Our friendly former FBI Special Agent with two decades of experience in counterintelligence writes to comment on my adjacent post. I thought readers would find his comments of interest. He writes:
For what it’s worth, I couldn’t agree more.
The description of what Papadopoulos did that got him in hot water makes it clear that he essentially wasted the FBI’s time. But not that much, because it’s also clear that they were asking him questions the answers to which they already knew. Thanks to FISA, which is to say, in effect, thanks ultimately to the Clinton Campaign. In any event, it’s hard to take this business of wasting the FBI’s time terribly seriously when they seem to have been doing so well at wasting their own time.
Did Papadopoulos wear a wire? Who knows? One thing we do know is that if he did that didn’t start until after he was arrested, 7/27/2017, six months after the FBI interviewed him and even longer after he was no longer part of the campaign. Given that timeline, and the fact that his Russia initiatives were resolutely rejected during his days with the campaign, one wonders who in the Trump administration would feel they had no better use for their time than to chat with this sad sack. Certainly no one of importance. The impression one gets is that this was a rather desperate throw of the dice.
Overall, this episode is likely to go down as a public marker of the futility of Mueller’s investigation: is this really the best they could come up with in the way of “cooperation”? And note, there is no suggestion by Team Mueller’s Jeannie Rhee that Papadopoulos’s cooperation produced anything of value (“to provide information and answer questions”), as might be the case when a prosecutor is seeking to persuade a judge to accept a plea agreement. The pathetic nature of the offense pretty much guarantees that the judge will accept the deal.