Before Crossfire Hurricane: Devin Nunes asks the essential question…


J.E. Dyer examines Horowitz’s Report on Crossfire Hurricane FISA abuses (a better word – CORRUPTION) in Devin Nunes questioning of pre-operation beginnings by the FBI. VERY IMPORTANT READ and you’ll want to read a few times to digest the info.

 

The first paragraph has a link to the 480-plus page IG Report.

 

JRH 12/11/19 (H/T:  J.e. Dyer  at Facebook Group Patriot Action Network)

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Before Crossfire Hurricane: Devin Nunes asks the essential question after release of DOJ IG report

 

By J.E. Dyer

December 11, 2019

Liberty Unyielding

 

Devin Nunes (Image: Screen grab of Fox News video, YouTube)

 

Analytical revelations from the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the conduct of the “Russia-Trump” investigation won’t end any time soon.

 

The highlights have come out quickly, such as the startling count of 51 procedural violations by the FBI just in forwarding the FISA applications on Carter Page, and the fact that nine of those 51 involved making false statements to the FISA court.  In light of these and other findings, the IG report’s conclusion that all this troubling conduct didn’t amount to “bias” on the part of the FBI seems rather … beside the point.  Pick another measuring stick, folks.  That one is about as useful to our public purpose as Gloria Steinem’s famous bicycle was to a fish.

 

Whatever we label it – and “bias” is an unimpressive scare word to begin with – a federal law enforcement undertaking so full of violations and false statements is a problem of the highest priority.  So call it Petunia, for all I care.  Just don’t have the crust to call it something that frames it to be written off.  Real, live Americans have to live every day with what we suffer the FBI to do in the name of law and order.

 

And if the senior officials at headquarters are allowed to misbehave themselves so badly, it doesn’t much matter how honorable the rank and file are.

 

In any case, although there is surely a lot more to come as the IG report gets its public walk-through, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) bore-sighted Monday evening on the question that must propel us forward.

 

The IG report only takes us so far.  That’s because it accepts the start date of its investigative charter as the day Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched by the FBI: 31 July 2016.

 

We’ll learn a lot from looking at the period after that.  But the operations of U.S. agencies against (or, if you like, “involving”) members of the Trump campaign were underway well before that.  Even if we use the friendlier-sounding term “involving” here, it’s still the case that agencies and personalities that engaged with Trump campaign members after 31 July 2016 were also involved with them before 31 July 2016.

 

Devin Nunes called that out on Monday.  He’s brought this up previously, and didn’t elaborate at length in his segment with Sean Hannity (whose audience wouldn’t need a lengthy explanation).  But that’s what he’s referring to here.

 

And his question is the essential one.  The DOJ IG report looked at the conduct of the FBI and DOJ in Crossfire Hurricane.

 

But who was coordinating what was being done before Crossfire Hurricane started?

 

That question gets to the fundamental mystery of how the counter-Trump operation was started, and who was behind it.  The motive for the operation can only be ascertained fully by answering these questions.  The FBI was a late-comer to the game.  It wasn’t “the” string-puller (which was probably a small group, rather than a single individual).

 

If nothing else, Peter Strzok’s affect in 2016 tells us that.  He doesn’t text like someone who has known for months – or years – that Stefan Halper was set onto LTG Michael Flynn back in 2014, or that Carter Page has been working with the FBI since 2013 to take down Russian agents in the United States.

 

And that’s really the point about the IG report too.  The report is framed as if it’s kind of no big deal that there was prior engagement by the actors in its own drama with the Crossfire Hurricane targets:  Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn.

 

The IG report accepts at face value the narrative that Crossfire Hurricane was initiated on 31 July 2016, based on the nugget from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that in May 2016, George Papadopoulos had told him something about the Russians and incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.

 

Yet within two weeks of 31 July 2016, this new operation had turned unerringly to a confidential source (Stefan Halper) who had known Paul Manafort for years, had engaged with Michael Flynn back in 2014, and had invited Carter Page to a conference at Cambridge in July 2016 (where Halper and Page happened, according to Halper, to discuss the possibility of Halper joining the Trump campaign), before Crossfire Hurricane started.

 

Meanwhile, the FBI had had Manafort under investigation several years earlier, and had electronic surveillance of him since 2014 (up through probably March of 2016, when reporting suggests the FISA authority for that surveillance expired).

 

The FBI had been receiving cooperation from Carter Page in interdicting Russian agents in the U.S. who were trying to recruit Americans.

 

And Stefan Halper, whom the IG report refers to as Source 2 (with a number of allusions that make Halper the only viable candidate for that designation), had been involved in an apparent attempt to pin the appearance of improper Russian connections on Michael Flynn in 2014.

 

Papadopoulos, on the other hand, while he had not been approached by Halper before 31 July 2016, had been approached in March 2016 by the Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, who was well known to the U.S. State Department and ran tame among the top officials of the British and Italian intelligence organizations.  Papadopoulos was subsequently approached by Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat with extensive links to the same UK intelligence officials Stefan Halper hosted conferences with at Cambridge multiple times each year.

 

There are a couple of passages in the IG report that afford an intriguing look at how these remarkable coincidences were accounted for in testimony to the IG.

 

We are given a little background on Stefan Halper’s (Source 2’s) checkered history as a confidential source (p. 313 as page-numbered in the IG report document):

 

Source 2 was closed by the FBI in 2011 for “aggressiveness toward handling agents as a result of what [Source 2] perceived as not enough compensation” and “questionable allegiance to the [intelligence] targets” with which Source 2 maintained contact. However, Source 2 was re-opened 2 months later by Case Agent 1, and was handled by Case Agent 1 from 2011 through 2016 as part of Case Agent 1 ‘s regular investigative activities at an FBI field office.

 

Case Agent 1 remains anonymous in the report and has not been firmly identified by blogosphere analysts.  He is referred to as male in the report, however, and was working Crossfire Hurricane in 2016.*  He is described as having an extensive history with Source 2 between 2011 and 2016.

 

Therefore, we get the following characterization a couple of paragraphs later (on p. 314):

 

Source 2 ‘s involvement in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation arose out of Case Agent 1’s pre-existing relationship with Source 2. Case Agent 1 told the OIG that when he arrived in Washington, D.C. in early August 2016 to join the Crossfire Hurricane team, he had never previously dealt with the “realm” of political campaigns. He said he lacked a basic understanding of simple issues, for example what the role of a “foreign policy advisor” entails, and how that person interacts with the rest of the campaign. Case Agent 1 said he proposed meeting with Source 2 to ask these questions because Case Agent 1 knew that Source 2 had been affiliated with national political campaigns since the early 1970s.

 

Case Agent 1 seems to have known the source he had been handling since 2011 reasonably well.  So this passage in the middle of p. 315 comes across as a bit puzzling:

 

Source 2 told the Crossfire Hurricane team that Source 2 had known Trump’s then campaign manager, Manafort, for a number of years and that he had been previously acquainted with Michael Flynn. Case Agent 1 told the OIG that “quite honestly … we kind of stumbled upon [Source 2] knowing these folks.” He said that it was “serendipitous” and that the Crossfire Hurricane team “couldn’t believe [their] luck” that Source 2 had contacts with three of their four subjects, including Carter Page.

 

It strains credulity just a bit, that Case Agent 1, who’d been handling Source 2 since 2011, found it mere “luck” to discover that Source 2 knew Manafort, whom the FBI had investigated intensively since 2011, and had contacted Carter Page, with whom the FBI had worked since 2013, only a couple of weeks before Case Agent 1 joined Crossfire Hurricane.

 

Perhaps Case Agent 1 had no reason, at least, to know about Source 2’s connection with Michael Flynn.  But as for the rest, it sounds for all the world as if Case Agent 1 read a Wikipedia entry on Source 2 to get his background information, and then was disingenuously astonished to find out how relevant to Crossfire Hurricane Source 2’s history would actually be.

