There is new evidence that U.S. Attorney John Durham is getting to the root of criminal abuses by senior U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials in their conspiracy to undermine the Trump campaign, transition and presidency. Mr. Durham's mandate from Attorney General William Barr -- to uncover the seditious plot behind the Trump-Russia hoax, if pursued vigorously, will uncover the single greatest threat to the Constitution since the nation's founding.
Mr. Durham's apparent interest in FBI source Stefan Halper and the contract vehicles available to the Pentagon think tank, the Office of Net Assessments, for whom Halper worked, is an important clue.
Likewise, Mr. Durham's travel to Italy for talks with the Italian government and their intelligence service points to another possible clue concerning the mysterious Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud.
For the purposes of the manufactured Trump-Russia hoax, one need only remember the associations of Halper with Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page -- and Joseph Mifsud with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy junior advisor -- to the Trump campaign.
The intelligence agencies of the federal government are prohibited from targeting American organizations in the United States. Executive Order 12333, Section 2.9 states:
Undisclosed Participation in Organizations Within the United States. No one acting on behalf of agencies within the Intelligence Community may join or otherwise participate in any organization in the United States on behalf of any agency within the Intelligence Community without disclosing his intelligence affiliation to appropriate officials of the organization, except in accordance with procedures established by the head of the agency concerned and approved by the Attorney General. Such participation shall be authorized only if it is essential to achieving lawful purposes as determined by the agency head or designee. No such participation may be undertaken for the purpose of influencing the activity of the organization or its members except in cases where:
(a) The participation is undertaken on behalf of the FBI in the course of a lawful investigation; or
(b) The organization concerned is composed primarily of individuals who are not United States persons and is reasonably believed to be acting on behalf of a foreign power.
This prohibition on running penetration operations against domestic political organizations is a legal and political "hangover" from the 1960s civil disturbances that saw (among a host of other covert action programs) US Army Counterintelligence agents working undercover against the militant Leftists organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society. The U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, better known as the "Church Committee," was empaneled in 1975 under the leadership of Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) to review and make recommendations on intelligence operations. The Church Committee was controversial. Critics claimed the committee exposed the "crown jewels" of U.S. intelligence and hobbled our ability to conduct legitimate collection activities. Today's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Court were inspired by the final reports of the Church Committee.
The seditious coup plotters working against Trump knew the legal prohibitions on what they planned to do. How to target Trump & Co. in a "legal" manner? Was it possible, or more importantly, desirable, to have a legal finding from Attorney General Loretta Lynch justifying their plan to frame-up Trump & Co.? That would authorize their operation -- but would Lynch support it? Could Lynch be counted on? Did they want a piece of paper like that floating around Washington D.C.? No, there had to be a better way to pull off the coup.
The alternative to a purely domestic intelligence operation targeting a major political party's candidate for the presidency (and later, president) was to manufacture a foreign counterintelligence (FCI) "threat" that could then be "imported" back into the United States. Plausible deniability, the Holy Grail of covert activities, was in reach for the plotters if they could develop an FCI operation outside the continental United States (OCONUS) involving FBI confidential human sources (Halper, Mifsud, others?) that would act as "lures" (intelligence jargon associated with double agent operations) to ensnare Trump associates.
We have evidence of these machinations from December 2015 when FBI lawyer Lisa Page texts to her boyfriend, the now infamous FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, "You get all our oconus lures approved? ;)."
To inoculate themselves from further charges of misconduct and criminality, the FBI's mutually agreed upon lie is that their investigation of Trump/Russia began on July 31, 2016 with the improbable name "Crossfire Hurricane." That coincides nicely with their manufactured FCI "event," allowing the full-bore sabotage of all things and persons "Trump." The coup plotters used a July 2016 event at the University of Cambridge as the opportunity for Carter Page to meet and develop a friendship with Stefan Halper. This is roughly the same time period that Australian diplomat Alexander Downer reported the supposedly drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos concerning the Russians having Hillary's emails to the FBI. Papadopoulos had already serendipitously met the mysterious Joseph Mifsud in Rome during the second week of March 2016. Learning that Papadopoulos would be joining the Trump campaign, Mifsud let Papadopoulos know that he had many important connections with Russian government officials.
In July 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was questioned closely by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) concerning the persons and sequence of events detailed above.
The summation of Mueller's testimony was, "Well, I can't get into it."
The coup plot failed, but the chief coup conspirators are free, crisscrossing the country on book tours and appearing as paid contributors to CNN and MSNBC. A bright note in the so far grim saga is that one of the collateral casualties has filed a civil lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia against Stefan Halper and MSNBC for defamation, conspiracy and tortious interference. It's the closest thing we've seen to justice to date. The complaint makes remarkable and insightful reading.
It is now time for Mr. Durham to "get into it," in a manner Mr. Mueller was either unwilling or unable to do. Time is of the utmost importance. The American public needs to see action. Indictments and trials are the only antidote for the poison of treasonous sedition.
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Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer.