WAS PAPADOPOULOS A “DEEP STATE TARGET”? WERE THERE OTHERS?
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 21, 2019) — At the opening of his Tuesday night show, Sean Hannity announced that within “days,” transcripts from recorded conversations of former Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos will be released along with other documentation heretofore classified.
The announcement appears to confirm that the FBI was surveilling not only Page in 2016, but also Papadopoulos, as the latter has claimed for months and as Rep. Mark Meadows suggested on Monday morning.
Papadopoulos will be appearing later in the show, Hannity said.
Hannity’s first guest, John Solomon of The Hill, confirmed that “within the next 7-8 days,” President Trump is expected to declassify transcripts, FBI interview summaries known as “302s,” and other materials as the Russia “collusion” probe went forward under Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller concluded his work in March, submitting a report to the Attorney General stating that his team of 19 prosecutors and 40 FBI agents found insufficient evidence to support the claim that anyone from the Trump campaign engaged in a conspiracy with Russia to tip the election.
Hannity observed that Solomon’s and his sources appear to be saying “the same thing” about the expected release of the documents.
Following Solomon, Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, appeared and said that the transcripts he has released over the last several weeks show contradictions in then-DOJ and FBI officials’ statements regarding the Russia investigation and that of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. “They’re turning on each other,” Collins said.
Transcripts released Monday include those of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and other then-high-ranking FBI officials involved in the Trump-Russia probe, the origins of which Attorney General William Barr is now probing given that Mueller found the “collusion” allegation unfounded.
At 9:;16 p.m. EDT, Papadopoulos appeared from Hollywood, at which time Hannity asked him if he was aware he was being recorded when he was sought out by a number of individuals in 2016 in Europe and either provided with or pumped for information on “Russia.” During the interview, Papadopoulos said those who approached him asked “strange questions.”
Papadopoulos is the author of “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump” in which he states that he regrets having accepted a plea deal with the Justice Department for “lying” during interviews with the FBI on the Russia investigation. Rather than intentionally misleading, Papadopoulos wrote that he did not accurately recall the dates he met with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who reportedly told Papadopoulos that “the Russians” possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Hannity established that Papadopoulos made “exculpatory” statements in the bizarre 2016 encounters which will demonstrate that the FBI knew that Papadopoulos was not “colluding” with Russians.
Page was the subject of four FISA warrants between October 2016 and September 2017 based on the Russia “dossier,” compiled by Christopher Steele, whose claims were never verified as required by FBI policy and federal law.
On the first Page warrant application, former FBI Director James Comey stated under oath that the evidence, which came from the dossier, was “verified.”
Comey was fired on May 9, 2017, which prompted then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to open an “obstruction” investigation against President Trump.
On Monday Collins released McCabe’s closed-door transcript from December 2017, at which time McCabe was still employed at the Bureau. He was fired approximately three months later, just before he planned to receive a retirement package.
Shortly after his termination, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred McCabe to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for possible criminal prosecution for allegedly lying about leaks to the media. McCabe denies having lied to investigators and has sued the DOJ over the loss of his job.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.