 

Case Agent 1’s protestations sound, in other words, less than credible.

 

His and the Crossfire Hurricane team’s reported disbelief in their “luck” requires accounting for, given the extensive history of the FBI with everyone that “luck” applied to.

 

That’s where Devin Nunes’s question comes in.  If it wasn’t the FBI that assembled all that “luck” prior to 31 July 2016 – who was it?  And was it, as we would reasonably assume, the same maker of “luck” that manufactured a series of contacts in early 2016, and then handed George Papadopoulos to the FBI, tied up with a bow?

 

Obviously, readers will be waving their hands in the air at this point calling out “Brennan!”  But it’s equally obvious John Brennan couldn’t do this alone.  Just for starters, the Steele dossier was a key component of the anti-Trump operation, and there is neither need nor evidence for connecting it to Brennan’s instigation (at least not directly).

 

Moreover, the collaboration that may have come from foreign intelligence agencies (e.g., in Italy and the UK, as well as the notorious grab-bag of other European sources, like Estonia, supposedly plying Brennan with information in early 2016) would have had motives other than merely helping Brennan out with a personal project.  For those sources, motives related to their own perceived interests had to be in play.

 

There are probably reasons the public will never be cleared for why Brennan would have taken a set against Michael Flynn.  We know of one reason why senior personnel at the DOJ might have.

 

Meanwhile, the odd centrality of Ukraine and Paul Manafort to the Russiagate drama seems to have had its origins and motives from other actors: in the State Department, in the Democratic Party, in at least one of the Democrats’ major funders, George Soros.  And those origins and motives appear, like the animus against Flynn, to have predated even Donald Trump’s candidacy for president.

 

Nunes is right.  This is what we need to get to the bottom of.  All that “luck” the Crossfire Hurricane team stumbled into: who authored it?  Will John Durham be able to dig that out?  Is he making the attempt?

 

William Barr’s comments this week, which include a reference to looking at the activities of other agencies (besides the FBI and DOJ), suggest that at least some version of that attempt may be underway.  But we don’t know its scope or quality.

 

If we get a few indictments for things done by DOJ and FBI personnel after 31 July 2016, and if Trump weathers the impeachment frenzy unscathed – and if we complacently accept never knowing the answer to Nunes’s question – we remain at grave risk for something like this happening again.  We remain at risk for not understanding the alarming power our government’s intelligence and law enforcement tools can wield over our nation’s future.

 

That’s why one of the most important things the IG report can do is point us not only to opportunities for indictment, but to discrepancies in testimony and narrative that set channel markers: buoys we can navigate by in chasing down Nunes’s question.

 

The alarm he raised in early 2017 is what cued both his committee and an interested public to demand the exertions that got us to the DOJ IG report.  In his excellent new book The Plot Against the President, journalist Lee Smith recounts much that was previously unreported about Nunes’s efforts and the centrality of his role.  Without Nunes, we wouldn’t have the broad public understanding we have today of the truth about Russiagate and Spygate, as opposed to the script written by Fusion GPS and pounded in the media.

 

I suggest trusting Nunes one more time: that we cannot rest until we know how and with whom this whole business really started.

 

* Regarding the identity of Case Agent 1, Internet sleuths are lobbying for one of two FBI agents who have spoken at Halper-organized events at Cambridge in the last decade.  This tweep suggests one of them (who was an FBI attaché at the U.S. embassy in London from 2012 to early 2016).  That agent has been a speaker for Halper at least twice.  In an article for The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway had a list of three names – including the one suggested by @TheLegalBrain1 – of FBI agents who appeared at a Halper conference in Cambridge in 2011.  Other analysts are partisans of the third name in the 2011 list for Case Agent 1.

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

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J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

 

Copyright © 2019 Liberty Unyielding. All rights reserved.

 

ABOUT Liberty Unyielding

 

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.

 

Disinfo as Fact to Frame Trump


John R. Houk

© May 17, 2019

 

The infamous Steele Dossier used by the Dems to try to frame President Trump for working with the Russians to steal the 2016 from Crooked Hillary did have an author who claims he had sources. The author or at least compiler is British former MI6 agent Christopher Steele – hence the most used appellation of the Steele Dossier.

 

So, did Steele merely create a work of fiction to villainize an American he didn’t like? Did Steele have a source (or sources) framework to construct the dossier that was and is unverified? AND if those sources exist, how reliable are they?

 

Chuck Ross writing for the Daily Caller some how has discovered potential sources via notes taken by State Department official Kathleen Kavalec. Accordingly the sources she noted were high level Russian Intelligence personnel.

 

These Russians are KNOWN individuals to Americans in government who care or watch what the Russians are doing. The chief implication Ross brings across is these Russian Intelligence individuals peddled disinformation to Trump-hater Steele.

 

My guess is Dem Trump-haters desired to believe the disinformation so badly, they observed at best the data was factual. AT WORST these Dem Trump-haters cared little about accuracy and colluded directly with Steele and perhaps indirectly colluded with Russians to frame Trump to first win 2016 for Crooked Hillary and/or failing the objective then impeach President Trump.

 

Of course my narrative is speculation. Time will tell how close my speculation is. I am willing to bet that “time” will show I am pretty darn close.

 

I’ll mention the names of those Russian Intelligences sources, but my guess you’ll never remember those hard to pronounce names even if those names begin to circulate among the Leftist Mainstream Media: Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Vladislav Surkov.

 

Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Vladislav Surkov

 

AND NOW, the Daily Caller cross post by Chuck Ross.

 

READ ALSO: New Document Exposes Two Russian Dossier Sources; By Matt Palumbo; Bongino.com; 5/17/19

 

JRH 5/17/19

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STEELE IDENTIFIED RUSSIAN DOSSIER SOURCES, NOTES REVEAL

 

Christopher Steele

 

By Chuck Ross

5/16/19 8:44 PM

Daily Caller News Foundation

 

  • Christopher Steele told a State Department official a former Russian spy chief and a top Kremlin adviser were involved in an operation to collect compromising information on Donald Trump.
  • The State Department official’s notes also indicate Steele claimed the Russians, Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Vladislav Surkov, were “sources” for the dossier.
  • There is no evidence the compromising material mentioned in the dossier actually exists, raising questions about whether Steele was given disinformation.
  • Trubnikov, the former head of the SVR, also has links to Stefan Halper, an FBI informant who had contact with the Trump campaign.

 

Dossier author Christopher Steele identified a former Russian spy chief and a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin as being involved in handling potentially compromising information about President Donald Trump, State Department notes show.

 

In her notes, State Department official Kathleen Kavalec also referred to the two Russians — former Russian foreign intelligence chief Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Putin aide Vladislav Surkov — as “sources.”

 

The references to Trubnikov and Surkov, which have not previously been reported, are not definitive proof that either were sources for Steele’s dossier or that they were involved in an effort to collect blackmail material on Trump.

 

But the notes are significant because they are the first government documents that show Steele discussing potential sources for the information in his dossier, which the former MI6 officer provided to the FBI.

 

Trubnikov also has links to Stefan Halper, an FBI informant who collected information from Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. Halper arranged for Trubnikov to visit intelligence seminars at the University of Cambridge in 2012 and 2015. He also tapped Trubnikov to contribute to a Pentagon study published in 2015.

 

(RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: A London Meeting Before The Election Aroused George Papadopoulos’s Suspicions)

 

Kavalec took the notes during an Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with Steele at State Department headquarters. The documents, which were released earlier in May by Citizens United and first reported on by The Hill, show Steele laid out many of the same allegations about Trump and his advisers that are found in the infamous dossier.

