FBI informant: Effort to spy on presidential campaign in 2016 was wider-ranging than originally thought

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WASHINGTON, DC- Perhaps the greatest scandal ever perpetrated upon the American people not including the coronavirus lockdown charade is Operation Crossfire Hurricane, aka the Russia Collusion Hoax.

That scandal, fomented by rogue elements of the FBI, has been disclosed by investigative reporter John Solomon as being far more egregious than the American people have been led to believe.

According to Solomon, FBI agents had instructed an undercover informant to conduct secret recordings, sought out intelligence on numerous Republicans, and were doing a deep dive to look for anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign who may have had ties to Russia and was capable of finding information “damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

The sources and targets within the declassified operational handling reports were given nicknames in order to maintain confidentiality.

For example, one such confidential human source—Stefan Halper, codenamed “Mitch—was revealed within those reports which provided a magnifying glass of sorts into tactics used by the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign and just how widespread a net was cast in order to target numerous high-level officials within that campaign in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Solomon revealed that contained within the memos were revelations that:

  • Right after the bureau opened a Russia collusion investigation on July 31, 2016, they focused primarily on the foreign lobbying of George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign aid.
  • However they also pressed their source Halper for information on a number of other people, including Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s future pick for attorney general, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, economic adviser Peter Navarro, future National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and campaign adviser Carter Page.
  • Despite the fact that Halper had provided a treasure trove of exculpatory evidence to the FBI, which included transcripts of conversations he recorded with certain Trump advisers in which they made claims of innocence, that evidence was not disclosed by the bureau to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) which had approved surveillance targeting the Trump campaign and in particular Carter Page.
  • Current FBI Director Christopher Wray has claimed the FBI didn’t engage in spying on the Trump campaign. However Halper’s tactics included creation of a fake cover story (he was trying to get a job with the Trump campaign), secret recordings, providing background on targets, suggested questions to ask and finally contact information for potential targets.

However, the sheer magnitude of the FBI’s targeting of the Trump campaign, with an insufficient predicate for doing so, as well as the FBI agents making it clear that their goal was to hold off any efforts by the Trump campaign to get dirt from Russia that could hurt Hillary Clinton were the most damaging revelations to come forth from the memos.

In one of the earlier memos from Halper’s undercover work, it read:

“The Crossfire Hurricane investigative team is attempting to determine if anyone in the Trump campaign is in a  position to have received information either directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation regarding the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

It should be noted that in a typical FBI counterintelligence investigation targeting American citizens, there must be sufficient allegations which narrowly focus on the FBI’s ability to “spy” on limited targets in order to avoid interference with privacy and civil liberties.

However as Halper’s documents reveal, the FBI conducted a widespread, unfocused search with little substantiation of possible wrongdoing, and with significant evidence that countermanded the core allegations, experts told Solomon.

According to former FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock, the information relative to alleged foreign lobbying by Papadopoulos which the FBI used to open the Russia collusion investigation did not meet the bureau’s own legal standards to justify the larger probe which ensnared Page and a number of other Trump officials.

Brock said, “Normally when the FBI opens an investigation on a U.S. citizen, it has specific facts justifying an investigation of that person.”

Brock knows that of which he speaks. He actually led the implementation of many of the bureau’s current rules for informants and intelligence gathering.

“But here what the ECs are saying is they don’t know who is involved and they are just conjecturing that someone in the Trump campaign might be in a position to receive help from Russia. You just can’t open a full field investigation on conjecture.

“If you look at the FBI’s ECs dispassionately, there is no clearly predicated basis for investigation into U.S. citizens, so it looks instead like subterfuge to justify an open-ended inquiry. The only sane, logical explanation why the Crossfire Hurricane team would doggedly pursue such an unfounded investigation is political bias.”

In addition to Brock, William Barnett, one of the lead FBI agents in the Russia collusion case echoed his words.

Last year, Barnett told the Justice Department in a lengthy interview that there was never any credible evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and that the investigation only persisted because there was a so-called “get Trump” attitude among investigators.

In a summary of Barnett’s interview, it read:

“BARNETT and others joked about how the investigation into collusion could be made into a game, which they referred to as ‘Collusion Clue.’ In the hypothetical game, investigators are able to choose any character conducting any activity in any location and pair this individual with another character and interpret it as evidence of collusion.”

