Tantalizing Testimony From a Top Trump Aide Sets Off a Search for Proof

The aide said he remembered getting an email about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton well before compromising Democratic emails were released. No one can find the message he mentioned.


Comments: 116

  1. Keep on searching! And good luck!

  2. One of three things is possible with regard to Mr. Mashburn's assertions:

    1. His recollection is faulty (as recollections tend to be).
    2. His recollection is correct, and the emails about damaging Russian information on Clinton simply have yet to be found.
    3. His recollection is correct, but the emails about damaging Russian information have somehow "disappeared."

    Another tantalizing twist -- with more such twists to come, no doubt.

  3. There is a fourth option.
    He is lying to send the investigation down a rabbit hole. This provides more time to denigrate Mueller, personally, and his work.
    And, this form of obstruction of justice is difficult to confirm. So there is no penalty for the false-accuser.

  4. There's a fourth possibility. He could be lying.

  5. This is interesting. There seem to be two possibilities: Mashburn misremembered, or the e-mails were not turned over. It's very hard to really get rid of an e-mail trail, so one would want to know how vigorous a computer-forensic investigation has been made for these. Also, while Mashburn seems truthful, memory is a funny thing. Could he have had a phone call (say), rather than an e-mail?

  6. A senior official in the campaign specifically recalls an email on this and now no one can find it? Sounds like it's time to start looking for evidence that emails were culled and hard drives were cleaned, before investigators were allowed access. In the end, it's going to be the cover-up and obstruction of justice that send Trump family members and other senior Trump advisors to jail.

  7. If this was a plot of a spy movie it would only star B and C list actors with the aspiring actress niece of the director playing the bartender and it would go 'straight to DVD', so convoluted and unrealistic is the plot.

    Somebody, please wake me up.

  8. There's a smoking gun somewhere.

  9. Sounds like a nice sanitizing job by someone. Hope they get caught destroying the evidence.

  10. Maybe it was a text message and not an email. Did anyone look there?

  11. You expect Trump aides to tell the truth?

  12. it's called a red herring, guys.

  13. so, as a red herring, to play Papadapolous as a loose canon who went off on his own, supports the Trump case that there is no "there" there, in this investigation.

    Other news reports indicate there is a long history of Russian oligarchic / Kremlin?? involvement with Trump business around loans, and of course, a beauty pageant in Moscow.

    Why would Russian efforts to contact Trump's campaign hinge on reaching out to a low-level operator like Papadopolous when there are other historical avenues to reach out to the Trump team? This doesn't quite make sense.

    This report makes it sound as though but for Papadopolous, the Russian operators would not have been able to make contact. This seems implausible with all the history.

    Is the NY Times by running this report about an alleged email from Papadapolous inadvertently playing into the Trump effort to obfuscate the Russian / Trump story line? There is no "there" there in this news story; except to suggest Papadapolous acted without authority and therefore absolves the Trump Team of any association with Papadapolous.

  14. I get the feeling that Mr Mashburn may be misremembering.

  15. There are two possible explanations here:
    1) the message exists
    2) Mashburn is lying
    What would he gain by lying about it? I would guess nothing. Therefore the message must exit and was either willingly wiped out or simply not released with the rest of the White House documents - which would leave the question what else might have "vanished" in the process.

  16. There is a 3rd possibility: Washburn is misremembering. People misremember all the time.

  17. "No evidence has come to light indicating that Mr. Papadopoulos told anyone on the campaign" - aka no PHYSICAL evidence, does not mean he did not tell someone in the campaign. It's been established that everyone in the Trump campaign is a liar.

  18. I don't agree that it will take years to determine treason, conspiracy, and financial crimes committed during the 2016 election and perpetrated by Trump and his cabal. Our intelligence community sifts through millions of emails daily as far as warding off terrorist attacks.

    Mueller has also worked tirelessly and quickly to bring Trump-related felons to justice, and can treason charges not be far behind as well?

    When I helped managed an MS Exchange Mail Server, it was backed up nightly and this data was stored off-site for security reasons. I wonder if Mueller has access to these storage facilities as far as searching out this elusive email. Since Putin was actively involved in hacking our U.S. elections and grids since 2015 or earlier, as reported by various news outlets, I am not surprised that there is an earlier email out there regarding Russian contacts.

  19. I've always assumed that an archive copy is kept of every e-mail by Federal employees at the same time the message is delivered to its recipient. No other solution would prevent employees from deleting messages that might later be subject to FOIA requests or subpoenas. I've set up mail services for clients who need to keep complete archives; it's not that hard.

  20. About the only thing of interest in that whole story was to learn that grown-ups still like eating ice cream sandwiches on recess. As long as kids will still be kids despite pretending to call themselves adults there's still a glimmer of hope left for this world. I'd like to see more ice cream trucks roaming the streets of world capitols as opposed to Secret Service agents.

  21. They will find the email, eventually, to Mashburn and others and much more than even the transcripts from the Senate Committee provides. Trump's campaign was conspiring with Russia much earlier than we now know and they were grooming him to run for the presidency as a Russian puppet much sooner. They were planning their influence campaign and interference a decade before, probably. Remember Cohen had an email saying, "Let's get our boy elected president". They had been waiting for the best chance of success, and got it when they had Cambridge Analytica research and Facebook's lack of oversight. Russia needed them to drop the sanctions the U.S. had imposed (which is what Michael Flynn lied about discussing with Kisylak), as there economy was suffering and Trump owed them (Putin and his oligarchs) big time for loans and real estate bought for exceeding high prices to aid Trump during the recession. Trump knew this was all illegal and tried to make sure no one indicated publicly how much Russia was involved and to what degree, by sharing meetings with Russia and such. Justice will be served. The day of reckoning is coming.

  22. This all reads like a badly written script for a TV dark comedy series. It is hard to believe all of this actually occurred. The American form of "democracy" has turned into farce by the Trump campaign.

    The Trump administration is another farce that is still being badly written and will most likely turn into a tragedy that will be serialized for years to come. Will it too become a tragicomedy?

  23. Well, we know that Papadopoulos was shooting his mouth off and told people this, and we know that Mashburn says he found out from Papadopoulos.

    Email or oral, what’s the difference?

    Then again, if the trump people erased emails, well, then, I guess it’s “lock him up” time for sure....

  24. From beginning to end, this has all been rumor and innuendo. Even people who have been charged, have not been accused of collusion--but with lying to the FBI--or laundering money from 8 years ago. All Mueller has been able to do, other than that, is to indict a few Russians--who he'll never be able to get his hands on.

    It's time for Mueller to disclose what he has found so far--and give us some idea as to when this can all be over. Yeah...I realize the Liberals are all peeing their pants--hoping against hope to find something to dirty-up Trump with, but chances are, if there was ever anything there--they would have found it by now. Let's end this thing--so we can get on with building that wall!

  25. Well, the tit for tat just now of DJT wanting to ease sanctions on the Chinese company ZTE after the Trump organization got massive loans from China for a development scheme in Indonesia seems like enough proof of corruption to remove DJT, but I suppose conservatives don’t care how sleazy and criminal their politicians are. As long as they have the conservative label, the rancid product inside is preferable to all else.

  26. Trump has always been dirty since long before he ran for office. Look at the well documented history of how he ripped people off as a businessman and his disgusting way of treating women. A tiger does not change its stripes over night, Trump the conman is still a conman who has no business being the leader of this country. We will find out this year, and in 2020, what the public thinks of him and his say-nothing Republican enablers. In the final analysis, that is all that matters, the electorate.

  27. @Jesse: How do you square "more tax cuts" with "reducing the budget deficit"? If the answer is that tax cuts magically pay for themselves, you are beyond reach.

  28. Trumpublicans, if you have nothing to hide, don't act so guilty.

  29. This is all very weird. Is this some kind of rabbit-hole diversion cooked up by the Trump team?

  30. Birdy--Why, yes. Yes, it is.

  31. You mean, the White House might have presented...alternative facts that resulted in a snipe hunt?

    <this is my shocked face>

    This Administration would *never* do that.

    Excuse me, I have a bridge to buy....

  32. Yes the Trump Campaign meet with Russians trying to collude to get dirt. Trump campaign claimed they left because the meeting was only about adopting Russians. One that was just a tiny tiny liddle fake lie on their part. Little fake lie.
    Two looks a lot like the meeting was actually about the Russians Adopting the Trumps.

  33. did gail collins have anything to do with writing this column? an ice cream sandwich?? you can eat ice cream at senate committee meetings?
    beyond that the cast of trumpian characters described makes one ill. we have the old guard jesse helms era lawyer and an evangelical lawyer running a "policy shop". advice on fleecing the flock i say .... and we have a sycophant running amok, drinking and talking, trying to look important and attract the bosses praise and attention. yuck.

