By Clarice Feldman
As I will explain, the widespread notion that Russia and Trump colluded to beat Hillary has long been demonstrable bunk. What seems more clear each day is that there was collusion between certain members of the U.S. and British intelligence communities to spy on the Trump campaign. This may explain, in large part, the reluctance of the Department of Justice to reveal what it knows publicly. After all — with rare exceptions — the two countries’ intelligence services have long had important information gathering and sharing agreements, and exposure of this may harm the traditional reciprocal relationship.
Whether the British counterparts were hoodwinked into playing this role is still unclear. Maybe they were. On the other hand, with most of what they know about the U.S. electorate doubtless coming from the NYT and even more left-wing British media, they may well have done this willingly, believing the globalist Hillary had a sure shot at the presidency and this was a means of cementing a relationship with her.
Key Developments This Week
Congressman Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been stonewalled by the Department of Justice respecting the details of the originating Electronic Communication (EC) on July 31, 2016, which formed the basis of the commencement of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. In particular, he wanted to know the identity of the person whose name had been redacted on what has been described as an FBI/DOJ source “a U.S. Citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI”. The DOJ replied that revealing the source “might damage international relationships.” Failing to get a response, Nunes threatened to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress and the DoJ offered a private meeting. At this meeting they were denied an opportunity to view the relevant documents, but Greg Jarrett reports they will get to see them next week:
Jarrett: Our top story, the corrupt DOJ Leaderships is still stonewalling Congress about a potential Bombshell revelation — the identity of an FBI Mole within the Trump Campaign. House Intelligence Committee members Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy will have to wait until next week to get a direct look at the very documents related to the Russia Probe.
At about the time the meeting took place, Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell, making public what we long suspected.
The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.
This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. (snip)
And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn’t being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.
We also know that among the Justice Department’s stated reasons for not complying with the Nunes subpoena was its worry that to do so might damage international relationships. This suggests the “source” may be overseas, have ties to foreign intelligence, or both. That’s notable, given the highly suspicious role foreigners have played in this escapade. It was an Australian diplomat who reported the Papadopoulos conversation. Dossier author Christopher Steele is British, used to work for MI6, and retains ties to that spy agency as well as to a network of former spooks. It was a former British diplomat who tipped off Sen. John McCain to the dossier. How this “top secret” source fits into this puzzle could matter deeply.
But what is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the band-aid.
British Involvement in Electronic Spying on the Trump Campaign
The fingerprints are already clear on this, In January 2017 the NYT reported that Trump associates’ communications had been intercepted abroad and passed on to its U.S. counterparts. Shortly afterward, Robert Hannigan, director of Britain’s GCHQ (its national security center) abruptly resigned after serving in that position for just three years. CGHQ intercepts communications at the request of the CIA and sends it the CIA as if this were their own undertaking.
British Involvement in Human Intelligence Gathering on the Trump Campaign
In January, Glenn Simpson, head of GPS Fusion, Hillary’s spy operation on Trump, told investigators that in September 2016, Christopher Steele, author of the discredited dossier, had been informed by the FBI that it had “a human source inside the Trump organization.”
On the assumption that this is true, the Internet has been examining who it might be.
Carter Page came to many minds, but it’s hard to see how revealing his identity would “damage international relationships.” Moreover, the FISA warrant on him seems to have violated internal regulations and the FISA itself.
He has long been known to have been an FBI informant, and may as well have informed for the CIA. Mark Wauck, a former FBI agent with experience in such matters, writes me:
If Carter Page is the informant whose info helps Rosenstein justify the [Special Counsel], then at one and probably more than one point the FBI was misrepresenting Page to the FISC and was putting untruths in its own files about Page and was providing untruths in Page’s name to DoJ to justify the SC.
It’s like keeping a double set of books.
In one set of files, classified as 65 (espionage) the FBI says Carter Page is a Russian spy and they go to the FISC and ask for a FISA on that basis. The EC that opens the investigation spells it out: he’s a Russian guy and we can’t trust him.
In a second set of files classified as 134 (CI asset) the FBI says Carter Page is a good guy who’s working for us and he’s giving us super valuable and reliable info re the Russians subverting our election and maybe that Trump is Putin’s guy. So in this set of files Page isn’t a spy at all, we’ve done the background and we trust him and his info. Which must mean that the 65 files are a pack of lies.
