New Hotness. The FBI Spied On the Trump Campaign To Help It

Upfront warning. If you follow this person on Twitter you know she makes Alex Jones, John Schindler, and Louise Mensch look totally sane and rational. She served a grand total of three years in the FBI, including her time in training at Quantico, which means she did nothing of significance. Her two schticks are “I’m an FBI agent” and the old intelligence fallback, “I know special sh** that you can only dream of knowing so your arguments are invalid.” But that is all good enough for a CNN contributor gig.

During the 2016 campaign the campaign of Donald Trump was targeted for surveillance by the FBI. That surveillance continued through the transition period and eventually became the investigation into something or another led by Robert Mueller. Over the past several days we’ve learned that not only did the FBI use the Trump dossier, a dodgy document compiled by a former British spy using sources with current or former connections to Russian intelligence and funded by the Clinton campaign, they also used an informant–all the evidence indicates that he is Stefan Halper, an American academic teaching at Cambridge in England–to try to engage at least four members of the Trump campaign in conversations about Russian activities during the campaign.

This, right here, should be concerning to anyone who doesn’t think law enforcement, and possibly intelligence, agencies should be involved in presidential campaigns. This is not how politics are conducted in America. Or didn’t used to be.

Yesterday, the FBI leaked enough information to conclusively point out Stefan Halper as their contact. Keep in mind this is the same guy whose life Christopher Wray claimed would be in danger if Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy were allowed to see his name.

Today, CNN goofus and alleged former counterintelligence guru at the FBI, writes this in the Washington Post: The FBI didn’t use an informant to go after Trump. They used one to protect him.

But Trump and his backers are wrong about what it means that the FBI reportedly was using a confidential source to gather information early in its investigation of possible campaign ties to Russia. The investigation started out as a counterintelligence probe, not a criminal one. And relying on a covert source rather than a more intrusive method of gathering information suggests that the FBI may have been acting cautiously — perhaps too cautiously — to protect the campaign, not undermine it.

To believe this you have to be a particular kind of stupid. You have to ignore Peter Strzok and his “insurance policy.” You have to ignore the fact that ZERO ties to Russia were turned up. You have to ignore the fact that when FBI counterintelligence got a whiff of something untoward on John McCain’s 2008 campaign, they went do McCain and the questionable individual was quietly let go. You have to ignore the fact that in the absence of a whit of evidence we have a special counsel going into his second profligate year of spending taxpayer dollars.

Using a confidential intelligence source would have made sense if the FBI’s long-term strategy was to allow Russia to believe it was operating undetected and to collect intelligence on Russian methods. But an infiltration of a U.S. presidential campaign by a hostile foreign power presented a grave national security threat of the highest order. That should have justified shutting down — neutralizing — any Russian operation immediately, even if it meant potentially losing long-term collection. One way that the FBI sometimes does this is to overtly approach suspected agents and question them on their activities. Russian intelligence officers might have scurried away from their efforts to target the Trump campaign once it was clear that the FBI was watching.

But this would also have made the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia public and put the campaign under a cloud of suspicion. News that FBI agents had approached Trump campaign officials would have undoubtedly raised questions from the media and the Clinton campaign — and since counterintelligence investigations are classified, the Justice Department would not have been able to reveal publicly that the purpose of the investigation was to counter Russia, not target the campaign itself. Precisely because the Trump campaign wasn’t under investigation at the time for criminal wrongdoing, the FBI appears to have taken an approach that tried to avoid inviting unwarranted speculation that it was.

Except that the FBI knew of the Trump dossier since July 5, 2016 and they knew, or should have known, that Christopher Steele was shopping that dossier around Washington–he was on their payroll, after all.

The Trump administration’s assault against the FBI’s efforts to assess a national security threat posed by suspected foreign agents only raises more questions about what went on in 2016. Trump has repeatedly insisted that he is innocent of colluding with Russia and had no idea about his campaign staff’s Russia contacts. So he should be glad to know that the FBI appears to have been trying to thwart a hostile country’s efforts to infiltrate his campaign. That he and his allies in Congress do not even acknowledge that these individuals posed a national security threat and instead attack the FBI for apparently doing its job suggests that they would have been happy for whatever Russia was doing in 2016 to continue unimpeded.

That’s not what it suggests at all. It suggests that no one understands how a counterintelligence investigation that turned up nothing has become a suppurating boil on the ass of this administration. It suggests that there is no good explanation for why the FBI, after the investigation became known, would not publicly announce, as it did for Hillary Clinton, that there was nothing to see and we should all move on. It suggests that the administration realizes that the Mueller investigation, at least as far as its Russia component goes, is an utter fraud and political hit job, set up by Democrats and now staffed by Democrat donors as investigators.

If the FBI had been trying to help Trump’s campaign they wouldn’t have acted like this at all.

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