularly his connection to Papadopoulos’ contacts with Mifsud.

Things are "just getting started," and Sessions has connections to contacts with the academic connected to the hacked Clinton emails? That sounds ominous for the former U.S. senator from Alabama, especially considering that he already has lied to Congress on more than one occasion. The TP article hints that Sessions lies go much deeper than previously known:

In his confirmation hearing in January 2017, Sessions claimed that he knew of no one on the campaign, including himself, who had contact with Russian officials. Sessions later acknowledged that he had personally met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least three times, but claimed the meetings were in his capacity as a U.S. senator.

In November 2017, Sessions acknowledged he attended a campaign meeting where George Papadopoulos said he had connections to Russian officials and offered to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. Sessions said he did not mention that meeting earlier because he forgot about it. He emphasized that he still had “no clear recollection” of the meeting.

After his memory was “refreshed,” however, Sessions did recall communicating with Papadopoulos. “[T]o the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter,” Sessions said.

Reuters reported last month that three people who spoke to Robert Mueller had contradicted Sessions’ testimony about the meeting with Papadopoulos, including Sessions’ claim that “he opposed a proposal for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians.”

Jeff Sessions house of lies might be falling apart. And it sounds like George Papadopoulos would be more than happy to help bring the "Evil Elf" down.

No comments: