News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

FBI still refuses to tell Congress the origin of its counterintelligence probe against Trump campaign. Possible reason for this reluctance is involvement of CIA-Wall St. Journal, Thomas J. Baker, opinion, 8/1/18

Related: 5/22/18, When Carter Page met Stefan Halper, Wall St. Journal Editorial Board:A timeline that contradicts claims by Justice and the FBI.” “Who asked Mr. Halper to keep tabs on the Trump officials, and when and why? The answers go to the credibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s claim that it didn’t open an official counterintelligence probe into Trump-Russia collusion until July 31, 2016.”…Stefan Halper’s 5 payments from US Dept. of Defense, 2012-2017, total $1,058,160. The 5th contract was dated July 26, 2017. Source:

The FBI continues to stonewall Congress as to the inquiry’s origin.” 

7/31/18, “What Are the FBI and CIA Hiding? Wall St. Journal, Thomas J. Baker, opinion (8/1 print ed., “Mr. Baker is a retired FBI special agent and legal attaché.”) 

“The agency might have led the bureau down a rabbit hole in the 2016 Trump counterintelligence probe.” 

“Did the Central Intelligence Agency lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation down a rabbit hole in the counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign? 

Although the FBI’s case officially began July 31, 2016, there had been investigative activity before that date. John Brennan’s CIA might have directed activity in Britain, which could be a problem because of longstanding agreements that the U.S. will not conduct intelligence operations there. It would explain why the FBI continues to stonewall Congress as to the inquiry’s origin. 

Further, what we know about the case's origin does not meet the threshold required by the attorney general guidelines for opening a counterintelligence case. That standard requires “predicate information,” or “articulable facts.” 

From what has been made public, all that passes for predicate information in this matter originated in Britain. Stefan Halper, an American who ran the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge [UK], had been a CIA source in the past. Recent press reports describe him as an FBI informant. Joseph Mifsud, another U.K.-based academic with ties to Western intelligence, met with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016. Mr. Mifsud reportedly mentioned “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Then, on May 10, Mr. Papadopoulos met with Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer in London, to whom he [allegedly] relayed the claim about “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton."...

[Ed. note: Per 5/31/18 WSJ column, Mr. Downer said no such claim was made to him:According to the tipster [Downer] himself, Mr. Papadopoulos said nothing about emails.” 5/31/18, The Curious Case of Mr. Downer,Wall St. Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel]. 

(continuing): "Peter Strzok, the FBI’s deputy assistant director, went to London Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the case was opened, ostensibly to interview Mr. Downer about his conversation with Mr. Papadopoulos. But what about the earlier investigative activity? The FBI would not usually maintain an informant in England. It is far likelier that in the spring of 2016 Mr. Halper was providing information to British intelligence or directly to the CIA, where Mr. Brennan was already pushing the collusion narrative. 

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, has acknowledged that “intelligence agencies” were looking into the collusion allegations in spring 2016. The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that British intelligence had been suspicious about contacts between associates of Mr. Trump’s campaign and possible Russian agents.”…

[Ed. note: This may be UK Guardian article the author cites: April 13, 2017: British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia,” UK Guardian, Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins] 

(continuing): “That prompted Robert Hannigan, then head of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters, to pass information to Mr. Brennan. With only these suspicions, Mr. Brennan pressured the FBI into launching its counterintelligence probe. 

The FBI probe lacked any real predicate. But in the post-9/11 world, a referral from the CIA would cause some in the FBI to believe they had to act—particularly as the agency’s information originated with America’s closest ally. Shortly after the case opened that summer, Mr. Brennan gave a briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, telling him that the CIA had referred the matter to the FBI—an obvious effort to pressure the bureau to get moving on the collusion case. 

As the FBI’s investigation progressed, it would use a surveillance warrant against Carter Page a former member of Mr. Trump’s campaign [who never met Trump], who had been in contact with Mr. Halper.”… 

[Ed. note: Carter Page has cooperated with CIA and FBI for decades per his Sept. 25, 2016 letter to Comey in which Mr. Page states that he (Page) hasinteracted with members of the US intelligence community including the FBI and CIA for many decades.”page 10 (page 13 pdf) Mr. Page cooperated with FBI on a case that began in 2013, eventually became an FBI court case that successfully concluded in March 2016 with Carter Page as a secret FBI witness. The fact that Mr. Page was a secret FBI witness wasn’t public knowledge until 2017 when US government personnel illegally leaked that he had been “Male 1” in the Buryakov case. Mr. Page describes this on page 16 (p. 19 pdf) in his 11/2/2017 letter to congress. Added: Carter Page says he never succeeded in meeting Trump, page 12, his Nov. 2, 2017 letter to congress. 

11/2/2017, Page #19 House Intelligence Testimony pdf…]


(continuing):A dossier prepared for the Clinton campaign by Christopher Steele, formerly of Britain’s MI6″…

[Ed. note: “Steele left MI6 in 2009 to start up a commercial intelligence firm Orbis….Soon after its founding, Orbis began working with Fusion GPS, a Washington-based companywhich commissioned the investigation of Trump in 2016.” Added: [Victoria] Nuland was the State Department official who in late June 2016 signed off on a meeting between [British subject and British business owner] Steele and the FBI’s legal attache in Rome.Daily Caller, 6/20/18. Steele was simultaneously an FBI informant and a US presidential campaign political operative.]

(continuing): was used to obtain the warrant.

The existence of the investigation was withheld from the congressional “gang of eight” because of its “sensitivity,” former FBI Director James Comey later said. The FBI continues to withhold the full details of the origin story from Congress. Their rationale is the “protection of sources,” as the origin lies with our best international partner. 

Although Mr. Brennan has exposed himself as a biased actor, the CIA has escaped criticism for using only thinly sourced information from British intelligence to snooker the FBI. Most damaging is the possibility that the CIA violated agreements with Britain by spying there rather than asking MI5 or MI6 to do so. And that may be what is really being withheld from Congress.” 

“Mr. Baker is a retired FBI special agent and legal attaché.”


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