Thursday, June 13, 2024

FBI Relied on ‘Cartoonish’ Informant to Do Heavy Lifting in Russia Smear

'While current FBI Director Chris Wray has insisted the bureau did not engage in spying on the Trump campaign, Halper's taskings include many of the tradecraft tactics of espionage...'

As deep-state NeverTrump operatives within the intelligence community desperately threw spaghetti at the wall to try to tarnish the newly elected Trump administration, several innocent lives got caught in their Kafkaesque nightmare of a cover-up.

Now, newly declassified reports, first obtained by conservative investigator John Solomon‘s Just the News, reveal a far more extensive operation than originally known, with much of it outsourced to longtime CIA informant Stefan Halper.

Halper—a rotund septuagenarian, sometimes mocked for his walrus-like appearance–used his quasi-official role, in turn, to plant salacious innuendo and attempt to lure victims into compromising entrapment schemes while plying them for information at times and, at others, feeding disinformation to them.

“While current FBI Director Chris Wray has insisted the bureau did not engage in spying on the Trump campaign, Halper’s taskings include many of the tradecraft tactics of espionage,” Solomon wrote.

Among those tactics were “the creation of a fake cover story (he wanted a job at the Trump campaign), secret recordings, providing background on targets, suggested questions to ask and even contact information for potential targets,” Solomon said.

Not only was “The Walrus” blatantly obvious in his tactics, but the formerly top-secret memos also reveal that the FBI made little effort to mask its partisan intentions of assisting the Hillary Clinton campaign and, later, to undermine the Trump presidency.

“[T]he memos’ most explosive revelations are the sheer breadth of the FBI’s insufficiently predicated dragnet targeting the Trump campaign, and the agents’ clearly stated purpose of thwarting any Trump campaign effort to get dirt from Russia that could hurt his Democratic rival,” Solomon wrote.


Svetlana Lokhova
Svetlana Lokhova / IMAGE: screenshot via YouTube

One of the innocent victims caught up in the deep state’s secretive scheme to discredit Trump officials was Svetlana Lokhova, a graduate student studying Soviet-era history at the University of Cambridge.

Lokhova was falsely accused of having seduced future national security adviser Michael Flynn at a 2014 seminar.

The declassified documents reveal that Halper was behind the vicious smear that destroyed her professional reputation.

According to the FBI summaries, Halper (identified as “CHS” or confidential human source) was present at a reception where Flynn was wined and dined before the seminar.

He said Lokhova “surprised everyone and got into [Flynn]’s cab and joined [Flynn] on the train ride to London.”

Halper said Lokhova then “latched” onto Flynn at another function, the name of which was redacted.

Halper told the FBI that he was “somewhat suspicious” of Lokhova due to her Russian affiliations and that her “father may be a Russian Oligarch living in London.”

Details later reported by the Daily Mail said that Lokhova had helped Flynn gain access to some of the archival documents in Cambridge’s Russian collection, including an “erotic postcard” that Joseph Stalin sent to a woman in 1912.

“It is claimed the two remained in email contact afterwards and swapped messages on an unclassified channel—Mr Flynn allegedly signed himself ‘General Misha’, Russian for Michael,” wrote the Daily Mail.

But Lokhova refuted the allegations that she had seduced Flynn and said she left the function that night with her husband, who confirmed having picked her up, according to the Daily Caller.

Apart from being born in Moscow and traveling in the same orbits as prominent academics and policymakers, Lokhova—a wife and mother in her mid-30s who had become a naturalized British citizen—did not fit the profile of a typical “honeytrap” spy.

Although she had previously worked in the London office of a Russia-controlled financial institution, Sberbank, Lokhova had later sued the bank for sexual discrimination and harassment, winning a £3.2million settlement.

“I owe everything I’ve achieved to this country,” she told the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail in 2018, a year after the accusations first surfaced. “I just don’t understand how I’ve become the enemy.”

As Lokhova tried in vain to clear her name, however, she realized foul forces were afoot.

