90 Miles From Tyranny : Why It’s Ridiculous To Say FBI Spying Meant To Protect The Trump Campaign

Friday, May 25, 2018

Why It’s Ridiculous To Say FBI Spying Meant To Protect The Trump Campaign

An interesting thing happened last Friday: a bizarre confluence of events that left many of us wondering if we’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.

It began without much acclaim. Reps. Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy had been scheduled to meet with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials to finally review the classified information to which they’d been denied access until Nunes threatened to subpoena the information and hold the officials in contempt.

But they decided not to attend the meeting. According to Nunes, after getting word that they wouldn’t be provided the unredacted information they sought, they declined the invitation.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Shortly after the meeting would have ended, The New York Times and Washington Post published articles describing the dispute between Nunes and the DOJ, in which the authors referenced the FBI informant whose actions before the initiation of a formal FBI investigation into the Trump campaign apparently provoked Nunes’ interest in having the information unredacted.

The Post and Times’ Reporting on Stefan Halper

The Post and Times had been writing about the suspected source, Stefan Halper, all week, but generally refrained from including information that could reveal his identity. That all changed Friday evening. Both papers did everything but provide his Social Security number and home address.

Their descriptions of his prior association with the FBI and CIA, his meetings with at least two of the Trump campaign members, and the timing of these meetings closely tracked Chuck Ross’s reporting in The Daily Caller two months ago, in which Ross named the informant as Stefan Halper.

The Times and Post declined to include Harper’s name in their otherwise-illuminating biographical profiles of him. They wrote that they withheld the name to protect him and others who may be placed in danger if his identity became public, while knowingly and effectively making his identity public.

As if that bizarre departure from reality wasn’t enough, they then blamed it all on Nunes, Gowdy, and President Trump. They said their own role in identifying the informant was a direct result of Republicans’ interest in viewing the unredacted FBI records initiating the investigation. They made us do it. We had no choice.

Nunes appeared on Fox News the next day and pointed out the curious timing of the revelatory reports. He wondered if the decision to reveal Halper’s identity (in all but name) was timed to follow his scheduled meeting, inviting speculation that Nunes, his colleagues, or someone in the Trump administration had leaked all that information on Halper to the press. Under the circumstances, he was right to wonder.

If The FBI Really Were Trying to Protect Team Trump

All of this, though, was incidental to the core issue of the raging debate following the revelation the FBI had employed Halper: Did the FBI spy on the Trump campaign, and if so, what was the goal of their operation?

The answer, according to a parade of pundits, politicians, and former officials, was no, the FBI didn’t “spy” on the Trump campaign. They were simply employing standard tradecraft associated with any counterintelligence operation. They were using the “least intrusive method” to try to protect the Trump team from Russian spies attempting to gain access and leverage influence over the campaign officials. To suggest that they may have had other options to accomplish that mission was to betray ignorance.

But there are legitimate questions here. If the FBI was trying to use the least intrusive method to conduct their counterintelligence duty to protect the Trump campaign from Russian intelligence attempts to infiltrate, influence, entrap, compromise, or recruit Trump campaign officials, why didn’t they have the wily Halper deliver the appropriate warnings to Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis during his...Read More HERE

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