  34. We are over one year into the Mueller investigation and must assume by now the special investigator has such documents if they exist. The question now is one of timing. Does Mueller release his report just before the Mid Term Elections? The American voter has a very short attention span and will remember the news as the voter goes to the polls. I'm sure Mueller knows this.

  35. It's not terribly unusual for witnesses receiving a large number of different messages to confuse the modality of information received long ago, for example remembering as an email what was in fact a conversation or document. Also, what a Senate committee can or cannot find has no bearing whatsoever on what Mueller's team can learn -- especially as they seem to be the only people able to put a little fire to Papadopoulos's feet.

  36. You would need to destroy a serious volume of evidence in order to make an email disappear entirely. Forget paper shredders. You'd need a wood chipper and a dump truck to destroy all the physical evidence where an email might hide. Assuming Mashburn's testimony is honest and accurate, the document will turn up eventually. There's a more important question though: What difference does this knowledge make to the outstanding investigations?

    Mashburn essentially said "Yes, Papadopoulos contacted me with this information but I dismissed him. Maybe I forwarded the email to someone else. So what?" This is actually a contradiction to the claim that Mashburn took no action with the information. However, the testimony is consistent with the standard Trump defense so far. Papadopoulos was a rouge actor. Even if the campaign knew about the information, they didn't act on the information. Therefore, there can't be any crime.

    The smoking gun everyone is looking for is how do we get from Papadopoulos to the Trump Tower meeting if the campaign never followed up on the lead? Calling this a bizarre coincidence stretches the boundaries of imagination. I just doubt you'll find the evidence in an email. Although, given the chaos surrounding Trump maybe someone made a mistake. That would be in keeping with our current knowledge so far.

  37. If Pappadopoulos sent the email, then an FBI tech forensic team could find it. Let's hope!

  38. Missing emails? Trump told us repeatedly before the election that there would be evidence of crimes in the missing emails. We now know he was talking about his own campaign.

  39. Just as in the Gina Haspel case, of destroying evidence, the email has suffered, right-wing, authoritarian annihilation. A good hacker could find it.

  40. A linked in Russian promised Donald Trump Jr help in the campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Russians sent their lawyer to Trump Tower. The key people in the Trump campaign met with her. Soon after, the Russians released the DNC tapes through Wikileaks. Donald Trump thereafter told audiences how much he loved Wikileaks and quoted the leaked materials. Now all involved parties claim there was no collusion between the Trumps and Russia.

    Also, the Chinese Government loans a Trump Project in Indonesia $500 million. Only 48 hours later, the President rescinds sanctions on a Chinese government owned company and promises to help save 75,000 Chinese jobs. All parties claim there is not a whiff of bribery.

    Republicans in Congress refuse to even criticize the President for not firing one of his White Staffers who slurred dying Senator John McCain, a hero and one of the GOP's leading lights. No Republican wanted to upset the President.

    We are in a surreal time.

  41. and the commission to Trump on the Rosneft sale. the hundreds of millions spent on condos in Trump buildings by Russians, oligarchs/ mobs/their families. The ruble laundering Florida sale. Hundreds of Million to Donald from pals of Vlad. the Michael Flynn plan to …..?

    This isn't a smoking gun. It's an arsenal. With "Vlad Owns Donald" in big letters on the front. The ultimate Trump building.

  42. Can you even imagine the GOP screams if even a fraction of this took place in the Obama administration?!! The mind reels.

  43. If this had been the Clinton Campaign all hell would have broken out instead of the normal Republican "oh well boys will be boys" response.

  44. Who is this White House's Rosemary Woods? What will be Russiagate's equivalent of the 18-1/2 minute gap?

    ***************

    "At one point in the interview, he recalled replying to Mr. Papadopoulos to instruct him to raise the issue with someone else, though he did direct him to a particular campaign aide."

    And shouldn't that read "didn't direct him"?

  45. Three people speaking on the condition of anonymity to substantiate the reality of a rumor passing through the mill. New York Times meet National Enquirer.

  46. The National Enquirer is one of Don's favorite rags, so you mean that it is true!

  47. If Mr. Mashburn said the email from Russians claiming to have dirt on Mrs. Clinton came from Pappadopulous then Special Counsel Mueller's team could have his lap top and PC, go through a search with the FBI's specialized tech team.

    Donald colluded, everything about him tells us this! He likes to win, he cheats, he lies. In my opinion, Donald is a traitor,

  48. Who among us thinks Mueller already has the email?

  49. Me. He's got everything. They can, bit they can't hide . . .

  50. This story is a bit confusing. It suggests that a Trump campaign official was informed that Russia had emails from Clinton’s home email server. However, the Clinton campaign and the FBI have told us that the server was never hacked. If Russia did obtain the emails, then Clinton and the FBI must have lied to protect Clinton’s candidacy.

