“A WHOLE NEW CHAPTER IN THIS SAGA IS ABOUT TO OPEN”
by Sharon Rondeau
Having hinted in recent television interviews that there was a “FISA” warrant to collect his communications in 2016, on Thursday Papadopoulos said the sources of that information, which he said came to him in April of last year, were “spot on” to the best of his understanding.
“In April 2017, I was approached by the largest channel on television as well as one of the top two most powerful newspapers in America telling me there was a FISA on me,” Papadopoulos tweeted. “At the time I laughed it off. Given new info I have learned recently, I think they were spot on.”
That tweet was preceded by, “When FISA is unredacted after the midterms, a whole new chapter in this saga is about to open. Look out for key characters: Alexander Downer, GCHQ, And a FISA on me being revealed.” [sic]
Downer was Australia’s ambassador to the UK in 2016 and one of the individuals in Europe who approached Papadopoulos to open a conversation about Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from her private, unauthorized server used while she was Obama’s Secretary of State.
GCHQ is the British equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
Papadopoulos’s tweet also suggests that the approximately 20 pages of documentation submitted to the FISA court on Carter Page which remain classified contain FISA information pertaining to him, perhaps in the form of a warrant application or information gleaned from surveillance.
Page was never charged with a crime nor even interviewed by the FBI, as opposed to Papadopoulos, who was charged with and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year in connection with his alleged interactions with Russians in 2016. Papadopoulos now says that information the FBI withheld from him was instrumental in his decision to accept the plea deal and that he is considering withdrawing from it in consultation with his new legal team.
The classified FISA documentation were designated for a quick review and declassification by President Trump on September 18, but three days later, Trump tweeted that he rethought his decision and asked the Justice Department’s Inspector General to review them before making them public.
Reportedly, the governments of the UK and Australia are vehemently opposed to the documents becoming public, an observation Papadopoulos has tweeted about in recent days.
Having first been approached by a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, in Rome in April 2016 and by Downer the following month about Clinton’s emails and Russia, Papadopoulos told Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade last Friday that he now believes he “was framed in many ways.”
According to Papadopoulos, Mifsud’s attorney, who is based in London and reportedly has a fine reputation, has stated on the record that Mifsud was not an agent of Russia at the time, but rather, was acting at the behest of the FBI.
A number of other Trump campaign aides and associates have reported receiving overtures from Henry Greenberg, a Russian national in Florida with a criminal history somehow allowed to reenter the U.S.; and London-based professor emeritus Stefan Halper, a known FBI and Department of Defense informant.
On Wednesday night, Papadopoulos tweeted that he was given $10,000 by the FBI in what he believes was a possible “sting operation.” He has offered to provide the bills to Congress “to examine for marked bills” “in the interest of me being fully transparent.”
Devin Nunes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in April that after being shown the “EC,” or “electronic communication” the FBI relied upon to open its counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign, he saw no intelligence which would have justified it.
The FBI spent at least nine months on the investigation before it was transferred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017, one week after the termination of FBI Director James Comey. Mainstream media reports continue to say that Mueller’s team is interviewing Trump associates and their associates to determine whether or not there was any “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia to tip the election in Trump’s favor.
Trump has publicly said on many occasions that the only collusion was on the part of the Clinton campaign, which hired a private company, Fusion GPS, to commission the compilation of a “dossier” consisting of opposition research on Trump. Without verification, the dossier was used to apply for and obtain four successive FISA warrants on Carter Page without informing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) of its political nature.
The last Page warrant application was signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who hired Mueller due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal. Members of Congress want to speak with Rosenstein under oath on a myriad of issues, to include the memoranda he issued encompassing the scope of Mueller’s investigation and whether or not a New York Times article dated September 21, 2018 alleging that Rosenstein suggested he would record his conversations with Trump and attempt to remove him from office is accurate.
Rosenstein was scheduled to testify privately to two House committees last Thursday, but the night before, the House Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees announced that the session would be rescheduled.