 

The notes contain several inaccuracies, including that Russia was running operations out of its consulate in Miami. As Kavalec pointed out, Russia does not have a consulate in Miami.

 

Trubnikov and Surkov are not identified by name in Steele’s dossier, which the FBI used as part of its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. But the information that the former British spy attributed to the two Russians involves the dossier’s most salacious allegation: that the Russian government had sexually compromising material on Trump.

 

Kavalec’s notes said Steele claimed Trump was “filmed engaged in compromising activities” with Russian prostitutes in 2013, but that “the Russians have not needed to use the ‘kompromat’ on [Trump] as he was already in cooperation.”

 

Steele, who operates a private intelligence firm in London, told Kavalec that Putin and some of his top advisers were running the Trump operation.

 

“Presidential Advisor Vladislov Surkov and Vyasheslov Trubnikov (former head of Russian External Intelligence Service — SVR) are also involved,” wrote Kavalec, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian issues.

 

Kathleen Kavalec notes (Published by Citizens United)

 

Kavalec’s handwritten notes also contain a reference to Trubnikov and Surkov as “sources,” but with no additional explanation.

 

Trubnikov served as head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, SVR, from 1996 to 2000. He went on to serve as first deputy for foreign affairs and ambassador to India.

 

Kathleen Kavalec notes (Published by Citizens United)

 

The unverified allegations of sexual blackmail material on Trump are included in the June 20, 2016, memo from Steele’s dossier. Steele had been hired that same month by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid to investigate Trump.

 

Citing “a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,” Steele claimed Russian authorities had gathered a substantial amount of “embarrassing material” on Trump and would “be able to blackmail him if they so wished.”

 

It is difficult to know how to interpret Steele’s claims about Trubnikov and Surkov, given the numerous problems that have emerged with the former British spy’s reporting.

 

The special counsel’s report all but debunked Steele’s core claim of a “well-developed conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Kremlin. The report also said Michael Cohen did not visit Prague, which is where Steele claimed the former Trump lawyer met with Kremlin insiders to pay off computer hackers.

 

(RELATED: Mueller Report Undercuts Several Steele Dossier Claims)

 

Public evidence has not backed up other allegations, including about “kompromat” on Trump. The president has vehemently denied the sex tape claim, and individuals who were with Trump during his Moscow trip have cast doubt on the allegation, saying Trump had virtually no time to take part in the steamy activities described by Steele.

 

But questions remain about who provided the information to Steele and what his sources’ motives were if the information is false.

 

Steele, who operated in Moscow through 2009 before leaving MI6, relied on a network of sources and sub-sources, some of whom are said to have worked in Russia. Virtually nothing is known about Steele’s collectors, but it has been reported that some of the sources who Steele cited in the dossier unwittingly provided information that ended up in the 35-page document.

 

A former CIA station chief in Moscow, Daniel Hoffman, said discerning how Steele obtained and used information from Trubnikov and Surkov is “tricky.”

 

“Was [Steele] collecting intelligence on Trubnikov, or was he using Trubnikov to collect intelligence? Those are two different things,” Hoffman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

 

Hoffman said Trubnikov remains a “trusted guy in the Russian national security bureaucracy,” despite not having an official title in Russian government for over a decade.

 

“They never stop,” Hoffman said of Russian intelligence operatives. “There’s no such thing as a former intelligence officer. The guy is going to be reporting back to the SVR or Putin.”

 

Hoffman has been a leading proponent of one theory about the dossier that has gained traction in the wake of the special counsel’s report. The former CIA officer has argued Steele likely fell victim to a Russian disinformation campaign.

 

A growing number of experts in Russian intelligence operations have embraced the theory, and Attorney General William Barr testified to Congress on May 1 that he is concerned about the prospect and is looking into it.

 

(RELATED: Investigate The Steele Dossier As Russian Disinformation, Intel Experts Say)

 

Hoffman has written that if the Russian government hacked Democrats’ computer systems, they could have figured out that Steele was trying to gather information on any connections between the Kremlin and Trump. Steele is also likely known to Russian intelligence given his covert work in Moscow, making it easier for Russian operatives to uncover his intelligence-gathering operation.

 

Hoffman said it’s difficult to determine whether Trubnikov and Surkov were involved in a disinformation campaign — saying “it’s a hall of mirrors” — but that it can’t be ruled out. He said he could envision a scenario in which Trubnikov could sniff out Steele’s operation and spin the dossier author’s collector with false leads.

 

Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, did not respond to requests for comment. The Russian embassy also did not respond to a request for comment. The State Department declined comment.

 

Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images)

 

Trubnikov’s links to Halper, the FBI informant, are also a source of intrigue.

 

Halper tapped Trubnikov to contribute to a study he did in 2015 for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) titled “The Russia-China relationship: The Impact on the United States’ Security Interests.” Halper, who served in three Republican presidential administrations, was paid over $1 million from 2012 through 2018 for reports from ONA, which is led by Pentagon officials Andrew May and James Baker.

 

Halper established contact with Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide, under the guise of contributing to a study on energy security issues in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

 

Halper paid $3,000 to Papadopoulos to write a paper on the topic. During meetings in London, Halper and a covert government investigator, Azra Turk, plied Papadopoulos for information on any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. While no evidence has emerged that Halper paid Papadopoulos out of ONA funds, a source familiar with Halper’s work for ONA told The DCNF that $3,000 was a sum he often paid contributors.

 

(RELATED: Who Was ‘Azra Turk’ Working For?)

 

Halper also cozied up to Page in the midst of the 2016 campaign. The pair met for the first time July 10, 2016, at a political event hosted at Cambridge University. They remained in contact through September 2017, which is the same month the FBI ended its electronic surveillance on Page.

 

Halper might also have had a role in sharing information about Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

 

The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported Halper and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former chief of MI6, expressed concerns about interactions between Flynn and a Russian-British researcher at Cambridge named Svetlana Lokhova.

 

Flynn visited the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in February 2014, when he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

 

Several news outlets published stories in 2017 about Flynn and Lokhova, with the thinly veiled suggestion that the pair had a romantic fling and that Lokhova was trying to compromise Flynn. Lokhova has vehemently denied allegations of any impropriety with Flynn, and no evidence has emerged to suggest that there was any.

 

(RELATED: Cambridge Academic Reflects On Interactions With ‘Spygate’ Figure)

 

Halper and Dearlove publicly raised concerns about possible Russian infiltration of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. In December 2016, Halper was quoted in a Financial Times article saying he was resigning from the seminar due to “unacceptable Russian influence on the group.”

 

According to two sources for the FT piece, Halper and Dearlove feared “that Russia may be seeking to use the seminar as an impeccably-credentialed platform to covertly steer debate and opinion on high-level sensitive defence and security topics.”

 

Despite his concerns about possible infiltration at Cambridge, Halper twice provided a platform for Trubnikov at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Trubnikov spoke at the university May 4, 2012, and May 11, 2015. The latter appearance was rescheduled because Trubnikov had issues with his visa, according to a program for the event.

 

Christopher Andrew, who convened the intelligence seminar with Halper and Dearlove, took Halper to task over the FT article, according to an email obtained by The DCNF.

 

“I am somewhat shocked by the comments attributed to you in today’s FT. I can well imagine that you’ve been misquoted but do need to know as a matter of urgency what you actually told the FT,” wrote Andrew, who serves as official historian for MI5, the British domestic intelligence service.

 

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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Disinfo as Fact to Frame Trump

John R. Houk

© May 17, 2019

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STEELE IDENTIFIED RUSSIAN DOSSIER SOURCES, NOTES REVEAL

 

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From exposing shocking mismanagement of Republican National Committee funds to exclusively revealing the FBI’s interview with Hillary Clinton, The Daily Caller’s reporting has been thorough and tough on members of both political parties. In 2016, The Daily Caller emerged as a news leader in covering the U.S. presidential election, providing around-the-clock, on-the-ground coverage of the primary process, the debates, and the general election. The Daily Caller was also included as a full-time member of the traveling press pool for the Democratic nominee.

