This guy was clearly a very minor player, and in fact, a bit of a chump. The first footnote in the stipulation says the the Russian woman he was told was a relative of Putin’s was not and a promised introduction to the Russian ambassador in London never happened.
The second footnote has a campaign official pouring cold water on the notion of a Trump-Putin meeting that Papadopoulos was trying to arrange.
This is Carter Page-level stuff. But clearly others in the campaign who had more authority were aware of the communications with the Russians, and the Russians were talking of having dirt on Hillary emails shortly after the John Podesta hack. That’s what is most meaningful and suggestive here. The question is, Did this kind of outreach go higher (we already know about the Don Jr. meeting) and did it result in anything?
By the way, on firing Mueller, I still think as a cold matter of self-interest (putting aside truth and justice), it only makes sense if Trump knows he colluded or had dirty business dealings with Russia that compromised him, in which case he might as well take the risk of dismissing Mueller and trying to out-run the law. If he’s not guilty, firing Mueller out of pique or political calculation would simply be a catastrophic misjudgment, one that would put his presidency at risk.