Note: the date of the payment is contemporaneous with Halper’s meeting with Papadopoulos.
I want to qualify that last sentence. I don’t consider “contemporaneous” to be a year later.
Halper was “investigating” Papadopoulos in July 2016. Halper was on a $411K retainer.
May 17, 2017 is the date Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel.
July 2016 is the date Stefan Halper “reportedly begins meetings with Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, secretly gathering information for the FBI.”
The “investigator” started early, or the investigation was already in progress. Same point, but emphasized.