 

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8 Times Obama’s Intelligence Agencies Set People Up To Fabricate The Russia Story


Now here is a collusion list that is sure to inspire massive lying deflection with such beginning phrases as “But Trump did …

 

Have you noticed that NOT one scintilla of corroborated evidence has been produced to suggest that President Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016? My God! It’s 2018 and the Dems pulling all the stops and lies to remove the President from Office.

 

AND YET, there is a huge (or YUGE) amount of public information of not only collusion but also corruption within the Obama/Crooked Hillary camp to steal the 2016 election or (in the blessed event that won Trump won) impeach the President.

 

Willis L. Krumholz writing for The Federalist illustrates a clear picture of actions that should lead to criminal prosecution.

 

JRH 6/6/18

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8 Times Obama’s Intelligence Agencies Set People Up To Fabricate The Russia Story

These events should anger any red-blooded American who believes in representative democracy and the importance of the rule of law.

 

Daily Briefing – Obama & Clapper

 

By Willis L. Krumholz

JUNE 6, 2018

The Federalist

 

The intelligence bureaucracies spied on the Donald Trump campaign: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants were granted because of a Hillary Clinton-funded and unverified document, national-security letters were issued to allow warrantless spying, and the unprecedented but not-illegal-per-se unmasking of Trump officials’ conversations with non-U.S. persons was shockingly routine.

 

Yet the news of a CIA-connected human source operating as far back as April or May of 2016 is about more than just spying. It is the latest example in what now looks to be a long line of attempted setups by the Clinton team, many times aided and abetted by our intelligence bureaucracies.

 

These events should anger any red blooded American who believes in representative democracy and the importance of the rule of law. Let’s review eight examples.

 

  1. CIA And FBI ‘Human Intelligence’

 

We’ve just learned about Stefan Halper, a CIA-connected Cambridge professor who — working for the FBI — contacted Trump advisers Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis during the 2016 election, to investigate what they might know about suspicions of collusion with Russia. Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo has claimed that he was approached by an unknown second U.S. intelligence community asset in early May of 2016.

 

The FBI says that the Russia investigation began in July, because of something Papadopoulos said to an Australian diplomat in May. Papadopoulos had supposedly told the Australian diplomat something about Russia having information that “could be damaging” to Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly heard this from Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese-born professor who allegedly claimed to have close ties with Russia.

 

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team charged Papadopoulos — unconvincingly — with lying to investigators, because Papadopoulos said his contacts with Mifsud began before he was on the Trump campaign. Actually, the contacts started after he “learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the campaign,” but before the campaign made a public announcement that he was to be an advisor.

 

Mifsud is strangely now in hiding, possibly fearing for his life. Lee Smith details Mifsud’s ties to Western intelligence agencies, and Margot Cleveland suspects Mifsud may have been a U.S. intelligence plant along with Halper.

 

  1. The Trump Tower Meeting

 

Whenever Democrats or David French types talk about Trump and Russia collusion they look to the Trump Tower meeting as definitive proof. There are several problems with that. First, no presidential campaign in American history would pass up the chance of hearing evidence of crimes being committed by their opponent, no matter the source. In fact, some would say you’re doing the country a favor if you let everyone know that your opponent is subject to blackmail from a not-so-friendly foreign power (just don’t have your son and son-in-law sit in on the meeting).

 

More problematic is that Glenn Simpson — head of Fusion GPS, the firm being paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to prove (or create) ties between Trump and Russia — met with the two Russians who attended the Trump Tower meeting both before and after the meeting. Simpson’s excuse for doing so? Because he was working with the two Russians on a different issue, the repeal of the anti-Kremlin Magnitsky Act.

 

In other words, at the very least, the firm that created the dossier for Clinton and the DNC — using Russian intelligence sources — was the same firm that was working with the Kremlin to repeal a law passed by Congress because Putin’s thugs beat an innocent man to death in Russian prison. At most, this was yet another setup.

 

  1. Mike Flynn And The Logan Act

 

During the 2016 campaign, Democrats howled about the need to prosecute Trump campaign officials under an obscure 1799 law called the Logan Act. Byron York has documented that this was the pretext Obama-appointed former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates used to unmask former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s side of highly-appropriate phone conversations with the Russian ambassador that occurred during the transition period, and then send FBI agents to interview Flynn about those conversations.

 

Although the FBI has tried to cover this up, we now know that the agents who interviewed Flynn — including the disgraced and hugely anti-Trump Peter Strzok — didn’t believe that Flynn had lied. Nevertheless, Mueller’s team charged Flynn with lying to the FBI. After Mueller’s charge had nearly bankrupted Flynn, and after Mueller threatened to go after Flynn’s son, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI.

 

  1. Andrew McCabe Sets Up Reince Priebus

 

After an intelligence briefing at the White House in early 2017, former FBI number two Andrew McCabe asked to meet privately with former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. A story had just dropped — anonymously sourced from multiple intelligence community officials — that Trump aides had multiple contacts with Russian intelligence during the election.

 

McCabe wanted to tell Priebus that the FBI didn’t think the story was true. Of course, Priebus asked McCabe if the FBI could publicly say just that. McCabe said he would have to check. But former FBI Director James Comey called Priebus to say that the FBI couldn’t publicly shoot down the story.

 

Days later, the “breaking news” on CNN was that the White House had tried to pressure the FBI into batting down the reports on supposed ties between Trump and Russia. So not only was the White House supposedly colluding, now there were allegations of obstruction of justice.

 

  1. Brennan Shops Dossier To Harry Reid

 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who may have been the U.S. intelligence official to first push an investigation into the Trump campaign, briefed then-Sen. Harry Reid on the Clinton-funded dossier in August 2016.

 

The briefing did two things: First, it lent some legitimacy to the dossier, and second, it got Reid to pressure the FBI to not drop the investigation. The briefing had the added bonus of allowing Reid to speak publicly about Trump’s ties to Russia, as if he had just gained access to groundbreaking proof of collusion, which was of course covered by the media.

 

  1. Comey And Clapper Give CNN A Reason To Publish The Dossier

 

Comey, at the behest of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, briefed Trump on one of the allegations in the dossier, but not on the main allegation in the dossier, who had funded the dossier, or how that dossier was being used by the FBI. Nevertheless, this briefing looks like one more setup, meant to allow CNN to report on the existence of the dossier as if it were highly verified and being seriously examined by U.S. intelligence community officials.

 

Clapper then leaked information about the dossier and the briefings to CNN, and later looks to have lied about those leaks to Congress. Amazingly, Clapper has previously lied to Congress. Clapper now works for CNN.

 

  1. The Jeff Sessions Recusal

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after anonymous intelligence community leaks about his contacts with Russians. Specifically, Sessions — as a senator — met with former Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak in his D.C. office. In another meeting, Sessions gave a speech and a gaggle of diplomats — including Kislyak — talked with him for several minutes as he was coming off the stage.

 

The idea behind the unnecessary recusal was that somehow Sessions had misrepresented these contacts to former Sen. Al Franken. Actually, Franken — referring to one of many CNN stories sourced by anonymous officials about supposed Trump and Russia collusion — had clearly asked about whether Sessions had colluded with any Russians during the campaign, not whether Sessions had ever met any Russians.

