The constant swirl of reporting and partisan bickering about the Trump/Russia collusion case belies the simplicity of what actually happened:
- George Papadopoulos learned that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in April 2016 from Joseph Mifsud
- George Papadopoulos blabbed about the “dirt” to an Australian diplomat in May 2016
- After learning that Papadopoulos received “dirt”, from America’s Australian counterparts, the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump Campaign’s ties to Russia on July 31, 2016
The FBI used an informant, Sam Halper, to look into three members of the Trump Campaign: Carter Page, Sam Clovis, and George Papadopoulos.
Sam Halper, the FBI’s informant, is the so-called “spy” that Republicans – Kimberly Strassel of The WSJ, President Trump, and The WSJ editorial board, among others – are screaming about. This is deeply misguided.
If a member of the Clinton Campaign blabbed about receiving dirt on Donald Trump to an American ally, Republicans would have been apoplectic had the FBI not looked into it. The FBI’s investigation was launched in a perfectly defensible manner, and I continue to believe that President Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior surrounding the Mueller investigation is a textbook Shakespearean case of “the lady lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
But I also continue to believe that if and when Mueller officially confirms that Roger Stone coordinated the hand-off of Russian-hacked emails to WikiLeaks, President Trump will survive. The political waters are simply too muddied for the Americans to get behind impeachment proceedings in a bipartisan manner. I could be wrong, but that’s what I currently believe based on my reading of the political tea leaves.