Russia Investigation May Have Begun With Drunken Night in London, Report Suggests

The FBI investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in U.S. presidential election and the alleged connection between the Russians and Trump campaign may have begun with a drunken night in London.

The New York Times published a new report suggesting that Trump’s former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos in May last year spilled insider knowledge of Russia possessing information that could disparage Clinton while he was out on the town with Australia’s most senior diplomat in the U.K., High Commissioner Alexander Downer.

It is not known how much Papadopoulos said, but when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Papadopoulos to the American officials, the Times reported citing four unnamed current and former American and foreign officials.

The hacking and the revelation that a member of Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were the main reasons that caused the investigation. According to the newspaper, firsthand information from one of the closest intelligence allies of the U.S. was the real reason why the investigation was opened, not the dossier compiled by a former British spy, as Trump and other politicians say.

Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor, who had valuable contacts with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their goal was to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, or between their aides.

Mifsud connected Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, a program director for the prestigious Valdai Discussion Club, a gathering of academics that meets annually with Mr. Putin. They corresponded for months about how to connect the Russian government and the campaign. 

When Papadopoulos brought the news to Trump, he reportedly passed it off to Jeff Sessions, who omitted this conversation while being questioned by Congress. Later he said that he didn’t recall the meeting.

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