 

  1. Rosenstein Recommends Comey Firing, Appoints Special Counsel

 

But with Jeff Sessions out of the way, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein became the acting attorney general for all things Russia-investigation-related. Rosenstein then recommended Comey’s firing, and then — overseeing the investigation that stemmed from that firing — appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel. Mueller, a former FBI Director, happened to be a close associate of Comey and Rosenstein, and would surely want to protect the interests of the FBI and the Justice Department.

 

Taken together, these setups indicate a massive effort to aid the Clinton campaign before the election.

 

After all, the entire theory of Trump-Russia collusion originated with the Clinton campaign in the lead-up to the Democrat National Convention, when it became clear that the DNC had experienced a document theft. That document theft was highly embarrassing to Clinton and the DNC, as it revealed that the DNC had been systematically stacking the deck against Bernie Sanders. The immediate goal, then, was to both distract from the mistreatment of Bernie, and completely peel the GOP national security establishment away from Trump. The Clinton campaign was successful in both of these efforts.

 

Later, during the general election, whenever Hillary’s misdeeds came up, Clinton responded by pointing to Trump’s nefarious ties with Russia. Distasteful as it may seem, this was Machiavellian politics 101. Any focus group of voters would have told the Clinton people that Hillary was the steady hand, but that they had ethical concerns about her, and also sought a change from the status quo. The way to counteract this reluctance was to paint Hillary’s opponent as ethically challenged, too, and paint his alternative to the status quo as downright dangerous. (You might say that Trump was an easy target here, but look what the Obama-campaign did to Romney.)

 

Dirty tricks are of course not new to American politics. But the apparent involvement of the U.S. intelligence community in these setups is deeply troubling. Democrats, intelligence bureaucrats, and the media have told us that the investigation started with Page. When that fell apart, they said the investigation started with Papadopoulos. Now, the Papadopoulos origination story is falling apart too.

 

It now looks like the corrupt and highly partisan upper-echelon of the U.S. intelligence community started their preliminary investigation as soon as the Clinton people — in the run-up to the Democratic convention — began claiming that there were ties between Trump and Russia. During this same time, Clinton and the DNC paid Fusion GPS, which hired Chris Steele to dig up ties between Trump and Russia.

 

This is nothing more than prosecutorial point and shoot, where corrupt big-government politicians send the corrupt and sympathetic federal bureaucracy after their political enemies. It’s no different than what happened with Lois Lerner at the Internal Revenue Service. Democrats gave speeches and sent official letters, Obama implied he wanted action, and dutiful bureaucrats did the rest.

 

With the intelligence agencies on board, legitimacy was lent to the Hillary Clinton campaign’s wild claims. All the media had to do in the weeks before Election Day was to frantically report that Trump’s campaign was being investigated, and that a document containing allegations of Trump-Russia ties (the “dossier”) was being seriously looked into by intelligence officials. That fed back to the voters, and certainly made many feel a little bit better about voting for Clinton, or not voting for Trump.

 

After the election, it has been all about C.Y.A., because these corrupt bureaucrats leading these intelligence bureaucracies never imagined Trump would win. Here, ladies and gentleman, is your real election interference and collusion: between the massive, all-powerful and unaccountable intelligence bureaucracies, the media, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign.

____________________

Willis L. Krumholz is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, and works in the financial services industry. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.

 

Copyright © 2018 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.

 

Tinker, Tailor, Clapper, Carter, Downer, Halper, Spy


In this Jewish World Review post, Mark Steyn relates the obvious to readers: There was indeed interference in the 2016 election cycle, BUT it was not Donald Trump colluding with Russians. Rather it was the Dems and their Deep State comrades in the Obama Administration pulling out ALL efforts to make Trump was not elected. OR if elected, to undermine President Trump so malignantly, he’d get impeached or resign.

 

JRH 5/28/18

Please Support NCCR

**************************

Tinker, Tailor, Clapper, Carter, Downer, Halper, Spy

 

By Mark Steyn

May 28,2018

Jerusalem World Review

 

Facts – Myths

 

As I think most persons paying attention now realize, the investigation into foreign interference with the 2016 election was created as a cover for domestic interference with the 2016 election.

 

It was run at the highest (or deepest) Deep State levels by the likes of James Clapper and John Brennan, whose frantic and hysterical Tweets are like no utterances of any CIA director in history. That also explains one of the puzzling aspects of the last year that I’ve occasionally mentioned here and on TV and radio: If you were truly interested in an “independent” Special Counsel, why would you appoint Robert Mueller? He’s a lifetime insider and the most connected man in Washington – a longtime FBI Director, and Assistant Attorney-General and acting Deputy Attorney-General at the Department of Justice.

 

Exactly. His most obvious defect as an “independent” counsel is, in fact, his principal value to the likes of Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein: He knows, personally, almost every one in the tight little coterie of discredited upper-echelon officials, and he has a deep institutional loyalty to bodies whose contemporary character he helped create. In other words, he’s the perfect guy to protect those institutions. As for the nominal subject of his investigation, well, he’s indicted a bunch of no-name Russian internet trolls who’ll never set foot in a US courthouse. That’s not even worth the cost of printing the complaint. Rush Limbaugh has been kind enough to quote, several times, my line that “there are no Russians in the Russia investigation”. Which is true. Yet that doesn’t mean there aren’t foreigners. And an inordinate number of them are British subjects – or, to use today’s preferred term, “Commonwealth citizens”. All the action in this case takes place not in Moscow but in southern England.

 

Let’s start at Cambridge University with a two-day conference called “2016’s Race to Change the World“, held on July 11th and 12th 2016 – or three weeks before the FBI supposedly began its “counterintelligence” operation against Trump, codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane”. That’s from the first line of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The song and its key signature figure in the plot of a ho-hum Cold War thriller of the same name, about a British spy trying to get info from the Russians to an [sic] heroic American woman.

 

Yes, really. Jonathan Pryce played “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” , and I asked him about it when I moderated a panel on acting at St Catherine’s College, Oxford with him and Patti Lupone a few years later.

 

If you think that’s a weird event for an Oxbridge college to host, it’s as nothing to this “Race to Change the World” beano. I do my share of international junketing, but the bill of fare for this curious symposium is so bland as to be almost generic – panels titled “Europe and America”, “2016 and the World”, “Global Challenges Facing the Next President”. Compared to the laser-like focus of a typical Cambridge confab (“A Westphalia for the Middle East?“), it’s almost as if someone were trying to create an event so anodyne and torpid no one would notice it. All that distinguished these colorless presentations was the undoubted eminence of the speakers: former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former UK Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind; and Sir Richard Dearlove, former C (that’s M, for 007 fans) at MI6. The conference appears to have been put together at a couple of weeks’ notice by Steven Schrage, former “Co-Chair of the G8’s Anti-Crime and Terrorism Group” and a well-connected man on the counterterrorism cocktail circuit: Here he is introducing Mitt Romney to the director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, and here he is spending election night in the UK at a party with Scotland Yard elite counterterrorist types. Make of that what you will – it’s a somewhat odd background for the convenor of an insipid, vanilla, cookie-cutter foreign-policy seminar – but among the small number of strangely prestigious attendees at Mr Schrage’s conference were:

 

~Carter Page, a petroleum-industry executive and Trump campaign volunteer;

 

~Christopher Steele, the former head of the Russia house at MI6;

 

~Stefan Halper, a University of Cambridge professor with dual UK/US citizenship.

 

Today, Mr Page is better known as the endlessly surveilled “person of interest” whose eternally renewable FISA warrant was the FBI’s gateway into the Trump campaign; Mr Steele is a sometime FBI asset who, a week before the Cambridge conference, had approached the G-men with the now famous “dossier” that provided the pretext for the FISA application; and Professor Halper turns out to be not some tweedy academic but a man with deep connections to MI6 and the CIA, on the payroll of something at the Pentagon called the “Office of Net Assessment”, and (one of) the supposed FBI informant(s) inside the Trump circle.

