Byron York has an interesting article today outlining his interview with former Trump campaign official Sam Clovis. Within the article Clovis shares the unexpected contact he received, via email, from CIA Asset Stefan Halper. As shared:
“I am a professor at Cambridge University lecturing on US politics and foreign policy. I am what is called a ‘scholar practitioner,’ having served in the White House and four presidential campaigns — two as policy director. Over the past month I have been in conversation with Carter Page who attended our conference in Cambridge on US elections. Carter mentioned in Cambridge, and when visiting here in Virginia, that you and I should meet. I have enjoyed your comments and appearances in the media; you hit the sweet spot focusing Trump’s appeal to working America. May I suggest that we set a time to meet when you are next in Washington. Meanwhile, all the best, Stefan Halper.”
The York article then goes through the hindsight possibilities Sam Clovis now considers amid recent revelations the FBI was using Halper as an ‘agent provocateur’. Make sure you read it. However, journalist Byron York makes a critical assumptive mistake within his discussion with Mr. Clovis that misses a very important detail.
As York discuss the testimony delivered by Clovis to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), they cite further testimony by Carter Page. Unfortunately, both York and Clovis forget two critical points that must overlay any review of congressional inquiry.
According to the article:
[…] Clovis’s theory is that Halper was trying to link Papadopoulos and the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton unilaterally deleted from her private email system. Halper was hoping “that somebody would bite in the campaign…his goal was to drag George into this to say the Trump campaign tried to get access to those emails from Russia.”
If that is what Halper was trying to do — and again, that is simply Clovis’s theory — then it didn’t work. “Nobody was biting,” Clovis told me. “As far as I know, no one in the campaign lifted a finger to get to the 30,000 emails. I don’t think it was in their interest. Anytime anybody approached me about oppo, I deleted it. Oppo research against Hillary Clinton? We had plenty of material. It’s not like it’s not a target-rich environment.”
[…] Clovis told me that in all 19 hours of questioning, no one — not Mueller’s investigators, not investigators from the House or Senate, not anyone — ever mentioned Halper. (Clovis said that, among other documents, he gave all the investigators all emails making any reference to Carter Page, so he believes he turned the Halper email over.) At the time he was questioned, of course, Clovis did not know Halper was an FBI informant.
[…] [Carter] Page mentioned on a number of occasions that he had traveled to Cambridge University, and the lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff and Republican Rep. Mike Conaway, moved on to other topics.
For example, when Conaway questioned Page about who paid for his plane fare to give a speech in Moscow, Page said, “They bought me — they booked a ticket, just like Cambridge University booked a ticket for the — ”
“Okay,” said Conaway. “I don’t need Cambridge; I just need the Russians.”
At the time, it’s fair to say that no one in the room knew that Halper was an FBI informant. It was only later that the House committee’s work led to the discovery of Halper’s role. (link)
No, actually, it’s not fair to say: “no one in the room knew that Halper was an FBI informant“. Exactly the opposite is true due to the prior congressional testimony of CIA Director John Brennan.
In his May 23rd, 2017 testimony, CIA Director John Brennan stated he informed HPSCI ranking member Adam Schiff, between August 11 and September 6, 2016, of the concerns that initiated the “Electronic Communication” (EC) origination documents; that EC started the FBI counterintelligence operation on July 31st, of 2016.
This is important. Remember, the entire discussion of the FBI informant surfaced because the intelligence community, via the FBI and DOJ, are refusing to turn over to Chairman Devin Nunes and Chairman Trey Gowdy the actual two-page EC document that validated and originated the July 31st, FBI investigation.
Current DOJ and FBI officials claim their reason for withholding the EC document was to protect the “source“. The source was/is the “informant”. We now know the ‘confidential informant’ was/is Stefan Halper.
That simple and logical fact means Stefan Halper is outlined, in some capacity, within the two-page EC, presented by CIA Director Brennan to the FBI.
When you accept the July 2016 “EC” contains information from/surrounding Stefan Halper, that is the appropriate context when applying hindsight to the May, 2017, testimony of John Brennan. Pay very close attention to the segment at 13:35 of this video of Brennan’s testimony:
Brennan: [13:35] “Third, through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept congress apprised of these issues as we identified them.”
“Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September , I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members.”
“Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member.”…
OK, let’s break this down, to understand the importance.
FBI Director James Comey stated he never briefed congressional oversight on the FBI Counterintelligence operation due to the “sensitivity of the matter“. (link) That takes James Comey out of this 2016 briefing aspect entirely.
Per his own testimony, the only congressional oversight briefing was from CIA Director John Brennan between August 11, and Sept 6, 2016. [*Note* the email from Stefan Halper to Sam Clovis was August 29, 2016.]
Per his own testimony, John Brennan is briefing the Gang of Eight on the origination details of “an active FBI counterintelligence operation“. That FBI counterintelligence operation officially began on July 31st, 2016.
CIA Director John Brennan is briefing the ‘Gang of Eight’, on his two-page EC. That two-page EC contains source material from Stefan Halper. So, CIA Director John Brennan is briefing Adam Schiff on source Stefan Halper, and the subsequent initiation of the FBI counterintelligence operation.
HPSCI ranking member Adam Schiff is fully aware of the importance of Stefan Halper when Sam Clovis and Carter Page are giving testimony in 2017. HPSCI Ranking Member Adam Schiff is the ONLY person in the room aware of the role of a CIA “confidential informant” in the origination EC; and HPSCI Ranking Member Adam Schiff is aware one FBI asset behind the counterintelligence operation is Stefan Halper.
Remember, in 2016 CIA Director John Brennan briefed both HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes and HPSCI Ranking Member Adam Schiff. However, in 2017, at the times of these interviews, Devin Nunes was removed from the proceedings during the ridiculous “ethics investigation”.
Now, with hindsight, we can clearly see the political motive and purpose behind the rage against Chairman Devin Nunes; spurred on by Democrats -particularly Adam Schiff- that led to the ethics investigation.
By pushing Chairman Nunes away from the 2017 congressional testimony and inquiry during the attempted deployment of the “insurance policy” phase, the democrats removed the ability of Nunes to reconcile any differences between the prior information provided by CIA Director Brennan, and the current testimony from witnesses approached by control agents of CIA Director Brennan.
See how that works?
If Byron York and Sam Clovis reviewed their conversation again, this time from the perspective that Adam Schiff knew everything behind the historic scenes as described by John Brennan, they might have an entirely different perspective on the approach of the Democrats, and particularly Adam Schiff during that 2017 committee testimony.
Lastly, and importantly, consider this possibility: What if the reason the DOJ and FBI don’t want to turn over the actual originating “EC” document to Nunes and Gowdy has nothing to do with the ‘informant‘? What if the reason to keep the document away from Devin Nunes, is because the content specifically -or partially- contradicts the actual 2016 briefing that CIA Director John Brennan gave Gang-of-Eight member Devin Nunes?
Devin Nunes April 22nd:
“There Were No Official Intelligence Channels Used To Start Trump Investigation”… (link)