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DOJ IG Report: Whitewashing The Intelligence Op Against Trump

Trump on IG Report
We knew where the Inspector General’s report was headed (whitewash) when we read this paragraph about the start of “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” the FBI investigation and surveillance of President Trump’s 2016 campaign:

As we describe in Chapter Three, the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, just days after its receipt of information from a Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) reporting that, in May 2016, during a meeting with the FFG, then Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos "suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama)."

What this paragraph describes is one of the middle steps in the circular proof cycle created to justify the surveillance and investigation of the Trump campaign and set-up the Russian collusion narrative.

But the report doesn’t examine the predicate steps that brought Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos into contact with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, the presumed Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) source of the tip.

For that one must go back to how Papadopoulos found himself in London in possession of the juicy tidbit that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton that they were willing to share.

Where did Papadopoulos get that juicy tidbit?

From Prof. Joseph Mifsud, a shadowy academic associated with the London Academy of Diplomacy, originally from Malta, who has bounced around the periphery of European intelligence and diplomatic circles for many years.

In a BBC interview a former academic colleague described Mifsud as "cunning,” part of a "third rate diplomatic community where there is an element of braggadocio.”

It was in April 2016 that Mifsud, at the behest of parties not yet publicly identified, allegedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails, and it was that conversation that Papadopoulos spilled to Alexander Downer at a posh London bar.

(For the record, the FBI finally got around to interviewing Mifsud in 2017 as part of the Mueller investigation. As far as we can determine Mifsud's source for the information has not been publicly identified.)

As soon as Papadopoulos dropped that juicy tidbit in front of Alexander Downer, he became a very popular guy.

As Papadopoulos explained in an interview with our friend John Solomon, once Mifsud conveyed the information to him, he began getting overtures from Western and U.S. intelligence.

In late April 2016, for example, two officials at the U.S. Embassy in London, who identified themselves as DIA officers, probed Papadopoulos for information about Trump and Russia.

“They were wining and dining me as if I were Marilyn Monroe,” Papadopoulos told Solomon. “They said, ‘You are an individual, George, that has tons of contacts in Athens and you are a subject of interest’.”

He said the two intelligence officers then asked about Moscow: “They were trying to find out why Trump was willing to work with Russia. They were trying to act as if they were pro-working with Russia.”

Around the same time, he said, an Israeli diplomat who portrayed himself as friendly to the Obama State Department, and decidedly opposed to Trump, befriended him in London. The Israeli official questioned him about where Trump stood on Russia and Iran issues, and introduced Papadopoulos to a woman he identified as his girlfriend.

That woman, Papadopoulos said, apparently worked for Australian intelligence and set up a meeting for him at a London bar to meet the Australian ambassador to England, Alexander Downer.

Other contacts were initiated by Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials, an Australian intelligence agent, an Australian diplomat, an Israeli diplomat and British diplomats, Papadopoulos told Solomon. At least one contact sought to offer him sex in return for information, Papadopoulos alleged to Solomon.

Nearly all the contacts occurred in London, between April and October 2016.

But why was Papadopoulos in London at that posh watering hole?

Enter Stephan Halper.

As Eric Felton wrote for Real Clear Politics, in the months leading up to the 2016 election, Halper famously approached and questioned – sometimes amiably, sometimes aggressively -- two men who became linchpins of the now-debunked Trump-Russia conspiracy theories: George Papadopoulos, whose supposed knowledge of Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton allegedly sparked the FBI’s official probe of the Trump campaign, and Carter Page, whose Russian connections led the Department of Justice to wiretap him.

Halper, in September 2016 invited Papadopoulos to London to write an academic paper for $3,000. Papadopoulos said his discussions with Halper — identified this year by The Washington Post as an FBI informant in the Russia case — were among more than a half-dozen contacts that U.S. and Western intelligence figures initiated with Papadopoulos during the campaign.

The IG report says Crossfire Hurricane was opened as a Full Investigation and all the senior FBI officials who participated in discussions about whether to open a case told the IG the information warranted opening it.

For example, then Counterintelligence Division (CD) Assistant Director (AD) E.W. "Bill" Priestap, who approved the case opening, told the IG that the combination of the FFG information and the FBI 's ongoing cyber intrusion investigation of the July 2016 hacks of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails, created a counterintelligence concern that the FBI was "obligated" to investigate.

Baloney – the information from Downer was the slenderest reed imaginable to launch an investigation of the Trump campaign, and the IG report does nothing to delve into the circular proof cycle set up to justify the investigation.

So, since the IG failed to do so, we will connect all the dots in the circle: At least three months before the FBI launches "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" Mifsud gives Papadopoulos the juicy, but unverified, tidbit that the Russians have dirt on Hillary Clinton. FBI informant Halper entices Papadopoulos to London and arranges for him to meet Downer, the Friendly Foreign Government to whom Papadopoulos passes on the Mifsud gossip. Downer passes the Mifsud gossip to US intelligence, the FBI (and who knows what other intelligence agencies) begin to investigate Papadopoulos, but they oddly don’t bother to question Mifsud. In pursuit of this rumor investigations into four “US persons” are opened: Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and LTG Mike Flynn. FISA warrants are obtained based on the unproven Mifsud gossip discussed in the Papadopoulos – Downer bar room conversation, the Russian “collusion” narrative is born, the Mueller investigation is launched and Flynn, Papadopoulos and Manafort all face prosecution for unrelated or process crimes.

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