  51. This is muddled information, try looking again.

  52. Let's be real: the Senate judiciary committed "requested" Trump's team turn over the emails, and they couldn't find it. Any attorney will tell you that if you leave it up to the witness to locate relevant information, they won't. They'll do a cursory search, give you what they think is relevant and be done with it.

    The rubber hits the road when attorneys--that is, Mueller's team--perform a forensic analysis of the raw data and pull back all the deleted emails, and even data that has been ostensibly erased.

    Bottom line: the fact that the Senate Judiciary committee hasn't found a document means nothing. If the email exists, Muller has it.

  53. That email was deleted or scrubbed as soon as the Trump and Company realized that this investigation was a serious one that might get them all charged and tried.

  54. The investigation was a frame-up from the beginning and the real colluders are now starting to run scared. Americans don't like it when entitled elites attempt to stage a coup against their president.

  55. A lot is written here but there is still nothing that directly or indirectly shows that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign much less Trump. Mr. Mueller has been at it for one year now and our own Intel agencies for longer. With due respect to Mr Mueller and all others, it is time for the American taxpayers to spend money on something worthwhile e. g. addressing the homeless epidemic.

  56. Would that the government would actually do so, I might agree. This needs to be thouroughly executed to assure justice for Trump as well as the people. This is not about lack of results, it is about a complete and thourough investigation. I wish it were over but I will be patient. This is too important

  57. Worthwhile like what? Scott Pruitt's "cone of silence"? Stephen Mnuchin's and other cabinet members' private plane trips and exclusive hotel stays? The staggering expense dumped on taxpayers to protect all of the Trump businesses and secure them? Trump's golfing vacations? The tax cut handouts given to the corporations on individual taxpayers' backs that the even greedier hedge fund managers are now soooooo upset about because they didn't get the same breaks? What EXACTLY would you characterize as worthwhile? All the money spent on the 30+ years of hearings Hillary Clinton has been put through with nary a single conviction for ANYTHING?

    The Watergate indictments took years, and are a walk in the park compared with the openly corrupt, pay-to-play, and often criminal acts that this dirty administration and its party are actively flaunting in our faces every day.

    Please enlighten us with whatever you deem worthwhile.

  58. Clearly, I don't understand the investigative process. Mueller and Congress have to rely on staffers to turn over emails? Doesn't that indicate that incriminating missives would be omitted? Can't they get warrants and search their accounts/hardware? What am I missing?

  59. This is all very interesting, but I'm not sure why this email, even if uncovered, would actually be a "smoking gun". If Papadopoulos emailed Mashburn and told him what professor Misfud told him, why would that incriminate Mashburn or Trump? Is being told that someone in Russia has dirt on Hillary Clinton actually colluding with Russia? I think the email would only be a "smoking gun" if it led to the discovery of more communications that proved actual collusion.

  60. Collusion traditionally requires a crime in which the participants ma collude. In this case we have Russians supposedly offering evidence of Hillary's crimes. I fail to see how that makes Trump look bad in any way.

  61. Just to remind any Republicans reading: the question of whether Russia interfered in the US election is already answered, and it is a clear yes. The question not yet proven is whether Trump directly assisted in it.

  62. It's also been shown that Russia's social media meddling was inept, of small size, and most likely influenced very few people, if any. Oh, and they seem to have been attempting to stir up divisions in general, rather than supporting one candidate over another.

    Just to remind you. ;-/

  63. But. Her. Emails.

  64. It is hard to await Donald's judgment day,
    As we watch him just golf and take pay to play.
    So it shouldn't offend
    To call for Trump's end
    Since his reign is just "dying anyway."

  65. “During his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Mashburn said repeatedly that he recalled receiving a message with some detail about Russian information on Mrs. Clinton, and that other campaign officials almost certainly would have been copied on the memo, the people said. Mr. Mashburn did not name the campaign officials and did not remember precisely when he received the message.”

    This epitomizes NYT reporting on this issue: innuendo where facts belong.

  66. I believe those are quotes from testimony, so not really The NY Times doing.

  67. "No evidence has come to light indicating that Mr. Papadopoulos told anyone on the campaign....................
    .....................................................................................
    "In the case of Mr. Mashburn’s testimony, investigators will now have to decide what to do with a witness who appears to be telling the truth and remembers a potentially volatile detail that cannot be corroborated."

