Something is happening with this whole "Trump/Russia collusion" thing. It's starting to unravel and George Papadopoulos might be that thread that pulls everything apart.
Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to federal investigators in October 2017. Lying to federal investigators is a minor process crime. You can get charged with this if you give your story twice (or more) and reword any statements, or add/forget even minor details in the statement. The plea deal to this lower charge is to avoid "more serious charges." We don't know what those "more serious charges" are because in the federal system, dropping charges after a defendant is indicted is difficult at best. The "more serious charges" are not brought to a grand jury if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges. So, we have no idea what charges Papadopoulos were threatened with.
Anyway, his sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 7th. From what I understand, right about the time that Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI, Papadopoulos' lawyers filed a motion of discovery to see the evidence the FBI has against their client. According to Rachael Maddow, the Mueller team asked for and was granted a protective order preventing the release of this evidence to Papadopoulos and his legal team. The statement reads in part:
"Entry of a protective order restricting the use, dissemination, and disposition of discovery materials is essential to permit the United States to provide certain discovery to the defendant, which the defendant has requested in advance of his sentencing proceeding..."
This is interesting because things have come out in the past several days. While this whole thing is very complex and with multiple players, I am going to concentrate only on the events that started this ball rolling.
In May of 2016, George Papadopoulos was in a London bar and just so happened to strike up a conversation with Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat. During this conversation, Papadopoulos stated (upon prompting by Downer) that he "heard the Russians have dirt on Hillary." In June 2016, Downer reported this contact to US authorities in late June, about 6 weeks after the meeting. This event has been declared as what started the whole investigation.
It came out a couple of months ago that in April of 2016 (a month before the meeting with Downer), George Papadopoulos had a conversation with Cambridge Professor Joseph Mifsud. Here is a quote from the charging document filed by the Mueller team against Papadopoulos:
On or about April 26, 2016, the defendant Papadopoulos met the Professor [Mifsud] for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant Papadopoulos, as defendant Papadopoulos later described to the FBI, that “They [the Russians] have dirt on her”; “the Russians had emails of Clinton”; “they have thousands of emails.” [Emphasis added]
Now, based on that information, you might reasonably conclude that Mifsud could be a Russian agent of some kind. You would be wrong. Don't feel bad, that's what most people who knew about this thought as well. Evidence has surfaced in the past week that indicates Mifsud is an agent of a Western, not Russian intelligence agency. Which one is still not clear, however things are leaning toward a British intelligence agency.
Let me put it to you this way. Let's say someone you have never met before strikes up a conversation with you one day, and tells you, "Hey, I heard about some guys who want to rob a bank. Would you like to help?" Of course, most people would say "no." Then, a couple weeks later, another person asks you, "Hey, have you heard anything about a bank robbery?" When you say offhandedly, "some guy I've never met before told me about one..." At this point you're arrested and charged with "Conspiracy to Commit Robbery." It turns out both people you had conversations with were undercover police or a confidential informant of the police. In legal terms this is called ENTRAPMENT. This is where the police (or their agent) entices a person who is not intending to commit a crime to commit one.
Mifsud, an alleged Western intelligence agent, planted this bug into Papadopoulos' ear. Downer, another agent (who has direct ties with the Clintons, but I digress) pulled that information out of Papadopoulos and that was used to start the whole Trump witch hunt. With this revelation, it seems to indicate that Papadopoulos is going to withdraw his guilty plea on September 7th. If this goes to trial, some rather embarrassing facts could come to light. Facts that do not work in favor with the Mueller team, the FBI, the Justice Department or the Obama administration.
I am just speculating here. If Mifsud "pushed" this information into Papadopoulos on the orders of Mifsud's handlers (whomever he works for), that would seriously damage the relationship between the US and that country, because a friendly country caused all of this pain and heartache to happen. Let's speculate even further. Let's say a US government official asked this foreign intelligence agency to push this information to someone in the Trump campaign, namely Papadopoulos. What do you think that could mean? A senior-level Obama administration official, asking a friendly foreign intelligence agency to run an entrapment operation on Papadopoulos and by extension the Trump campaign. I would consider that a very serious allegation, wouldn't you?