 

Carter Page says that in the course of this two-day conference he met Professor Halper for the first time. But I was struck by this aside Mr Page made to Sara Carter:

 

Madeliene [sic] Albright was always trying to get me to go into public debates. I told her I was there just as a listener, just as an attendee.

 

Hmm. If you’ll forgive another Patti Lupone-type digression, many years ago our mutual pal Ned Sherrin decided to launch, just for a laugh, a rumor that me and Carol Thatcher (Mrs T’s daughter) were having an affair. Ned told somebody, and somebody told somebody else, and about eight months later it turned up as an item in Nigel Dempster’s highly authoritative Daily Mail gossip column, along with a rather goofy picture of me and Carol at a David Frost shindig at the Grosvenor House in Park Lane. And Ned was stunned – because he assumed the Daily Mail story was true. Because, by the time it circled back to him, he’d clean forgotten he’d started the whole business.

 

Oddly enough, that’s exactly how James Comey and Andrew McCabe and John Brennan work. At the FISA court, the FBI, to bolster their reliance on the Steele dossier, pointed to newspaper stories appearing to corroborate aspects of it – even though, as he subsequently testified under oath at the Old Bailey, those stories were in fact fed to those reporters by Steele himself. Nevertheless, it works like a charm on gullible FISA judges. You take one thing and you make it two things. Or even better, you take nothing and you make it a thing: Here, from yesterday’s letter by Senator Ron Johnson, are McCabe, Sally Yates and other FBI/DOJ honchos arranging for Comey to brief Trump on the Steele dossier for the sole purpose of giving CNN a news peg for leaking details about what’s in it.

 

It’s almost as if that’s what Madeleine Albright is doing here, isn’t it? It’s one thing to invite Carter Page to show up at some tedious yakfest at Cambridge with Halper sitting in front of him and Chris Steele sitting behind. But what if you could get Page to stand up and say something? Then you could find a friendly journo to report it and, instead of just a nobody on the fringes of the campaign, you’d have a “senior Trump advisor” sharing his thoughts on the global scene with Madam Albright and Sir Richard and Sir Malcolm and all the other bigshots, and then you could use that story three weeks later at the FISA court, to demonstrate how deep into the heart of the campaign the Russkies had penetrated.

 

Instead, Professor Halper has to make do with chit-chatting to Mr Page over the tea and biscuits, and planting the seeds for a friendly relationship.

 

Herewith a note on the academic circuit: emeritus professors and visiting fellows are popular covers with espionage agencies because there’s minimal work and extensive foreign travel, to international talking shops like the one above. If you make the mistake of being a multinational businessman and go to foreign countries to meet with other businessmen, you’ll be investigated up the wazoo. But, if you’re a professor and you go to foreign countries to meet with other professors, the world is your oyster. You also get to meet young people, who are the easiest to recruit.

 

Here’s another professor, and from another Commonwealth country: Malta. Joseph Mifsud is (was) a professorial fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland, but is (was) based in London as a principal of the “London Centre of International Law Practice” and a director of the “London Academy of Diplomacy”, both of which sound fancy-schmancy but are essentially hollow entities operating from the same premises – 8, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a tony address (next to the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Surgeons) but the “London Centre/Academy’s” fifth in three years and at which they and a handful of other endeavors are holed up in a minimally furnished back room filled by four interns round a trestle table on fifty quid a week.

 

Professor Mifsud also has (had) similarly undemanding academic sinecures at the “Euro-Mediterranean University” in Slovenia and “Link Campus University” in Italy. At the beginning of March 2016, a young man called George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign. On March 14th, traveling through Italy, he met with Professor Mifsud. They got together again in Britain, and at some point Papadopoulos became head of the “London Centre of International Law Practice’s” soi-disant “Centre for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security”, a post for which he had no obvious qualifications. Happily, like most other jobs at the “London Centre”, it didn’t require work, or showing up at the “London Centre” or even being in London.

 

Mifsud is said to have ties to high-ranking figures in Moscow, but there seems to be more prima facie evidence of ties to high-ranking figures in London. That’s Professor Mifsud above with my old friend Boris Johnson, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, at some Brexit event last October 19th. On October 31st Joseph Mifsud disappeared and has not been seen since. I know how he feels: The same thing happened to me twelve days after I lunched with Boris at The Spectator in early 2006. Is (was) Mifsud an FSB asset? An MI6 asset? Both? Neither? Well, there’s more circumstantial evidence of Mifsud’s ties to British intelligence, including multiple meetings with, inter alia, Claire Smith of the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

 

At any rate, back in London on April 26th 2016, Professor Mifsud told young Papadopoulos that the Russians have all this “dirt” on Hillary, “thousands of emails”. A couple of days later, a friend of George’s at the Israeli Embassy, Christian Cantor, introduced him to Erika Thompson, who worked for Alexander Downer, Canberra’s High Commissioner in the UK, at Australia House. On May 4th, Papadopoulos was quoted in The Times of London denouncing David Cameron for calling Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong“. On May 6th, Ms Thompson called Papadopoulos to say that Mr Downer wanted to meet him. On May 10th they met for drinks at the Kensington Wine Rooms. Young George claims that the High Commissioner told him to “leave David Cameron alone”. Which doesn’t sound quite right to me.

 

As longtime readers may recall, I have drunk with Alexander Downer and that is not something to be undertaken lightly. Somewhere in the course of the evening a pretty squiffy Papadopoulos lifted his head up from the bowl of cocktail olives and started blabbing about Russian “dirt” on Hillary.

 

Another digression: Mr Downer was Australia’s longest serving foreign minister and, as I used to say in those days, “my favorite foreign minister”. Since then, he has spent many years on the “advisory board” of Hakluyt, a curiously named body set up by former MI6 chaps. I’m not saying he spends his nights rappelling down the walls of presidential palaces (although I would be tickled to be proved wrong), but I don’t think I’m betraying any confidences when I say that, after tea with Alexander in Adelaide a couple of years back, whence he had just returned from some meeting with some group or other in Lisbon, I remember musing about that select circle of people who can jet around the world in the expectation that doors will open for them and some useful tidbit will drop into their laps. As for Hakluyt, its website is here: I do believe it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen since (another long me-‘n’-Carol-type story) I was given Marlon Brando’s business card, which had the words “Marlon” and “Brando” on it and nothing else.

 

At any rate Mr Downer relayed the information about young George to Aussie Intelligence back home. Canberra sat on the info for two months and then passed it along to the Yanks in late July, just in time for that FISA application.

 

And so, as July turned to August, Peter Strzok bade farewell to his “paramour” Lisa Page and flew to London for a sit-down with the High Commissioner at Australia House. When Strzok reported back to Washington, the FBI sicced the omnipresent “professor” Stefan Halper on George Papadopoulos. So the Trump aide woke up one August morning to an email from a Cambridge academic he’d never heard of, inviting him on an all-expenses-paid trip back to Britain to give a speech for $3,000. Once in London, Halper casually inquired of his new friend, “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”

 

Right. As Rush put it, the day before I guest-hosted last week:

 

He was a nothing. He was a nobody, which made him a perfect mark. He was a young guy who wanted to go places… He actually put on his résumé that he had participated in Model UN in high school.

 

Just so: Papadopoulos was the perfect mark. And the easiest way to reel him in is to get him off his home turf. In your own neighborhood, you have your routine – your usual bars, favorite restaurants; you notice if something’s off. But, flown to London, you have no routine, no old haunts. You go where you’re invited, you’re introduced to important people – like “High Commissioners”, woshever the hell thash ish, hic – [Blog Editor: As an American I think Steyn is expressing a drunken form of “whoever the hell they is, hiccup] and you want them to think you’re important, too, so you reveal that you know all about the Russian “dirt” on Hillary.