    After all this time, nothing.

    Then there is the dubious assertion that "the F.B.I. used it [Papadopoulos's exchange with the Australian ambassador] as a basis to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign."

    "A basis..." Really? More likely this revelation from the NYT is just a disingenuous attempt to make it look like the discredited Steele dossier was not what the FBI relied on in obtaining the FISA warrant. We're now to believe that the FBI innocently came upon this other information not related to the dossier first.

    "Counterintelligence investigation...." There was no "intelligence" to begin with that would justify "counterintelligence."

    What is most interesting, however, is that the NYT is suddenly running articles which seem to admit that the whole Russian investigation was a lie. Looks like everyone is now trying to cover their tracks as the "investigation" turns away from its original targets to those who started it in the first place.

  68. I am confused by your thinking. The dossier has been over time, been proven to be true. There has been nothing in it that has been disproved. You cannot wish or ignore the truth away... the dots just keep on being connected. Until the facts are provided that clear the DTumpster, he is not innocent. So far it has been lies and attempts by nut job sycophants and enablers who are traitors to the people, to protect him from accountability. How can anyone in good conscious with any integrety support this? What do you gain from this? We have so much more to lose...

  69. When and how has the Steele Dossier been discredited? Only in the words coming out of the mouths of trump's tv sycophants.

    And just this week we find out that the little multi-billion dollar scheme involving 19% ownership Rosneft and brokerage fees, the Qataris, etc., as the dossier's raw intelligence disclosed (p.9, 30-32) did, in fact, take place.

    Perhaps you need to re-read the Dossier and check off the many items that have already been confirmed.

  70. Let's see now...caught in lies or telling lies: President Trump, DT, Jr., Kushner, KellyAnn Conway, Spicer, Flynn, Stone, Kelly, Papadopoulis, and Hope Hicks confessed to lying. If there's nothing there, why lie? They're digging their holes deeper and deeper and carry on as if it's normal behavior. It's either sociopathic behavior or stupidity and worse yet, are the folks defending their actions.

  71. The administration will probably soon be attacking Mr Mashburm and his family if he has one. This administration brings new meaning to “Don’t kill the messenger”.

  72. Perhaps it was deleted or maybe he has an axe to grind.

  73. Oh, I’m certain the Trump campaign never met with Russians to sabotage the Clinton campaign. They only met to discuss adoptions of Russian children.

    I mean, our “President” wouldn’t have lied to us, would he?

  74. I recently looked for an e-mail that confirmed an appointment.
    I couldn't find it, Then I realized,.. it was a "voice" mail on my phone.
    Many other ways to receive a message these days.

  75. The most likely explanation is that there was a real message like this, in some form. Does that message still exist in a recorded firm? Has it been destroyed? If it still exists, was it not turned over as it should have been? Could it actually have been a phone call or conversation?

    Or Mr. Mashburn is lying. Lying would appear to harm Mr. Trump. It simply corroborates a Russia conspiracy explanation for the troubling and bizarre behavior of Trump vis-a-vis Russia.

    I don't believe Mashburn is misremembering. Such misremembering is far less likely to occur when it goes against one's self-interest. Mashburn is a lawyer and Trump campaign team insider.

  76. The issue now becomes have any laws been broken in the area of spoliation of evidence.

  77. There is definitely a there there. Probably not the ice cream sandwich, but i would look for a falcon.

  78. I am continually pleasantly surprised that Mueller's team seems to be many steps ahead of everybody else. As examples, just look at how many people they have questioned when they arrive at an American airport, in many cases people whose names are not even in the news at the time.

    If this email exists and was passed around as Mashburn appears to have stated, you can bet it will be (or has been) located by the Mueller team.

    If Mueller has this email, you can bet he will not disclose it until he needs to, as part of an indictment or an information. And even at that point, it will only be referred to as a communication of some type, and not presented in its entirety.

    For that, we will have to wait for a trial. Be patient.

  79. Something like this can easily be dug up by an actual investigative agency after pinning down whose computers were being used and what companies were providing the email service. If your only investigative tool is to demand the guilty parties turn over what they can find, well of course they won't find anything, and will just shrug their shoulders and say "we don't know nuthin' about computers"...

  80. "Yet basic questions about the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia remain unanswered, ..."
    ONLY in your mind. At this point there is NO WAY to know what Mueller has or doesn't have and while some readers may understand that, it should always be made clear that what is reported is JUST what is publicly known. paper email may disappear but I doubt the electronic ones do without some serious scrubbing and if they are on gmail or others they NEVER do (IMHO).

