A year-end New York Times report has finally brought new evidence to light in the case of how the inquiry into Russian meddling in the American election even began.
For most of the year, Americans have been laboring under the assumption that the infamous “Steele Dossier” – with its unverified (and some verified) tales of sexcapades and possible espionage – was the flashpoint for the now-ongoing investigation that has netted multiple guilty pleas, a handful of witnesses who are now likely wearing wires, and not-so-subtle peeks inside the inner workings of the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.
But according to the new information from the Times, Christopher Steele’s work as one of the world’s premier spies in obtaining information that he compiled into the fabled dossier may not have had much to do with it at all.
The phone call requesting the Dossier, after all, didn’t come until June of 2016.
That was almost two months after George Papadopoulos, the so-called “coffee boy” of the Trump campaign, learned that Russia – specifically the Russian government – had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, or at least what they felt was compromising enough information about her to warrant shopping it around. And June of 2016 was still one more month before Coffee Boy accidentally spilled the beans while he was drinking in London with Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom — the commonwealth’s top diplomat in Britain.
Australia, being friends in the diplomatic sense with America, and not so much so with Russia, informed the United States of what they’d been drunkenly told, and thus began the investigation in July of that year.
The Steele Dossier was simply the action that Fusion GPS, by then already armed with plenty of opposition research, began to take after reading headlines that alarmed them about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, like a particular one in the Washington Post just before the Dossier call took place.
What’s more, the NYT piece details a disturbing new revelation about Papadopoulos himself: We knew he was more than just a “coffee boy,” but it turns out he was no coffee boy at all, and that all of the dismissals of his importance to the campaign look pretty silly at this point. George was still setting up meetings directly between then-candidate Trump and foreign leaders like the President of Egypt just two months before the election — well after Team Trump has indicated that he was no longer of any importance.
How will Team Trump respond to this new evidence? Deflect, deny, dismiss — any number of their tried and true tactics that have worked on both Congressional Republicans and on the GOP voter base so far.
Unfortunately for them, none of that works on Robert Mueller, and this is probably already old news to him.
Featured image via Noam Galai/Getty Images
Andrew hates long walks on the beach, glitter, and men’s rights activists. He can usually be found with his long-suffering wife, who can usually be found asking him to please not order onions on that burger, babe.