US government officials appeared to have anonymously leaked the salacious innuendo to media outlets while trying—successfully—to force Flynn out of his Cabinet-level post as national security adviser.

But since those documents were classified, she could not access them in order to know who her accuser was.


In retrospect, Halper seemed an obvious culprit.

Even though little about his appearance and demeanor would suggest a spy mastermind plotting the most audacious coup attempts in CIA history, his cliched interrogations struck some as being ripped from a James Bond story.

The American-born academic served as a lecturer at Cambridge while maintaining a farm in northern Virginia, not far from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, on the outskirts of Washington, DC.

Halper’s professional history included strong ties to the administrations of Republican presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. and George W. Bush.

Halper was tasked with interviewing—and secretly recording—four of the Trump campaign officials who were caught up collectively in the “Crossfire Hurricane” sting.

During interviews with Trump Russian adviser Carter Page, he failed to deliver the goods as Page flatly denied the allegations—raised by the now-debunked Steele Dossier—that he had met with Russian oligarchs on a trip to Moscow where he was the keynote speaker for a university.

Despite the exculpatory information provided by Page, the FBI chose to ignore it and continued to renew warrants to wiretap him through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.


George Papadopoulos
George Papadopoulos / IMAGE: The View via YouTube

Another Trump adviser, energy expert George Papadopoulos, said Halper’s red flags could not have been more obvious after he invited him, out of the blue, to a conference on the Leviathan natural gas field.

Immediately upon arriving in London, he was contacted by a honeytrap operative in the form of Halper’s research assistant.

As Papadopoulos later wrote in his book Deep State Target: “Azra Turk is a vision right out of central casting for a spy flick. She’s a sexy bottle blonde in her thirties, and she isn’t shy about showing her curves—as if anyone could miss them. She’s a fantasy’s fantasy.”

But after meeting for drinks on the night of his arrival in London, Papadopoulos said she launched into a “creepy” interrogation about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.

He insisted that he did not have any information about the campaign’s involvement in Russia and that he hadn’t personally been involved in any policy discussions with Russia.

“But she keeps pushing. She puts her hand on my arm. She says I’m more attractive in person than in my pictures. She says I’ve been doing important work,” Papadopoulos wrote.

“It’s all a come-on,” he continued. “Still, I want to believe she’s a research assistant because if she isn’t, this woman is an operative of some kind.”

Papadopoulos, who had a girlfriend at the time, said he increasingly became uncomfortable by her advances and her unprofessional line of questioning.

The following day, he said his interrogation by Halper helped confirm the suspicions.

“I go upstairs and find The Walrus sitting in a private room. He is cartoonishly massive, and the cartoonishly voluptuous Azra Turk is with him… I wonder what their relationship is since she really doesn’t come across as an academic.”

By the time of Halper’s interview, Papadopoulos already had seen his share of suspicious deep-state operations, including a bizarre, contrived meeting with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the FBI used as its basis for opening the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

Halper quickly dropped the cover-story about an energy conference and tipped his hand to his true intentions.

“Like Downer, he immediately launches into a foul-mouthed rant… making it clear he’s very hostile to my stance on the future of Mediterranean energy alliances,” Papadopoulos wrote.

Papadopoulos said he was taken aback by the situation.

“This is incredible. This guy didn’t fly me here and pay me to share my expertise on energy issues. He brought me here to lecture me and tell me that I’m entirely wring about Turkey.”

He left the meeting with the apparent understanding that he will not participate in any energy summit but instead is asked to write up a 1,500-word summary of his policy positions.


Halper’s involvement has become more obvious following the recent declassifications ordered by Trump in the final week of his presidency.

The departing president also extended full pardons to Flynn and Papadopoulos, who both were coerced by the Mueller investigation into pleading guilty to process crimes related to the Russia witch-hunt.

However, recent reports indicated that, despite Trump’s best effort to have all of the documents in the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigations declassified, intelligence agencies resisted by slow-walking the process, forcing Trump to abandon the effort as his time in office drew to a close.

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