  81. Standard GOP procedure. Bush/Perle/Rummy/Powell/Rice ran their lying Iraq emails about non-existent WMDs through Repub Nat Committee servers and when found out, the emails were "accidently" erased.

  82. The only ones deleting e-mails was and is the trump campaign. "Russia: If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the [ONE] email that [is] missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

  83. Let's stop using the word "collusion.'' what you mean to say is "criminal conspiracy,'' which is what eventually will bring down the corrupt Trump White House

  84. This "early Russian contact" is a golden apple thrown out of the presidential chariot of the sun to make the investigators bark up the wrong tree and look like incompetent morons on Fox News.

    Don't fall for the bait. Consider the source. You have enough to convict the traitor for treason, Robert Mueller. Do it.

    Unfortunately when all lawyers know is the law, every thing looks like a possible crime. Then you just know right from wrong, you can spot treason a mile off.

  85. I wonder if this claim was an intentional rabbit hole, intended to misdirect and tie up investigative resources.

  86. Swampish, and lost in the muck.

  87. ....because it doesn't exist!

    Wag the dog!!

  88. So rumors of an email that probably doesn't exit is news?

  89. At this juncture, looking for notoriety and relevance is unnecessary.
    Being associated with this ignominious Administration is all you need and definitely, more than enough!

  90. Collusion? Well if that’s what this is I love it! Especially in November.

    Especially in November when we will hopefully elect a House and Senate, to whom the Constitution of the United States actually matters and who want to begin the long uphill slog from the degradation of our experiment in Trumpian idiocracy.

  91. Since when does the constitution matter to neo Marxists?

  92. The story is disproven over and over again. But the NYTs will not stop in their efforts to somehow show that they got they did not get the story wrong. Now the story is, there must be some crime, the problem is the missing alleged evidence. Trump won the election because of purloined "dirt on Hillary Clinton'? The emails showed that the Ds were willing to treat the Sanders' campaign unfairly in order to get Clinton the nomination. Of course this controversy could have been solved long ago if the FBI had investigated the "hack" when it occurred. But that would have shown that it was a leak from a DNC operative.

  93. Please post your proof that "the story has been disproven over and over again".

  94. Wow, that article said nothing.

  95. Maybe Mueller can outsource part of the interrogation to Gina Haspel?

    She has knowledge of “interrogation techniques” that Republicans support wholeheartedly - even now.

    She might come up with the emails faster. Forget the emails, she’ll get a confession from Don Jr. before anything else...

    (My comment is, obviously, about the rule of law and American values. If one were to read the Trump Russia Republican Right Wing State Media propaganda about the Mueller investigation, one would believe Satanists were inducing Rosemary’s Baby...)

  96. Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud may have told George Papadopoulos that “Russians had compromising information on Mrs. Clinton in the form of thousands of emails,” but these emails probably never existed. If they did exist, why did the Russians never release them? The hacked or downloaded Democratic National Committee emails subsequently published by WikiLeaks did not include thousands of emails incriminating Hillary Clinton. They compromised DNC co-chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was forced to resign. The emails making headlines at the time Mifsud allegedly told Papadopoulos the Russians had thousands of Clinton emails were the emails missing from Clinton’s private home server, which she used to conduct State Department business as well as personal business. And if the Russians really had thousands of Clinton emails, Papadopoulos’ inability to obtain them is an indication that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

  97. Dismiss him as a nut job and a wanna be Trump. You can’t trust any of his supporters. They all need to be in hard labor in his coal mines to relieve that hostility.

  98. Why would a presidential candidate even think about accepting help from a hostile foreign government? One would think the proper thing to do is alert the CIA, FBI, or somebody about this foreign intervention; not go to the meeting to see what they had to offer. For Trump's crew, it seemed business as usual.

  99. Could it be that the chair of the Republican House Committee on Intelligence (Devin Nunes) has any idea of its whereabouts?

  100. Yes, it COULD be. That and many other things are possible. A very great deal in life is "possible."

    According to this article, Nunes denies knowing about such an email, and Mueller hasn't been able to find it.

    More important, what if Mueller DOES find such an email? Who cares? Papadopoulos has already disclosed that he established contacts with some Russians who claimed to have "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. That's never been disputed. Nor (to my knowledge) has Trump ever denied that the Russians did things to cause Clinton to lose. So did Trump. He did all sorts of things to cause Clinton to lose; that's what usually happens in a Presidential election campaign.