 

So you got that from the Russians, right? Er, no. I got it from a Maltese guy in Italy who’s a Scottish professor and plugged in to MI6, and then I told it to an Australian bloke in London who’s also plugged in to MI6 and told me to lay off David Cameron, and then an American guy in Cambridge who’s plugged in to MI6 reminded me about it to see if I’d deny all knowledge of it, which would be suspicious, wouldn’t it..?

 

As I said, and as Rush likes to quote, there are no Russians in the Russia investigation. But, like that rumor about me and Carol Thatcher, you just put these things out there and a few months later they come back to you, via Canberra and the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing program and suddenly it’s “independently” “corroborated” “evidence” from a respected ally and you can take it to a FISA judge.

 

There were two investigations into presidential candidates during the 2016 election. But, as Andrew McCarthy reminds us, these two investigations were not the same. The Clinton “matter” was a criminal investigation – because there was credible evidence that Hillary had committed criminal acts. The FBI had no such clear-cut goods on Trump. So they had to find something else:

 

The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries.

 

And the advantage of a “counterintelligence investigation”, unlike a criminal investigation, is that everything in it is “classified”. So that even an obvious set-up at a Cambridge confab or Kensington wine bar is “intelligence” that has to be “protected” for “national security” reasons. It’s a brazen, audacious scheme, and unlikely to have been loosed without the approval, however discreetly stated, of the then President. Occam’s Razor suggests that the man running the operation was the CIA’s John Brennan through the “inter-agency taskforce” that met at Langley. But Brennan isn’t that reckless: Go back to Madeleine Albright urging Carter Page to speak up at a Cambridge conference; Christopher Steele leaking parts of his dossier to the newspapers; a staffer at Australia House inviting George Papadopoulos for a drink… The best way to turn nothing into something is to plant it somewhere far away and wait for it to work its way back to you:

 

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

 

Golly, you don’t say! I wonder who “told” The Guardian that. A conference here, a speech there, a cocktail round the corner, and pretty soon you have the simulacrum of “counterintelligence” concerns from America’s closest allies:

 

According to one account, GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level”. After an initially slow start, Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

 

Er, wait a minute. If it’s “so sensitive” it’s being handled “director-to-director”, why isn’t the head of GCHQ meeting with his opposite number at NSA? Why’s he meeting with Brennan?

 

Hey, don’t get hung up on details. It all went brilliantly – except for one tiny detail: Hillary managed to do the impossible and lose. On January 23rd 2017, three days after Trump’s inauguration, GCHQ at Cheltenham Tweeted the sad fate of Mr So Sensitive:

 

We’re sorry to announce that Robert Hannigan, our Director since 2014, has decided to step down as head of GCHQ.

 

Oh, dear. Well, enjoy your sudden retirement, old boy. Unfortunately, for Brennan and Comey and McCabe and Strzok and the others on this side of the Atlantic in the third week of January, it wasn’t quite that simple. Because, instead of protecting Hillary, they were now protecting themselves – so it was necessary to dig in and double-down on the “Russia investigation”.

 

Which sounds super-credible except for one small point: there was never a Russia investigation. As Andrew McCarthy sums it up:

 

Opening up a counterintelligence investigation against Russia is not the same thing as opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign.

 

Which is what they did – Brennan and Clapper and Comey and McCabe. They took tools designed to combat America’s foreign enemies and used them against their own citizens and their political opposition. It was an intentional subversion of the electoral process conducted at the highest level by agencies with almost unlimited power. And, if they get away with it, they will do it again, and again and again. That’s what Brennan’s telling us on Twitter, and Clapper on “The View”:

 

Yeah? So what? Whatcha gonna do about it?

 

Good question.

________________________

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human rights activist. His latest book is “The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned“. (Buy it at a 57% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 41% discount by clicking hereSales help fund JWR)

 

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What! Obama FBI Spied on Trump Campaign


With TWO Spies?

John R. Houk, Editor

Posted May 22, 2018

 

Even as the Leftist Mainstream Media and Obama Deep State operatives spin an alternative story, only a fool or a lying spin doctor would not admit Obama inserted his political desires into the 2016 election cycle.

 

Here are two news articles discussing FBI spying.

 

JRH 5/22/18

Please Support NCCR

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Hold On, The FBI Was Spying On The Trump Campaign *Before* The Counterintelligence Probe Officially Started?

 

By Matt Vespa

May 22, 2018 2:27 PM

Townhall

 

Donald Trump

 

Who is the FBI spy that was trying to glean information on the Trump campaign? Well, reportedly, it’s longtime CIA operative Stefan Halper. And no, it wasn’t leaked. If this is true, and most likely it is, there’s enough public information on him, along with the news media leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that confirmed his identity. They were as subtle as a sledgehammer.

 

Last week, it was reported that the FBI had spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. It was later revealed by Axios that Halper had tried to get a top-level job in the administration after the campaign. Yet, before we get into what The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and others have noted about the timeline of the FBI’s Russia probe, let’s look real quick at the linguistic martial arts the news media is playing here. All of this deep state/Trump was spied on stuff was written off by the news media as conspiratorial garbage. Well, it turns out they were wrong. They’re wrong about everything it seems, especially reports covering this White House. This is how The New York Times covered this development. They also said that this spy is someone well known within D.C. circles.

 

President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”

 

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.

 

[…]

 

F.B.I. agents were seeking more details about what Mr. Papadopoulos knew about the hacked Democratic emails, and one month after their Russia investigation began, Mr. Papadopoulos received a curious message. The academic inquired about his interest in writing a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a subject of Mr. Papadopoulos’s expertise.

 

The informant offered a $3,000 honorarium for the paper and a paid trip to London, where the two could meet and discuss the research project.

 

“I understand that this is rather sudden but thought that given your expertise it might be of interest to you,” the informant wrote in a message to Mr. Papadopoulos, sent on Sept. 2, 2016.

 

Mr. Papadopoulos accepted the offer and arrived in London two weeks later, where he met for several days with the academic and one of his assistants, a young woman.

 

Over drinks and dinner one evening at a high-end London hotel, the F.B.I. informant raised the subject of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails that had spilled into public view earlier that summer, according to a person familiar with the conversation. The source noted how helpful they had been to the Trump campaign, and asked Mr. Papadopoulos whether he knew anything about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

 

Yeah, how is that not spying? It is. And this is the problem with liberalism as of late; they’ve wantonly decided to ignore the definition of what words mean. Spying is now informing. Invasions are now called “uncontested arrivals,” but back to Mr. Halper and the timeline. It seems that his alleged information gathering operation started way before his rendezvous with Papadopoulos. Carter Page and Sam Clovis, two others affiliated with the Trump team, were also approached by Halper as well.

 

Greenwald noted that Halper has history with this sort of operation; he reportedly did something similar to Carter’s 1980 re-election campaign. Halper with some other former intelligence operatives allegedly funneled information on then-President Carter’s foreign policy to Republican candidate, and future president, Ronald Reagan. This was all revealed in 1983.

 

 

Greenwald also noted that while the news media knew who the FBI spy was, they refused to reveal his name, though they left so many clues that they might as well have disclosed the source. He also adds that the FBI and members of Congress are being more or less absurd that revealing the source would be damaging to national security; we pretty much already know who it is. And his work was already been reported. The Intercept then details how the Daily Caller was able to discern whom the source was using entirely public information, which brings us to FBI timeline. When did this investigation begin because it seems there were other times that Halper reached out to Trump team members prior to the Papadopoulos meeting that supposedly led to the FBI opening up a counterintelligence investigation in July of 2016. By the way, this theory was published by the Times in December of 2017, and it was ripped apart.

