Nationally-syndicated talk-show host Rush Limbaugh discussed the possibility of an “informant” who worked with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The identity of the informant, who some outlets have called a “mole,” is protected from a congressional subpoena by the Department of Justice. Limbaugh, referring to a Wall Street Journal opinion article, said that when the truth is revealed, the story will be an embarrassment for the FBI. He suggested that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who met with White House officials this week, is less interested in the identity of the supposed informant than the possibility that there was indeed an FBI operation within the Trump campaign.

Wall Street Journal opinion writer Kimberly Strassel wrote on Thursday that she may know the name of the informant, even though her sources refuse to confirm it to her. She wrote, “But what is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) met with White House officials on Thursday and was told the identity of a “top secret intelligence source” that was part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation. 

Carter Page

Among the persons that have been mentioned by various establishment media outlets as possible informants are Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both of whom were either volunteers or consultants to the Trump campaign. In an article at The Daily Caller, both of them were reported to have met with Stefan Halper -- a Washington DC veteran of intelligence and policy planning -- who met with both Page and Papadopoulos in the summer of 2016 in London. Halper has been connected to former president Bill Clinton, who he knew as a student at Oxford in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Halper had long-standing connections to both British and American intelligence, and banking. A former senior policy advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, Halper was also associated with former British intelligence MI6 Head Richard Dearlove.

Prof. Joseph Mifsud

According to various reports in The Daily Caller and elsewhere, Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted by Halper and two others who have been tied to Britain’s MI6 intelligence service or to U.S. intelligence. They are Joseph Mifsud -- an academic from Malta with ties to Russia -- and Alexander Downer -- a former Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Downer once brokered a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation. Mifsud has also been tied to British intelligence by transparency advocate Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

Professor Mifsud once spoke at American University's law school in October or November 2014. He encouraged his student audience to join his now-shuttered London Academy for Diplomacy (LAD), a suspected front for Russian intelligence. While American University's events page now describes his presentation as "page not found," a university video recorded Mifsud's lecture. OAS spokesperson (now Ombudsperson), Cherry Tross, described her "great respect" for Mifsud and praised his "stellar" presentation to the OAS the day before. During his lecture, he said that LAD was offering scholarships and internships. American University funnels many of its graduates into federal government service.

George Papadopoulos

Papadopoulos and Mifsud reportedly worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice. Mifsud apparently joined LCILP in November 2015, while Papadopoulos appears to have joined LCILP in early 2016 after leaving behind Dr. Ben Carson’s failed presidential campaign. Some reports suggest that Mifsud and Papadopoulos met on March 14, 2016.

The London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) describes itself, according to its website: 

“LCILP training emphasises the practical application of international law as a field inseparable from its geopolitical and global economic context.”

Timeline:

Late February or early March 2016 – Papadopoulos starts working at LCILP. 

Early March 2016 – Papadopoulos becomes a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

March 14, 2016 – In their first known meeting, Papadopoulos met Mifsud in Italy about one week after joining the Trump campaign. 

March 24, 2016 – Papadopoulos, Mifsud, Olga Polonskaya and unknown fourth party met in London.

April 18, 2016 – Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev from Russian International Affairs Council, which is sponsored by the Russian government.

April 26, 2016  – Mifsud claims to have met with high-level Russian government officials who have “dirt” on Clinton. Papadopoulos later told the FBI that Mifsud claimed that “the Russians had emails of Clinton” and “they have thousands of emails.”

May 4, 2016 -- Papadopoulos is interviewed by London Times.

May 10, 2016 -- Papadopoulos meets with Alexander Downer, who requested a meeting after Papadopoulos told the London Times that then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize to Trump for negative commentary. According to the Daily Caller, Downer ordered Papadopoulos to “leave David Cameron alone.”

Downer is tied to Hakluyt -- a private intelligence firm based in the UK --- where he served as a member of the Advisory Board from 2008-2014. 

July 11, 2016 – Carter Page attends Cambridge symposium with Halper just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip.

In late-July 2016 -- Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey told American counterparts about Downer’s claims about the conversation with Papadopoulos, two months after the fact. This came after WikiLeaks released emails on July 22 that were stolen from the Democratic National Committee, allegedly by Russia. 