    The question is, and always has been, whether the Russian government and Trump worked together (you know: "colluded") to bring about a result (Clinton's loss) that each of them wanted. Maybe they did collude; maybe not. There's been no evidence of collusion reported so far. It's about time that Mueller (or someone, anyone!) comes up with some evidence, if evidence exists. It's getting a bit old to just keep reading about what's "possible."

  101. Is this new?

    Didn't Papadopoulos say a year ago that he'd told Trump campaign leaders that Russians told him they had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton? Presumably that meant the Russians didn't want Hillary Clinton to win, which is the same outcome Trump wanted (and got).

    But so what?

    Just because some foreign government wants your opponent to lose, and does various things to bring that about, doesn't mean you "colluded" with that foreign government. Was Trump really required to stop trying to win just because the Russians ALSO wanted Clinton to lose?

    What Papadopoulos did NOT say (or at least it's never been reported) is that the Trump campaign ever colluded with the Russian government, in any way. In fact, what's been reported so far is that the Trump campaign did NOT encourage Papadopoulos at all to develop a relationship with the like-minded Russians. (Reportedly, the Trump campaign even turned down Papadopoulos' request to cover his travel expenses, and he never even asked to be paid for his time.)

    Maybe there's more to Papadopoulos' story than we've been told. But if so, it's time for Mueller to tell us what he hasn't so far. He "flipped" Papadopoulos (and Flynn, Bannon, etc.) about a year ago, but since then he hasn't disclosed any evidence whatsoever of collusion. Maybe there's some evidence out there, and I agree that Mueller can't be fired, but at some point he should fish or cut bait.

  102. Bannon never was "flipped". The issue here is this; Is Trump compromised in some way by the Russians? Why wouldn't he issue sanctions? Does he owe lots of money to Russian criminals (oligarchs). Why all the contact with Russia? Why is Russian money going to his Lawyer to pay off porn stars a week before the election? Like it or not, this is now being characterized as a campaign contribution (maybe).

    No one is trying to turn back the election, but it would be nice to know whether the President is for us or for Russia.

    His refusal to show his tax returns is his own doing. We should never had elected his based on just that. But since we did, and there is unexplainable behavior; hacked emails and his people (Stone, Guilianni) talking about it before it occurred, tweeting with a Russian GRU agent, etc. abut Wikileaks, it does raise reasonable suspicions that something is not right here. Many have already pleaded guilty to crimes, so it's not just a fanciful witch hunt.

    Most Americans agree the investigation should continue and this is not a long investigation by previous standards.

  103. Sure thing--in 4 years. Mueller is a long way away from the amount of time spent by Kenneth Starr.

  104. This right-wing notion that Mueller should reveal his evidence is fantastically corrupt; that's not how investigations work, no matter how "reasonable" you try to make it all sound. In the U.S. our elected politicians don't usually conspire with a hostile foreign government, or any foreign government for that matter, to undermine elections. You can make all that sound "reasonable" too, but it's anti-American; you would've called for lynchings had it been done by the winner in 2008 or 2012.

    "Collusion" has already been admitted: the campaign met with a Russian agent at Trump Tower before the election. A large part of what Mueller has been investigating are the trails of money laundering, bribes, tax and other forms of fraud, all of which, not coincidentally, lead back to the fantastically sleazy trump family; from trump "university" to princess Jared's dealings with the Saudis that was not coincidentally followed by purges of Saudi billionaires, sanctions on Qatar, and a consequent loan by the Qataris to Kushner. The levels of corruption are head-spinning; we're not talking an email server that took, what, 8 years of investigations that led nowhere?

  105. "described by three people familiar with it, who spoke on the condition of anonymity"
    Uh. Pretty sure this is called fiction. Just like making an entertainment product (movie, tv, book) and putting a disclaiminer at the start saying, "based on true events, but certain liberties were applied". If your sources are unable to be named, find someone that will.

  106. This commenter (William Case) is being WAY too logical here:

    " ... these emails probably never existed. If they did exist, why did the Russians never release them?"

    I can answer that, at least if we skip the "logical" part.

    The Russian government really wanted Hillary Clinton to win, not Trump, and they knew if they released anti-Clinton emails, her odds would drop. So they didn't release those emails. Maybe the emails never existed, or maybe they existed but the Russian government just decided not to release them -- I forget which it was!

