Since news emerged that evidence now points to a “mole” who infiltrated the Trump campaign, conservative media outlets have been bursting with suppositions and theories. If, in fact, there was someone working inside the campaign in league with U.S. government actors — as posited by Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal, — then this would signify that the reason for the Russian Collusion investigation was not George Papadopoulos, and his drunken ramblings as the FBI have previously indicated. It would imply that government agencies were working to bring down Mr. Trump.
The name that keeps popping up regarding the mole’s identity is one, Stefan Halper, as floated here, here, here and here. These various outlets say Mr. Halper was able to effortlessly fit into this role due to his connections, access, and support structure. But perhaps more significant than the identity of this mole is how this clandestine operation functioned in a way that was then designed to bring down a presidential candidate and now the president of the United States.
The Man in the Middle
Stefan Halper is an entrenched and well-connected Swamp-dweller. Foreign policy scholar and author, Mr. Halper also served in a variety of capacities for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. This is primarily because he fits the criteria laid out by the response to Devin Nunes’ request for information: “a top-secret government source, who has worked for the FBI and the CIA, who is a U.S. citizen, has entanglements with foreign intelligence agencies based overseas.”
But the question is if Mr. Halper is a fly in the ointment, how did he (or his handlers) know who to target and by what methods to link then-candidate Trump to the Russians? The most straightforward answer — and the one that is most insidious — is that Halper was working in tandem with private spy-for-hire companies to set up a series of operations that would bring about the appearance that the Trump campaign was working hand in hand with Russia to influence the U.S. election.
The Back Story
To make their narrative plausible, documentation was needed. It didn’t have to be entirely factual, just enough to cast doubt: Enter the Steele Dossier. This file was compiled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele through his private intel company Orbis Business Intelligence (it was started by the American company Fusion GPS and then handed over for completion). And as we already know, the Steele Dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
But this dodgy Dossier in and of itself was not enough; anyone can create opposition research that is difficult to verify. Next, a patsy was needed to give the FBI a motive to begin an official investigation. This is where Mr. Halper’s skills came into play. Stefan Halper, as some may recall, was named by the New York Times as the mole in the Carter administration that worked to derail his campaign for the 1980 election. Halper denies this stating in 1983 that:
“I know of nothing that came to me from the Carter camp of any importance. If I’d seen anything marked State Department or National Security Council or White House I’m sure I’d remember it and I don’t recall anything of that nature.”
He was accused of being in contact with Carter Campaign employees and passing on memoranda of political importance to George H.W. Bush to aid in Ronald Reagan’s bid for the presidency. If this episode from the 80s seems reminiscent of recent events, perhaps this is not happenstance but more of a modus operandi.
The FBI claims that it first applied for the FISA warrants to bug the electronic communications of Carter Page after an investigation had already been opened. According to the Bureau, that initial inquiry was initiated by comments made by a junior advisor to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos. Both Papadopoulos and Mr. Page were contacted at separate times by – you guessed it — Stefan Halper.
And how did Papadopoulos first get the information on which he commented?
According to a New York Times article dated December 30, 2017, Campaign Advisor Papadopoulos spoke with Joseph Mifsud who he met first at a party in Italy. The BBC says that Misfud is a “professor… of the London Academy of Diplomacy, originally from Malta, who mixed with Britain’s foreign secretary and ex-CIA people, but who also helped connect Team Trump with the Russians.”
Setting the Trap
Professor Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians had a stack of Clinton emails that were among the 30,000 stolen electronic messages from the Democratic National Committee server. This conversation, according to the NYT, occurred sometime in April 2016.
In September 2016, Mr. Halper invited Papadopoulos to write a paper on Turkey for a fee of $3000, part of the offer was an expense-paid trip to London. Upon meeting, according to The Daily Caller, Halper asked Papadopoulos “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”
In May 2016, at a party in Kensington, England, it is alleged that Papadopoulos drunkenly asserted that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton. These comments were made to Australian Diplomat, Alexander Downer – who will come into the circle of players later. Downer informed the FBI of his conversation. Subsequently and perhaps consequently, leaks of Mrs. Clinton’s emails started appearing in public via Wikileaks. A half a year later the FBI finally questioned Papadopoulos which may have been the seed that germinated into the entire Russian collusion investigation.
Just days before Halper’s meeting with Papadopoulos, and at Halper’s request, the two men met with Carter Page at a Cambridge Symposium. Carter and Halper maintained contact for several months. The basis for their relationship is unclear, but it is understood that Halper was offering to help with the Trump campaign. This is peculiar when juxtaposed with Mr. Halper’s March 2016 public comments in support of Hillary Clinton:
“I believe Clinton would be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union. Clinton is well-known, deeply experienced and predictable. US-UK relations will remain steady regardless of the winner although Clinton will be less disruptive over time.”
Carter Page is named in the Steele Dossier as the person who conceived of leaking the Clinton emails to WikiLeaks. And it is to this infamous file that our many threads now lead.
How This Could Work:
- The dossier is created but needs outside ties to make it appear more credible.
- Assets are assigned to create a backstory (Agent 1: The Setter) that will lend the dossier weight and get an “official” investigation started (here we look at Joseph Mifsud).
- Several members of the Trump campaign team are approached and given small but significant pieces of information.
- A third-party link (in this case, possibly Halper) to verify that the information has been passed along and to be an “independent” witness (Agent 2: The Verifier).
- Another asset (Agent 3: The Witness) is then brought in (someone of unimpeachable position, in this case, Alexander Downer) to report the “drunken ramblings” to the authorities.
- The FBI can now open an investigation.
- The dossier appears to have more weight.
This is posited as one man’s theory. But when the principal players link together so seamlessly, what comes into view is something akin to a professional sting operation. These are just pieces of a puzzle that begin to reveal a nefarious operation set out to trap the Trump campaign and now the president. And if even one part of this proves true, the consequences for our republic and our liberties are calamitous.
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