by George Rasley
Last Friday, the Washington Post and New York Times published articles that shed much more light on the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Trump campaign. There was indeed an FBI informant – Stefan Halper – spying on Trump campaign officials.
The New York Times and Washington Post, by the way, were apparently aware of Halper’s identity, but chose not to publish it, probably because it did not advance the narrative that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
According to New York Magazine’s Benjamin Hart, the Times said it made its decision because it “typically does not name informants to preserve their safety.” The Post reports that it received “warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts,” and that “the stakes are so high that the FBI has been working over the past two weeks to mitigate the potential damage if the source’s identity is revealed, according to several people familiar with the matter.”
Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who has struggled mightily to make himself relevant in the congressional investigations, ludicrously called outing him “potentially illegal.”
Similarly, the Justice Department allegedly strongly pushed back on revealing the informant’s identity, but anyone with a passing familiarity with establishment Republican national security figures from the Cold War era could have figured out Halper’s identity from the facts revealed in the Times and Post articles, as our friends at the Daily Caller did with alacrity.
Exactly when Halper began his work, the full extent of his contact with Trump campaign officials, and what information he ultimately gathered from his meetings and to whom he reported remains unknown.
However, the Times reported that Halper also “had contacts” with LTG Mike Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser going back to 2014.
Halper allegedly first met Flynn in 2014 at an intelligence seminar. The New York Times reported on May 18, 2018 that a longtime FBI/CIA informant, presumably Stefan Halper, met Flynn at an intelligence seminar in Britain and became alarmed by Flynn’s closeness to a Russian woman there; this concern prompted another individual to alert American authorities that Flynn may have been compromised by Russian intelligence.
This was two years before Donald Trump launched his campaign for President, but not long after Flynn left the Obama administration after criticizing its failures to identify and fight the war Islam has declared on America and the West, as outlined in his must read book The Field of Fight.
We should also note for the record that none of these derogatory allegations about General Flynn surfaced during his brief tenure as National Security Advisor. He maintained his security clearance and his downfall was related to questions about whether he misled the Vice President about perfectly legal open line conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak,
As Hart outlined, Halper made contact with Trump campaign hanger-on George Papadopoulos in an effort to learn more about the inside working of the campaign.
The Times reports that he “posed” as an academic, asking Papadopoulos in an email if he was interested in “writing a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a subject of Mr. Papadopoulos expertise.” The offer also included a $3,000 honorarium and a trip to London, where the two could meet. Papadopoulos accepted. During multiple conversations, Halper allegedly pressed Papadopoulos on information about Russian efforts to sway the election — by that point, Clinton’s hacked emails had been made public, noted Hart, but Papadopoulos denied any knowledge.
Of course, Halper is an academic, not a spy, so he wasn’t posing, except as it related to the motive for the meetings with Papadopoulos.
Halper allegedly also met several times with Carter Page, whom Hart calls “the eccentric then-Trump adviser,” who was under FBI surveillance over his alleged ties to Russia.
“There has been some speculation that he might have tried to reel me in,” Page told the Washington Post in response to last Friday’s story. “At the time, I never had any such impression.”
Halper also met our old friend Sam Clovis, then Trump’s co-campaign chairman, for coffee in Northern Virginia in late summer 2016. Clovis’s lawyer told the Post that their conversation focused on China, and that “Russia never came up.”
Public records ferreted out by our friends at Zero Hedge reveal that between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense. Halper’s contracts were funded through four annual awards paid directly out of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA). This the same DOD office that paid millions to Chelsea Clinton’s “best friend” for dubious “research” on defense-related topics.
As Zero Hedge noted, ONA was established as the DoD’s “internal think tank” in 1973 by Richard Nixon (whose administration Halper worked for), the ONA was run by legendary foreign policy strategist Andrew Marshall from its inception until his 2015 retirement at the age of 93, after which he was succeeded by current director James H. Baker. Baker has been implicated in the political harassment and firings of conservative and Trump-friendly DOD civil servants at the Pentagon and National Security Council.
Exactly when Stefan Halper began his work spying on the Trump campaign, the full extent of his contact with Trump campaign officials, to whom he reported and what information he ultimately gathered from his meetings with Trump officials remains unknown, but one thing is clear; the first target of Halper’s spying was not Donald Trump, it was Obama administration critic LTG Mike Flynn.
All of these dots beg to be connected and for Rep. Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to subpoena Halper and get to the bottom of exactly when and who in the Obama administration engaged him to spy for them.
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George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.