Failed Prosecutor John Durham’s report on the Hillary Clinton campaign plot to convince the American electorate and U.S. allies that Donald Trump was a stooge of Russia totally ignores the role that intelligence operatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel played in helping set the stage to provide the FBI with the pretext of predication for launching its now discredited Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the Trump Campaign.
Let me take you back to an article I wrote in May 2019. John Durham and his team failed to address any of the issues and leads I raised:
Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele’s FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.
The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as “liaison reporting.” This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.
One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit’s Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.
This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don’t have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, “how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar.” I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was “masked.” But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names “unmasked.” You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report.
We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don’t take my word for it, that’s what Robert Mueller reported:
In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).
Sater’s communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies–GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the “bait” to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.
By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta’s email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:
“That’s good, sooner it’s clarified the better, and the stronger the better,” Budowski replies, later adding: “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria.”
The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway.
This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets–Hakluyt:
there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.
Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co., founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .
Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Henry Williams as “one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world” and as “a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking … ”
I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopoulos:
It was Downer who told the FBI of Papadopoulos’ comments, which became one of the “driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired,” The Times reported.
Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt’s advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:
But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.
His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.
Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain–there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.
But no steps are being taken to hold the intelligence operatives accountable for its role in helping portray George Papadopoulos, a Trump foreign policy advisor, as someone compromised by the Russians.
Let me give you the timeline for Papadopoulos:
- Starting in August of 2015, George Papadopoulos, who lived in London at the time, sent emails to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s Campaign Manger at the time. Those emails were intercepted by the United Kingdom’s GCHQ, which is the British version of the National Security Agency.
- Papadopoulos is working for Energy Stream in October 2015 and helps put on the “London Oil and Gas Forum, a two-day conference at the Rag Army & Navy Club.”
- Within a month of that Conference, Papadopoulos is approached by Nagi Khalid Idris who offers George a position at the London Centre of International Law Practice. George defers the offer and starts working for the Ben Carson for President Campaign.
- November 2015, alleged diplomat Joseph Mifsud joins the Board of the London Centre of International Law Practice aka LCILP. In my opinion, the LCILP is the kind of organization used by British Intelligence to identify potential assets and to plant stories in the public domain.
- January 2016, George Papadopoulos joins the LCILP as Director of the Centre’s International Energy and Natural Resources Division.
- Early March 2016 Papadopoulos’s offer to join the Trump Campaign is accepted via email and phone conversations with Michael Glassner, executive director of the Trump Campaign, and Sam Clovis. Remember, Papadopoulos is living in London and all of these communications are intercepted by British Intelligence.
- Papadopoulos notifies Nagi that he will be joining the Trump Campaign and Nagi reacts with anger.
- The next day Papadopoulos has a productive phone call with Sam Clovis. Calls like these are routinely collected by GCHQ, according to information revealed by Edward Snowden.
- The next day Nagi does an about face. Papadopoulus writes, ““Then Nagi comes by my office again. His attitude has suddenly changed. It’s a night-and-day difference. He starts telling me that there is someone I have to meet, a very important person who will be very useful to me during my time with Trump. I remember Nagi telling me, “He’s a man who knows many people.” Then he insists I join him at a conference at Link Campus University in Rome.”
- March 12, 2016 — George is introduced to Joseph Mifsud by Nagi at the Link Campus. Papadopoulos and Mifsud meet for dinner that night. During the dinner Mifsud says, “I’m going introduce you to everyone and set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.”
- March 14, 2016 — Nagi Idris informs George that Mifsud will introduce him to “Putins niece”. (NOTE — Putin does not have a niece).
- March 22, 2016 — Washington Post names Papadopoulos as one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors. He is now on the public radar.