July 31, 2016 -- The FBI counterintelligence investigation into alleged Trump-Russia connections began. The then-FBI deputy chief of counterintelligence Peter Strzok oversaw the investigation.

Some of Strzok’s texts, which ultimately led to his dismissal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, suggest he was in London on August 3, 2016.

September 13, 2016 -- Papadopoulos accepted a meeting with Stefan Halper, who had approached him unexpectedly. Papadopoulos had no prior contact with Halper. Halper asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”

Halper had once invited Carter Page, who was a consultant to the Trump campaign, to attend a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge University regarding the upcoming election, where they met. Page attended the symposium just four days after his trip to MoscowJuly 2016 Moscow trip. That trip to Moscow trip would figure prominently in the Steele Dossier, which was commissioned by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton to besmirch Trump.

Halper also met with another as yet unidentified Trump campaign member on September 11, 2016 – two days before the Papadopoulos meeting. He offered to help the Trump campaign, but did not mention the Papadopoulos meeting to the second staffer nor did he mention the meeting with the staffer when he met Papadopoulos.

November 3, 2016 -- Despite having offered to help the Trump campaign, Halper publicly stated that Clinton would be the best for US-UK relations.

Halper is connected to British private intelligence firm Hakluyt through Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. Clarke is the Director of U.S. Operations for Hakluyt. Halper was associated with former MI6 Head Richard Dearlove through their work at the  Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. In 1983, the New York Times reported that the Reagan campaign spied on President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy operations. Halper, who provided communications assistance to George H. W. Bush and policy consulting to Reagan, was in charge of the spying operation.

In an interview with the Daily Caller, Papadopulos theorized that the meetings with Downer and Halper may have revealed a spy operation. However, the FBI did not get around to interview Papadopoulos until January 27, 2017. 

In sum, Stefan Halper was in contact with both Page and Papadopulos. Halper has long-term connections to the intelligence community of the U.S. and UK. He also met with Page just after the latter’s return from Moscow. Just days later, on July 31, 2016, the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign began. Part of the justification for the investigation was the so-called Steele Dossier, which is named for the former British spy Christopher Steele who produced it, which was provided to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to allow the National Security Agency to reveal to the FBI the names of Americans whose phone calls had been intercepted by U.S. security agencies.

A partial transcript of Limbaugh’s show follows: 

“I mean, his period of time with the campaign lasted no more than a month or two. I don’t know why the FBI would need to get a FISA warrant to tape Carter Page’s phone. He could have just let them listen in on his own if he were the informant. The only reason they… If he were the informant, and they got a FISA warrant to spy on him to cover up the fact that he’s an informant, but, frankly, his is not a name that occurred to me in this.

“I don’t have a name, folks. And it’s clear the Journal thinks that you could figure it out by reading what they’ve written, and they think they know who it is, but they’re not talking. Nunes wants to know. That’s the whole point here. The point is not so much who. Devin Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee, has subpoenaed records from the FBI to basically confirm that they did this, that they put a spy in the Trump campaign.

“That’s what he says. He says he’s not per se interested in the individual per se but rather did they really do this? Everybody, now, that’s been studying this is convinced that the FBI did have an informant and that they planted the informant. In other words, found somebody, got them hired to do work in the Trump campaign, and they were then to spy. And if they found evidence of collusion with Russia, they were to then inform the FBI.

“Now, the way to look at this, another way is, let’s just accept the hypothetical. Let’s say they had an informant. They had an informant. They had a spy. Wall Street Journal thinks so. Washington Post thinks so. They had a spy. So they had somebody in there actually spying, looking for collusion, and they still don’t have any! What does this tell you? But what does it say that they even had the audacity to plant an informant in the presidential campaign of one candidate, not Hillary, but Trump?

“Well, at the very least, it tells you they really believe this nonsense that the Russians and Trump were buddies and were colluding to steal the election. And that just boggles my mind. Common sense says nobody could pull that off. But they must have obviously thought Trump was trying. This is going to be one of the most embarrassing periods in the FBI’s history, when all of this is finally revealed and the history of it written.”


Stefan Halper

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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