Dispatch February 28, 2018

The Schiff Memo Actually Tells Us the Trump Campaign Knew About Russian Plans All Along

While attention on the Schiff memo has understandably focused on its debunking of the Nunes memo, most coverage has missed one of the most damning revelations of the entire Russia crisis: the Trump campaign not only knew that Russia possessed hacked emails, they knew that Russia planned to disseminate them anonymously.

From the Schiff memo:

Note the words “anonymously releasing,”  which do not appear in Papadopoulos’s guilty plea or in other un-redacted memo text and appears to reference the redacted section that discusses what Russia told Papadopoulos.

If true, this revelation shows just how deep the collusion went. The Trump campaign knew what Russia was going to do and were ready to use it to their advantage. It casts subsequent events in a whole new light:

Trump repeatedly used the leaked emails on the campaign trail to bolster his candidacy. The campaign and Trump himself seemed to encourage further interference from Russia—both in public and in private—most famously with the Trump Tower meeting. For the rest of the campaign and through the transition, the Trump campaign reportedly continued to have dozens of secret contacts with Russian agents that were later denied in sweeping, unequivocal terms. Trump and his associates have gone to extraordinary length to shield Russia from sanctions punishing these acts.

The Schiff memo tells us that the Trump campaign was given advance notice before the hacked emails were even posted—before the most egregious interference even occurred.

The release of hacked emails was at the heart of Russian interference. What else is under the redaction? And who else did Papadopoulos tell about Russia’s plan to help the Trump campaign?