- March 24, 2016 — Papadopoulos meets Mifsud and Olga Vinogradova (allegedly Putin’s niece) at the Grange Holborn Hotel. George writes in his book that Mifsud talked up a variety of potential deals and interactions with Russia. When lunch is over, Papadopoulos sends an email to Clovis at the Trump Campaign describing the meeting and mentioning “Putin’s niece.” That conversation as well was captured by GCHQ. The phrase, “Putin’s niece” is a red flag.
- March 31, 2016 — Papadopoulos attends the meeting of Trump’s “foreign policy” advisors at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
- April 1, 2016 — Papadopoulos flies to Israel where he is slated to speak at an energy conference and meets his “old friend” Eli Groner, the director general for the Office of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
- Early April 2016 — Papadopoulos cuts ties with LCILP and contacts Olga Vinogradova and Joseph Mifsud to discuss arranging a possible foreign policy trip to Russia for Trump.
- April 18, 2016 — Mifsud introduce Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, who is the program director at the Russian International Affairs Council and claims to have high level contacts at the Russian Foreign Ministry.
- April 26, 2016 — Mifsud returns from Valdai Conference, meets with Papadopoulos and tells him, “The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”
- May 3, 2016 — This is two days after Trump’s controversial foreign policy speech, which Papadopoulos claims he helped draft. Papadopoulos is contacted by Christian Cantor, an Israeli Embassy official in London, because he wants to introduce George to his girl friend, Erika Thompson. Erika is an Australian “diplomat” and berates Papadopoulos throughout the meeting at a pub for working for the menace, Donald Trump.
- May 5, 2016 — Papadopoulos writes, “two military attachés at the US embassy in London, Terrence Dudley and Gregory Baker, reach out to me to set up a meeting.”
- May 6, 2016 — Erika Thompson, Australian “diplomat” and “girl friend” of an Israeli Embassy in London officer, contacts Papadopoulos to arrange a lunch with her boss, Alexander Downer, Australia’s former top diplomat in London.
- May 10, 2016 — Papadopoulos and Downer meet for lunch and Downer gives George a verbal beat down. Here is Papadopoulos account of that exchange:
“Downer starts talking: He tells me he’s connected to a British security firm called Hakluyt. He boasts about being a board member and that the firm has a great presence in London and close ties to the Obama administration. “We advise many governments,” he says.
I nod. I’m not sure what to say about this. He shifts gears:
“George, I used to be the UN envoy to Cyprus, and what you are talking about in Cyprus is wrong, and it’s a threat to British interests.”
And the rest is history. Downer used that meeting to claim in a subsequent report made to the FBI two months later that Papadopoulos said, “the Russians have a surprise or some damaging material related to Hillary Clinton.” Papadopoulos denies ever saying this, so it is his word against that of the esteemed, well-connected Australian diplomat. It is important to note that Downer’s claim mirrors what Mifsud told Papadopoulos a month earlier.
If you take time to read the Durham report regarding the Downer information you will see that Durham correctly notes that it lacked the substance to be used as a predicate to open Operation Crossfire Hurricane. That is the positive. The negative is that Durham did not devote any of the report to the circumstantial evidence that Papadopoulos was targeted by British, U.S., Australian and Israeli intelligence operatives and “diplomats” in creating evidence that could be used to suggest that there were some Russian shenanigans underway in the Trump campaign.
Why would the Brits, the Aussies and the Israelis agree to participate in such a scheme? They all feared that Trump would damage their national security interests, particularly in the Middle East. The Wikileaks publication of the purloined DNC emails was an unexpected curveball that was used to produce another “anti-Russian” narrative pinning the blame on Putin for exposing Hillary Clinton’s perfidy rather than holding her accountable for her misuse of classified material. I believe that Georg Papadopoulos was an unwitting pawn in a massive information operation designed to handcuff Donald Trump (figuratively and, if possible, literally) and prevent him from becoming President.
That operation failed, spectacularly so, but it provided a narrative that is still being used effectively to attack Donald Trump and eliminate any possibility of having normal, peaceful relations with Russia.