So if Carter Page is the guy that must mean that the FBI was cooking the books. This is only possible if a bunch of people near the top are in on the deception, but the admin people lower down don’t know — which is how the FBI file system works. The admin people handling 134s won’t see the 65 files, and vice versa. And what we may find is that the 134 files were filled with creative writing.
I know this sounds complicated, but trust me on this — if Carter Page is the guy the FBI/DoJ is trying to hide from Nunes, then the FBI was keeping a double set of books, and probably totally cooking the books. And that means there could only one reason for that: to get Trump. If this is what was going on, people should be going to jail.
The most likely prospect was not in the Trump campaign itself, but someone who worked with U.S. and apparently British intelligence, with a record of trying to spy on lowly campaign workers and even trick them into compromising actions, a U.S. citizen with strong ties to British intelligence who lived in the U.K.: Stefan Halper, a former advisor to three Republican presidents (and therefore, had perfect cover), a Cambridge Fellow, who, as we detail, interacted with various Trump campaign workers ostensibly to assist them. On November 3, 2016, he publicly stated that Hillary would be the best option for U.S.-U.K. relations. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that the “help” was not for the Trump campaign,but for Hillary.
“I believe [Hillary] Clinton would be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union. Clinton is well-known, deeply experienced and predictable. US-UK relations will remain steady regardless of the winner although Clinton will be less disruptive over time,” Halper, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, said.
Here’s how Halper “helped” the Trump campaign from publicly available information:
- On July 16, 2016 he invited Carter Page to a Cambridge symposium
- On September 11, 2016 he met with a senior Trump official
- On September 13-16 he met with Papadopoulos.
Halper is a close associate of former MI6 head Richard Dearlove, who in a recent video interview, cagily refused to acknowledge the veracity of the Steele dossier.
It was previously reported that Halper had conducted a data-gathering operation to collect inside information on Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy during the 1980 campaign, a charge he strongly denied. But if that charge were true, he certainly had experience in such things.
If Halper was not a person we’d consider a mole in the campaign, as he never was actually part of the campaign team — just someone trying to fish for dirt (or lure people like Page and Papadopoulos into some compromising acts) — why the weasel description in the report Nunes is examining?
Mark Wauck agrees with my take: “The advantage for the FBI would be that they could represent that they had a human source (Halper) with a decades-long track record of supposed reliability who could confirm the dossier because he was in personal contact with Page (Papadopoulos wasn’t part of the dossier, as I recall). At the same time their internal files would be ‘administratively pure.’ That ‘confirmation’ from Halper could be used by the FBI to support the dossier and 1) get a Full CI investigation on Page and 2) then get the FISA for that Full CI investigation (Halper could claim knowledge of clandestine contacts, etc.). It’s pretty obvious why the FBI/DoJ would not want these details coming out, because they would not want Halper being required to testify to Congress or to the IG, etc.”
In the same sense, the Clinton-supporting IC officials likely used whatever British intelligence services they could to disguise what was really CIA spying on Trump. It also seems obvious that this coordination was not spontaneous, but was well-planned beforehand.
Australia’s officials seem to have gotten into the game though in a more peripheral way through Australia’s High Commissioner to Britain, Alexander Downer, with long-standing ties to Hillary Clinton. At least one other peripheral character, Josef Mifsud, a Maltese-based professor living in London who interacted with Papadopoulos in March of 2016, seems to have been involved.
But the key figure seems to be Halper and the reasons why he is so artfully described in the redacted EC seem beyond doubt.
We’re still waiting for the long-delayed OIG report to land, but in the meantime, in closed session on May 16, the Senate Intelligence Committee will question the authors of the January 2017 intelligence report, which claimed that Russia acted to help Trump. In the witness chairs: former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Administration director Admiral Mike Rogers. Also invited — James Comey, former head of the FBI. Not on the list is Halper, but as a U.S. citizen, he ought to be subject to Congressional interrogation.
Things seem to be coming to a head. In the meantime, another pratfall for the Mueller $10-million-dollar team: They indicted a Russian company that wasn’t in existence at the time of the alleged criminal activity. AsScott Johnson of Powerline, quipped, “Mueller indicts a ham sandwich.”