Early May 2016
After the third reading of the strategically worded Weissmann/Mueller report, we are able to reconcile some issues. This outline reconciles the oddly worded Weissmann/Mueller claim to the origin of the FBI counterintelligence operation known as “crossfire hurricane” on July 31st, 2016.
It must be first noted that Devin Nunes has outlined the two-page “Electronic Communication” or “EC” from CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey was not from official intelligence channels. Meaning the intelligence used to originate Crossfire Hurricane did not come through officials Five-Eyes intelligence communication.
When we reviewed the documents recently released by the Australian government, there was a disparity between the dates of George Papadopoulos meeting Australia’s High Commissioner Alexander Downer. The Weissmann report seemed to put the meeting as May 6th, 2016, but Papadopoulos and Downer (Australian docs) put the London meeting on May 10th.
Here’s the excerpt from Special Counsel Weissmann/Mueller report that describes the events. Note Weissmann assigns a meeting date of May 6th, 2016:
The paragraphs and the footnote direct the reader to assume a meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer on May 6th, and later the communication from Downer on July 26th, as the impetus for Crossfire Hurricane. However, there’s some strategic conflation in the presentation because Downer and Papadopoulos didn’t meet until May 10th.
Andrew Weissmann and Robert Mueller carefully word the paragraphs because they don’t want the background of the May 6th, 2016, event attached to western intelligence.
When Weissmann/Mueller write: “On May 6th, 2016, 10 days after that meeting with Mifsud, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government“… they are not writing about Alexander Downer.
They are writing about an aide to Downer, Erika Thompson.
As noted in Papadopoulos’ book:
After meeting with Downer’s aide, Erika Thompson on May 6th, she sets up a meeting between George Papadopoulos and her boss for May 10th. The meeting is put on the official schedule for the Australian Ambassador to the U.K:
[Note in the meeting schedule the dates/times are listed in both Australian and U.K. time zones.] On May 10th, 2016, Ms Erika Thompson and Mr. Alexander Downer then meet with George Papadopoulos.
After the meeting, Ambassador Downer reports back to the Australian government on his conversation with Papadopoulos. [As noted in the recent document release]:
The details of the conversation, and how Alexander Downer viewed the information from Papadopoulos is heavily redacted. Essentially, he writes out what the Trump foreign policy seems to be from the perspective of George Papadopoulos. This would be typical for any government to assemble the views and perspectives of a potential presidential nominee.
Additionally, Downer was a major supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton; but in general terms, any personal bias is irrelevant for the purposes of outlining information from the Trump campaign that might be useful later on in understanding how the relationship between Australia and the U.S. might evolve.
As noted in the Weissmann/Mueller report, it is from this May 10th, 2016, meeting where later communication from Ambassador Downer, July 26th, 2016, is referenced as the origin of Crossfire Hurricane. However, here’s where it gets interesting. Notice how Mueller presents the May 6th conversation as confirmation of the information from Joseph Mifsud, and not May 10th.
Weissmann and Mueller are saying the information: “that the Trump campaign had received information from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton”, came from Erika Thompson on May 6th, 2016.
Weissmann/Mueller are NOT saying that information came from Alexander Downer, despite the connection to the footnote that now appears to be intentionally conflating the origin of their claim. They are “technically” saying the information came from Erika Thompson.
This makes sense, because Downer has denied that Papadopoulos ever brought up anything about Clinton “dirt”, or Clinton emails with him in the May 10th meeting.
Now the origin of this set-up takes on a new understanding.
Remember, a large portion of the CIA’s foreign agents work overseas as members of various U.S. embassies. The U.S. State Department is the cover for a lot of CIA work; reference the “Benghazi Consulate” etc.
Rather than keep writing “U.S. intelligence officers”, and/or “U.S. intelligence assets”, let us just use the word “spies” to make things more honest and easier to understand.
Also consider “unofficial channels” as useful to a set-up; and “official channels” as part of a needed legitimacy for this operation.
George Papadopoulos was contacted by two members of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA),Terrence Dudley and Greg Baker, working out of the U.S. embassy in London. Two American spies working in London put Papadopoulos in contact with their ally/counterpart in the Australian Embassy, Erika Thompson. [ie. ‘unofficial channels’]
Now, which one did the CIA/FBI use: “unofficial” or “official”? For the answer look at what Weissmann and Mueller say in their report.
The May 6th, 2016, Erika Thompson’s unofficial channel is cited for the quotation as to what Papadopoulos was claimed to have said…. as Papadopoulos is referencing information from Maltese Professor Joseph Mifsud, another unofficial channel.
See how that set-up was played?
And then there’s this:
The FBI Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, just happened to be in London on the exact same dates the ‘unofficial’ operation was happening… Now things really come into focus.
Remember, this is all happening in May, long before the official launch of the “official” FBI counterintelligence operation known as Crossfire Hurricane, July 31st, 2016.
What happens two days after Crossfire Hurricane is launched? …back to London: On August 2, 2016, Special Agent Peter Strzok and another agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation met with Alexander Downer in London to discuss his conversation with Papadopoulos further. Strzok then received reading materials, which he texted about to Lisa Page.