Donald Trump had a phone conversation with his campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos in December 2016 that appeared to be about a highly lucrative business deal involving Russians — a deal that would “result in large financial gains for himself and Mr. Trump,” according to a letter received by House Intelligence Committee incoming Chair Adam Schiff. The letter was posted by journalist Scott Stedman on his Twitter account, with information about the sender redacted.
But federal authorities are now investigating the claims made in the letter, which they take “very seriously,” according to a major investigative report by Natasha Bertrand and Stedman published online Wednesday by Atlantic Monthly. In the report, Bertrand and Stedman said only that the letter was written by a “confidant” of Papadopoulos.
The letter does not specify the nature of the business deal which Papadopoulos believed, according to the letter-writer, would “set him up for life.” But it was in December of 2016 that, as the Inquisitr has reported, the Russian government was finalizing a deal to sell about $11 billion worth of shares in its state-owned oil company Rosneft. The ultimate purchasers of the shares remain unidentified. They have a business address in the Caribbean tax haven of the Cayman Islands, a country with extremely broad laws allowing business confidentiality.
The Steele Dossier — the private intelligence report on Trump’s Russia connections assembled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — alleges that the Rosneft deal was engineered as a payoff to Trump in exchange for a pledge to lift economic sanctions on Russia.
Papadopoulos, whom Trump has dismissed as a “young, low level volunteer” on his campaign, as USA Today reported, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a mysterious academic, Joseph Mifsud, who told him in March 2016 that Russia possessed “dirt” on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”
Mifsud has since disappeared, as the Inquisitr has reported, his whereabouts unknown since at least November of 2017.
Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in federal prison in September, but since then has said that he regrets pleading guilty and has sought in interviews and Twitter postings, as the Inquisitr has also reported, to portray Mifsud and others as part of a conspiracy to frame him, organized by the administration of President Barack Obama.
But if his public accusations of the supposed conspiracy were intended to forestall his prison sentence, they failed. Papadopoulos reported to federal prison on Monday of this week, according to the Associated Press.