Knowing what we know now – how Stefan Halper (a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6), randomly reached out to contact Trump low-level campaign aide George Papadopoulos; and how that contact was likely part of a coordinated effort by political operatives within the U.S intelligence apparatus to start the counterintelligence operation against Trump; this prior interview with Chairman Devin Nunes is well worth re-watching.
About a month ago, April 22nd, 2018, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes appeared on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to discuss the origin of the counterintelligence operation (July 2016) against the Trump campaign.
This interview follows a mid-April FBI release of “some information” about the original “electronic communication” (EC) documents that underpinned the origin of the FBI operation. The first half of the interview contains stunning information about how the raw intelligence product within the EC did not come through official intelligence channels.
The origin of the 2016 counterintelligence operation, which was specifically started by CIA Director John Brennan sharing his ‘raw intelligence product’ with the FBI, was not an official product of the U.S. intelligence community. Brennan was NOT using official partnerships with intelligence agencies of our Five-Eyes partner nations; and he did not provide raw intelligence -as an outcome of those relationships- to the FBI.
When we first watched this interview the initial questions were: if the EC is not based on official intelligence from U.S. intelligence apparatus or any of the ‘five-eyes’ partners, then what is the origin, source and purpose therein, of the unofficial raw intelligence? Who created it? And why?
We now know the originating structure involved Stefan Halper the foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor deeply connected to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.
We must also remember CIA Director John Brennan gave congressional testimony last year where he explained how he delivered the raw intelligence product itself. We spotted several issues, and Brennan’s obfuscation, a year ago, when Brennan first gave his testimony.
On May 23rd, 2017, Former CIA Director John Brennan gave very specific testimony to congress where he noted he provided the raw intelligence to FBI Director Comey – FULLSTOP. We now know Stefan Halper was part of the group assembling that raw intelligence. All of it was, as Nunes outlined, “through unofficial channels”.
Listen carefully to the opening statement from former CIA Director John Brennan May 23rd, 2017, during his testimony to congress. 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.”…
In the last paragraph of the testimony above Brennan is describing raw intelligence gathered prior to the Carter Page FISA Application/Warrant (October 21st, 2016).
In hindsight, and against the known facts from research, we can clearly identify two central motives surrounding why the intelligence apparatus needed the FISA warrant. First, the FBI and larger team of co-conspirators needed to have a retroactive legal basis for political surveillance that was happening long before the warrant was issued. Second, this was all part of an insurance policy to create the illusion of a Russian Conspiracy – that would later be used -if needed- in an effort to eliminate President Trump.
The unlawful foundational FBI surveillance, which happened prior to October 2016, included the use of unauthorized FISA-702 queries of the NSA and FBI database for political opposition research by contractors. Again, much like the unofficial origin of the Stefan Halper raw intelligence that began the July 2016 counterintelligence op, the FISA(702) abuse was simply more ‘unofficial’ use of the intelligence apparatus.
Once the FBI Counterintelligence operation began, it was the FBI (Comey) and ODNI (Clapper) generating intel reports, likely included in the Presidents’ Daily Briefing (PDB), as evidenced by Page and Strzok messages saying: “POTUS wants to know what we’re doing”.
The CIA provided the false raw intel, via Stefan Halper, to start the operation, and the FBI and DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) generated the raw monitoring intelligence from the characters identified by the CIA, FBI, DOJ-NSD and approved by FBI FISA-Title 1 warrant submissions.
The FBI were running the counter-intelligence operation and generating the actual reports that were eventually shared with the White House, Susan Rice and the Dept of Justice. That’s why all the unmasking requests. Those reports, or interpretations of the report content, were leaked to the media by political operatives in the IC (and specifically FBI) throughout the deployment of the “insurance policy”, by Lisa Page, Mike Kortan, James Baker and Peter Strzok – with the guiding hand of Andy McCabe.
During the time James Comey’s FBI was generating the intelligence reports, Comey admitted he intentionally never informed congressional oversight: “because of the sensitivity of the matter“.
In his congressional testimony John Brennan was smartly (and intentionally) positioning himself out of the picture from the perspective of the illegal acts within the entire process. ODNI James Clapper while rubbing his face and scratching his head had taken the same route earlier. That approach would leave James Comey, Andrew McCabe and the small group within the DOJ-NSD and FBI.
The CIA and DNI wanted all traceable fingerprints to be from DOJ and FBI. And that’s exactly what happened…. so far.
In his May 2017 testimony, Director Brennan goes on to say the main substance of those Gang of Eight briefings (2016) was the same as the main judgements of the January 2017 classified and unclassified Russian intelligence assessments published by the CIA, FBI, DNI and NSA (intelligence community).
The January reference was the infamous 17 agencies report, from CIA (Brennan), DNI (Clapper), FBI (Comey) and NSA (Rogers), all who had confidence -except Rogers- according to the report, that Russia was attempting to interfere in the 2016 election. The intelligence report was finished January 4, 2017, the day before the White House meeting with Comey, Brennan, Clapper, etc. and documented by Susan Rice.
A skeptic might think John Brennan is informing congress on one thing (Russian investigation), and James Comey due to his March 20th admissions (Trump counterintelligence investigation), is NOT INFORMING congress on another.
However, that angle of obfuscation is rebuked by Brennan’s own testimony that his specific intelligence product (CIA) was given to the FBI who were exclusively in charge of the “counter-intelligence investigation“.
However, the central risk of sunlight from revelations about Stefan Halper, cannot be assigned to James Comey – hence the current severity of angst from John Brennan.
In May 2017, while this testimony was happening, deploying the “insurance policy” was still plausible – but it was becoming less likely to succeed.
In May 2017 CIA Director John Brennan was making James Comey own the “Counter-Intelligence ‘Muh Russia’” claims about the Trump campaign. As a consequence, Brennan was trying to make Comey the fall-guy for a Robert Mueller investigative outcome in case everything fell apart and their deployment of the “insurance policy” failed.
Brennan knows there’s no ‘there’ there. However, the problem with Brennan’s approach is within Stefan Halper. Director James Comey used the raw intelligence provided to him by Brennan to start the investigation, but he did not originate it; Brennan did. That’s the risk to Brennan if Devin Nunes is successful in getting the information about Stefan Halper into the investigative psyche.
The entire construct of the “Russian Investigation” was the political use of manufactured intelligence, used to create an investigation in order to eliminate, President-Elect Trump or President Trump. This was their “insurance policy”.
However, there simply was no ‘there’ there because there’s no substantive evidence to support a “Trump Campaign Collusion Narrative”. Eventually, all avenues to prove the existence of something, that doesn’t exist, hit a dead end.
Comey made a March 20th, 2017, admission to congress that the FBI intentionally kept congress in the dark during the construct of the counter-intel narrative.
Congress was kept in the dark during this phase because the narrative can only thrive with innuendo, rumor, gossip etc. The appearance of the investigation itself was the political need; the substance was non-existent and immaterial to the creation of the narrative.
If Comey notified congress, via the Gang of Eight oversight, the counter-intel narrative would have been harder to manufacture as details would have to be consistent; and people like Devin Nunes would know what was going on. That was the benefit to keeping any oversight away while creating the politically useful narrative.
In May 2017, CIA Director John Brennan, facing the underlying Russian ‘collusion evidence’ being non-existent, was trying to give the appearance that he briefed congress on larger Russian election interference issues. However, the trouble for Brennan is his own admissions. He is saying it was his raw intelligence that underlay the principle for the FBI counter-intelligence investigation.
Brennan specifically says he gave his raw intelligence product to the FBI. That raw intelligence product is now under scrutiny (along with what the FBI did with it).