Solomon was able to access the documents, which had been previously classified as “secret, after former President Trump ordered hundreds of Russia collusion probe documents declassified during his last day in office in January.

The documents show the FBI utilized Halper as a confidential human source from August 2016 through early 2017.

Solomon reached out to Halper for comment, however a phone call was not returned after Solomon left a message. Solomon also reached out via email on both private and work email addresses with no response, with the FBI press office in Washington, DC refusing to comment.

The other more famous (or infamous) informant was former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the phony dossier which served as the basis for the FBI to seek a warrant to spy on Carter Page in October 2016, only two months after opening the investigation into the separate Papadopoulos allegations.

The memos revealed that Halper was instructed to ignore Papadopoulos and focus on Page, who was described by the FBI as an “opportune target.”

As mentioned above, various individuals within the investigation were revered to by nicknames, with Papadopoulos having the code name Crossfire Typhoon (CT), while the code name Crossfire Dragon (CD) was assigned to Page.

An August 24, 2016 report read:

“The main goal of the operation is to have CD admit that he has direct knowledge of and is either helping coordinate or assisting the RF [Russian Federation] conduct an active measure campaign with the Trump Team.”

That memo addressed the FBI’s interactions with Halper that week.

The memos also indicated that if the Page operation was fruitless, the FBI “team would then change its posture and move forward with an operation against CROSSFIRE TYPHOON.”

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The memos also show that the FBI instructed Halper to assist the agency in having Page recorded, while unaware that he was speaking with an FBI informant in which he denied the major allegations against him.

The recordings showed Page claiming he had not met with two sanctioned Russians as Steele alleged, that he had not played a role in modifying the Republican platform in order to help Russia, nor was he involved with or aware of a Trump campaign effort to work with Russia to hack into Clinton’s emails.

“You know, I’ve made clear in a lot of…subsequent discussions/interviews that I’ve been part of that I know nothing about it,” Page was recorded as saying in one such conversation with Halper, which was included in the memos. “I know nothing abut that on a personal level. You know, no one’s ever said one word to me.”

Those recordings which should have been included as exculpatory evidence were not shared by the FBI with the FISA court which continued to approve surveillance warrants that targeted Page, according to the Justice Department inspector general.

The memos clearly showed that Halper had provided information to the FBI which questioned the narrative of the Russia collusion hoax.

An example of that was when Page was quoted as being “very guarded” and made it clear that any opinions on Russia policy were his own, not those of the Trump campaign.

Likewise, when pushed for information on whether Sen. Jeff Sessions who was also a senior adviser to the Trump campaign might be involved in the Russia hoax, Halper downplayed the notion:

“The CHS does not know Sessions but opined that Sessions is a conservative who would not be friendly to Russia,” according to an Aug 15, 2016 FBI report.

The memos clearly showed that by October 2016, the FBI conducted “several operations utilizing the CHS against other targets of the CH [Crossfire Hurricane] investigation.”

One other target of the FBI was Trump’s campaign foreign policy adviser Sam Clovis.

“The interviewing team gave the CHS an email from Sam Clovis which it had obtained via open source,” one memo read while detailing instructions given to Halper. “The team instructed the CHS to reach out directly to Clovis in the hope of setting up a meeting.”

The FBI “suggested” Halper meet with Manafort in Augusts 2016, whereby the informant told the FBI that he might be too busy, according to memos.

Solomon noted that both Wray, as well as former FBI Director James Comey have made the suggestion that the FBI’s activities in the Russia probe were not spying.

However, the Halper memos showed clearly that the FBI employed a number of tools typically used in espionage, which included recording and monitoring Halper’s conversations with Trump allies, providing questions, background information and cover stories to justify his frequent contacts inside the campaign, the aforementioned ruse that he was seeking a job within the Trump campaign.

The FBI provided Halper with information to assist his work, including when he was looking to question Carter Page.

“Given the Trump campaign’s desire to hire the CHS as an advisor, the CHS is in a perfect position to as CD direct questions about the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to RF,” one memo read. “The team provided the CHS with several open source articles about the Trump campaign.”

Brock said that Wray and Comey’s downplaying use of the word “spying” in the Russia case were “semantics.”

“What they are doing is using preferred definitions,” he said. “When we employ the investigative techniques used against Carter page to break the law of another country and steal their secrets, it’s okay to call it spying. When we use those same techniques against a U.S> citizen, it’s called an investigation.”

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