Friday, 01 June 2018

FBI's Violation of Rules in Spying on Trump Campaign Further Exposes Deep State

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In its zeal to embed a spy into the Trump campaign in 2016, the FBI not only likely broke laws, but also certainly violated its own rules. FBI guidelines — found in the bureau’s nearly 700-page Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide — restrict the use and deployment of informants in spying on American citizens.

With the FBI and DOJ having already demonstrated such disregard for both the law and the basic rules of investigation, this new report only adds to the body of evidence that Deep State operatives in those agencies are hell-bent on getting President Trump at any price.

For instance, besides planting Cambridge professor Stefan Halper — who has a history as a spy for political purposes — as a spy in the Trump campaign, Deep State operatives within the FBI and DOJ also protected Hillary Clinton from the consequences of her crimes while manufacturing the Trump/Russia collusion narrative and abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

But in placing Halper — a national security academic — in the campaign as a spy, the FBI violated its own rules regarding domestic spying. That may go a long way toward explaining the FBI’s and DOJ’s stubborn refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena for information about a “specific individual” whose name the House Intelligence Committee’s investigators uncovered even with the FBI and DOJ doing all in their power to keep that name from being known. The only reason the committee was ever able to force the DOJ to comply was by threatening Attorney General Jeff Sessions with charges of contempt of Congress.

And while it was the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in a May 10 article that broke the story, more has been made public since then. Strassel ended her explosive article by saying: “I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it. 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.”

This writer — simply projecting the lines — predicted that others would “do the same digging she has done and the name will likely soon be known. And when it is known, it's going to be a bad day for the DOJ and FBI.” Within days, Halper was identified as the FBI’s “source” within the Trump campaign. Even former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed Halper’s role.

But on top of all of the problems the FBI and DOJ are facing over this fiasco, there is the salient fact that the FBI’s own Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide makes it clear that Halper should never have been assigned to spy on the campaign for the FBI. As the Washington Times is reporting:

Mr. Halper was a “confidential human source,” an official category of spy that is regulated by the FBI’s domestic investigations directive. The FBI completed an updated document in 2013 and posted online a redacted version in 2016.

Human sources are regulated under a program called “Otherwise Illegal Activity,” or OIA. It is called “otherwise illegal” because spying on Americans would be against the law if, as the policy says, the spying is “engaged in by a person acting without authorization.”

The guidebook is clear that OIA must be authorized before being undertaken and that there are clear criteria which must be met for that authorization to be given. That criteria includes the proviso that OIA can be conducted only “in limited circumstances” to obtain information and “when that information or evidence is not reasonably available without participation in the OIA.”

It is evident that the bar for embedding a spy into the political campaign of Donald Trump was not met; it is also clear that someone in the Obama administration must have authorized Halper to conduct OIA against the campaign. So, with all of the liberal mainstream media’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding, President Trump was spot-on when he accused the Obama administration of spying on him.

And while Clapper (in his appearance on the View) and other Deep State operatives and Democrats have attempted to spin the placement of Halper in the campaign as an attempt to protect the campaign from Russian meddling, the facts are against them. The Washington Times quotes President Trump’s former defense counsel, John Dowd, as saying that the FBI had a duty to notify, not spy on, Team Trump. “If you are concerned that the Russians are trying to penetrate a campaign or meddle with the election campaign process, you include the candidates and their top security professionals in that effort,” he said.

Former (and currently disgraced) FBI Director James Comey as good as verified Halper’s role, as well, while attempting the same old Deep State spin, tweeting, “Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?”

This writer imagines that Republicans — such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — will tell their grandchildren that they protected this country by exposing Deep State plans to bring down an elected president by illegally planting a spy in his campaign to frame him for crimes he did not commit. And with the record demonstrating the truth of that, those grandchildren will likely be proud of the actions those Republicans have taken.

The Deep State operatives in the FBI and DOJ, on the other hand, will likely not fare so well.

As to what Halper actually did to spy on the campaign, more and more is coming to light. It does not appear that Halper — who opposed Trump and endorsed Clinton — actually worked in the campaign per se. Instead, he ingratiated himself to Trump campaign associates Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and possibly others. It is of note that both Page and Papadopoulos became targets of the “Trump/Russia collusion” investigation.

As the Washington Times reported:

He first encountered Mr. Page at a conference in Cambridge, England, after the volunteer spent a few days in Moscow in early July 2016 during which he delivered a public commencement speech.

Mr. Halper also made a number of contacts with Papadopoulos and paid him for a research paper, according to reporting by The Daily Caller.

Papadopoulos was under FBI scrutiny for making contacts with Russian-connected people in an effort to arrange a Trump-Kremlin meeting, which never happened. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about when he joined the Trump campaign and his meeting with a Moscow-linked professor from Malta.

The professor told him he heard that the Kremlin owned thousands of Clinton emails, an apparent reference to the 33,000 messages she ordered destroyed by her law firm before investigators could acquire them.

Papadopoulos has not been charged in any conspiracy. Mr. Page has denied under oath any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Given that the FBI and DOJ are in the process of being exposed for a litany of scandals involving the “Trump/Russia collusion” investigation, the lack of anything resembling evidence that there was any collusion, the lack of charges against the two people known to have been targeted by Halper, and the violations of the FBI’s own rules in using Halper to spy on the campaign, it is clear that the FBI and DOJ are guilty of exactly what President Trump has said all along: a witch hunt.

Now, it is beginning to look as though Deep State operatives involved may burn at their own stake.

 Image: David Crespo via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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