 

Via Intercept:

 

…the New York Times reported in December of last year that the FBI investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia began when George Papadopoulos drunkenly boasted to an Australian diplomat about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. It was the disclosure of this episode by the Australians that “led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired,” the NYT claimed.

 

But it now seems clear that Halper’s attempts to gather information for the FBI began before that. “The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before the opening of the investigation, when Page met the professor at the British symposium,” the Post reported. While it’s not rare for the FBI to gather information before formally opening an investigation, Halper’s earlier snooping does call into question the accuracy of the NYT’s claim that it was the drunken Papadopoulos ramblings that first prompted the FBI’s interest in these possible connections. And it suggests that CIA operatives, apparently working with at least some factions within the FBI, were trying to gather information about the Trump campaign earlier than had been previously reported.

 

Then there are questions about what appear to be some fairly substantial government payments to Halper throughout 2016. Halper continues to be listed as a “vendor” by websites that track payments by the federal government to private contractors.

 

[…]

 

Equally strange are the semantic games which journalists are playing in order to claim that this revelation disproves, rather than proves, Trump’s allegation that the FBI “spied” on his campaign.

 

So, there’s the new line of inquiry. The FBI spy was investigating something prior to the official start of the counterintelligence probe. Byron York’s column in The Washington Examiner noted that Trump March meeting with The Washington Post editorial board is where the FBI and DOJ probably got the first batch of names to peruse; Trump has announced that Papadopoulos and Carter Page would be lending a hand:

 

Trump’s announcement did not go unnoticed at the FBI and Justice Department. The bureau knew Page from a previous episode in which Russian agents had tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit him. It’s not clear what the FBI knew about the others. But then-Director James Comey and number-two Andrew McCabe personally briefed Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the list of newly-named Trump foreign policy advisers, including Page, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

 

Lynch told the House Intelligence Committee that she, Comey, and McCabe discussed whether to provide a “defensive briefing” to the Trump campaign. That would entail having an FBI official meet with a senior campaign official “to alert them to the fact that … there may be efforts to compromise someone with their campaign,” Lynch said.

 

It didn’t happen, even though it was discussed again when Comey briefed the National Security Council principals committee about Page in the “late spring” of 2016, according to Lynch’s testimony. (The principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.)

 

So the nation’s top political appointees, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies were watching Trump campaign figures in the spring and early summer of 2016.

 

And all of this brings us to a figure that has remained under the radar in all of this: President Barack Obama. What did he know and when did he know it because the intelligence apparatus of the U.S. was under his administration, along with the FBI/DOJ. It’s relevant to bring the former president and his team under the microscope again. Until then, what we know via Larry O’Connor is that a) the Trump campaign was spied on; and b) the motive was political pending new developments:

 

First, let’s hope that all Americans, Left, Right and Never Trump, can agree that this operation was unprecedented and extraordinary. The FBI has never, as far as we know, conducted a clandestine investigation on a presidential campaign complete with electronic surveillance and a spy. The bar to initiate such an investigation would have to be pretty high. The FBI would not, under normal circumstances, authorize this kind of operation unless there was extreme and justifiable reasons to do so.

 

So, whatever the reason to initiate this operation, one expects that reason to be pretty concrete and conclusive.

 

Now, let’s examine the underlying political atmosphere surrounding the decision to launch this extraordinary, unprecedented investigation.

 

Donald Trump was President Obama’s political enemy. He was running, specifically, to undo Obama’s legacy and everything he had instituted through executive actions. He was also running against Obama’s chosen successor.

 

[…]

 

We know that the atmosphere surrounding the decision to launch the investigation was highly political. It was political in the most personal sense for President Obama, who held the reigns [sic] of power over the FBI and the DOJ at the time of the investigation.

 

We know that the political document known as the “Steele dossier” was used, at least in part, to justify many elements of the spying operation against the Trump campaign.

 

We know that George Popadopoulos’ statement in a bar with an Austrailian [sic] diplomat triggered some element of the investigation as well.

 

A guy making a statement in a bar and a pile of unverified opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign doesn’t even come close to the very high bar needed to be cleared to initiate a clandestine investigation on any American citizen, let alone a member of a presidential campaign just weeks before election day.

 

But, it appears, that’s all we have

 

[…]

 

Given the politically charged backdrop of the Obama versus Trump death match, coupled with the use of the Steele dossier (by definition a political document paid for by Trump’s political opponent) the only reasonable conclusion to reach is that the FBI spying operation was launched for political purposes.

 

And now the wait begins—and it could take years.

++++++++++++++++++

Ex-Trump Aide Comes Forward… Says There’s Second Spy, Second Intel Agency

 

BY CILLIAN ZEAL
MAY 22, 2018 AT 7:27AM

Conservative Tribune by WJ

 

Michael Cavuto on Fox News – Screen Capture of CT Video

 

One of President Donald Trump’s most explosive claims about the 2016 election — one that was dismissed out of hand until recently — was that his campaign was the subject of extensive surveillance.

 

Now, a former Trump aide is saying something even more explosive: There wasn’t just a mole inside the Trump campaign, there was a second spy and intelligence agency.

 

Michael Caputo is pretty much the definition of a political lifer. A media strategist, he worked with Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and various other Republicans. After the fall of the Soviet Union, he began doing work with the Russians.

 

This didn’t get the attention of too many people until he started working for Trump. Much like Carter Page, the low-level Trump campaign staffer whose ties to Russia became the subject of a million conspiracy theories, Caputo’s ties to the Russians became of intense interest to the overzealous FBI people charged with finding some sort of evidence that Trump was the Siberian Candidate.

 

Caputo appeared on Fox News just hours after Axios reported “President Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, recommended appointing Stefan Halper, an academic and suspected FBI informant on the Trump campaign, to a senior role in the Trump administration.”

 

That’s bad. According to Caputo, things were even worse.

 

“Let me tell you something that I know for a fact, this informant, this person that they planted, that they tried to plant into the campaign and even into the administration, if you believe Axios — he’s not the only person that came into the campaign!” Caputo said.

 

“And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came into the campaign,” he added.

 

“I know because they came at me. And I’m looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public. This is just the beginning and I’ll tell you, when we finally find out the truth about this, Director Clapper and the rest of them are gonna be wearing some orange suits.”

 

Orange suits are an unlikely outcome, but Caputo’s statement indicates that Obama-era surveillance of the Trump campaign — once dismissed as tinfoil-hattery — might actually be very real.

 

Of course, Caputo may have a reason to prevaricate about such things. Kimberley Strassel doesn’t. She’s the Wall Street Journal writer whose reporting has indicated that she believes there was an FBI mole inside the campaign.

 

“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,” she wrote in an article earlier this month.

 

“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,” she added. “It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough.”

 

During and after the campaign, Trump’s claims that he was surveilled (and that the surveillance was politically-motivated) were dismissed as baseless fantasies, yet another sign this was an unbalanced person who shouldn’t be normalized or believed.

 

And yet, here we are, weeks away from the inspector general’s report on the Clinton investigation, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to simply be the pro forma postmortem it normally would be, considering it involved a losing campaign. The report is expected to detail a whole host of tactics by the “deep state” that could easily be construed as being in service of the Clinton campaign and to the detriment of the Trump campaign.

 

If Caputo is telling the truth, this means there’s a whole host of issues here. Who was involved? The DOJ and FBI, obviously, but the CIA too? Other agencies under the aegis of the ODNI?

 

I can predict just one thing: Things are about to get very interesting for everyone who called Trump crazy when he talked about surveillance.

 

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Hold On, The FBI Was Spying On The Trump Campaign *Before* The Counterintelligence Probe Officially Started?

 

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Ex-Trump Aide Comes Forward… Says There’s Second Spy, Second Intel Agency

 

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