    In any case, the Russian government didn't release any anti-Hillary emails. Instead, they waited until 3 weeks before the election and leaked the Access Hollywood tape. They thought (as most of us did) that that tape would end any prayer Trump might have of winning. And they sure weren't going to reverse their earlier decision not to release any anti-Clinton emails (which, as I mentioned, might never have existed anyway). The Russian government turned out to be wrong about the Access Hollywood tape, of course, but leaking it seemed like a good idea at the time. (And -- did I mention? -- they leaked that tape without telling the Clinton campaign that they were doing so, lest she be accused of "collusion").

    Sound far-fetched?

    Remember: I said at the outset that I was going to skip the "logical" part. If you keep that ground rule in mind, doesn't this make a lot of sense?

  107. A million documents is not that many with modern search engines. I had to do an internal search through 100,000 emails. Like this, it was to find out if someone in the company (or govt) was stupid enough to put criminally negligent information (that we knew about) in electronic form. In that case not using anything that went through company servers.

    Mueller and other Justice Dept and state attorney generals have much broader nets to cast. Everyone of those in the Trump family inner circle and a good number of hangers on have engaged in criminal activity within the statute of limitations.

    This is why the Republican leadership knee-capped the House inquiries to get the billionaire tax cut. It was enough of a priority that Ryan, Ross, Rooney, and Gowdy sacrificed their political careers and their political reputations. Hopefully, it will sweep out a number of “safe” Republican seats in November.

  108. A feint, and a bid for attention. Sad.

  109. Maybe the Russians stole the emails and gave them to Wikileaks without any involvement from the Trump Team and Trump just used the stolen emails for his own gains.

    But, there can be little doubt that the Russians "funneled" lots and lots of money into the Trump campaign from many different sources, possibly with the expectation (wink, wink,) that the sanctions on Russia would be lifted. Which crime is worse?

  110. If the e-mail disappeared, ask Gina Haspel...

  111. Ah, yes, but we can speculate till the cows come home, can't we?

    "At this point there is NO WAY to know what Mueller has or doesn't have ... "

    True, just because Mueller hasn't disclosed any evidence of collusion doesn't mean he has no evidence. Maybe he does but, for reasons best known to himself, he's decided not to disclose it yet. Any day now, though, he will. Stay tuned!

    The problem is that we've been hearing "Stay tuned!" for a very, very long time. At some point, we'd like to think we're tuned to the right station and that maybe it's time for that station to broadcast something to us.

  112. Destruction of evidence. Sounds like fun!

  113. Which side is hostile here?

    "They all need to be in hard labor in his coal mines to relieve that hostility."

    As best I can tell, supporters of Hillary Clinton are the ones complaining about the election outcome. Trump and his people are entirely happy with that outcome.

  114. Better tell that to JFK!

    "His refusal to show his tax returns is his own doing. We should never had elected his based on just that."

    JFK never released his tax returns. Should JFK not have been elected either, or is that different?

    Did you know that every Presidential candidate is required by law to release very detailed financial statements, and to update them periodically? Trump's financial statements reportedly exceeded 100 pages, each time. Have you read any of them? I'll wager you haven't. In fact, I'll wager that you didn't even know Trump ever filed financial statements, or even that he was required to. I'll even wager that you didn't know other candidates also filed financial statements -- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for example, or Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.

    News to you?

    Do you suppose Trump's tax returns disclose more about foreign-government influence than the US election laws require to be disclosed? If so, any idea why those additional disclosure requirements haven't been written into the financial-disclosure laws that apply to Presidential candidates?

    I can't answer any of these questions either (see: we're alike!). But, then, I'm not making these accusations. You are.

  115. Well, that's the question, isn't it?

    "In the U.S. our elected politicians don't usually conspire with a hostile foreign government, or any foreign government for that matter, to undermine elections."

    Correct. They don't. Trump says he didn't; his opponents say he did. Mueller is supposed to figure out which side is telling the truth. Maybe he'll spend four years in the effort (as Ken Starr did), or maybe he'll spend less time (as the Watergate prosecutors did). And maybe he won't come up with anything. So far, he hasn't, but it's certainly possible that that will change. And, as many commenters assure us, Mueller may have gobs and gobs of evidence but prefers, for reasons best known to him, not to reveal any of it or charge anyone with a crime (other than a bunch of Russians who -- let's face it -- couldn't care less (unless they'd had a family trip to Disney World scheduled), or Manafort and Gates for things they did years before they joined Trump's campaign, or Flynn for things he did AFTER the election.

    Oh, and let's not forget Papadopoulos! He says he tried to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting, which he acknowledges never happened (at least as far as he knows), and reports that his superiors never expressed even a slight interest in that effort, rejecting even his request to cover his travel expenses. Let's not forget him!