Did the FBI Have A Source In The Trump Campaign?

136px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal_svg donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThe founders of Fusion GPS (which compiled the Trump dossier with money from Hillary Clinton and the DNC) has caused a stir with an op-ed in The New York Times calling for Congress to release transcripts of their testimony last summer.  I favor such a release to give greater transparency on the facts underlying the allegations over both the Trump and Clinton campaigns.  I have criticized both parties for managing the information and pushing investigations on one side while obstructing investigations on the other side.  However, six words in the op-ed raise a far more interesting prospect: they say that there may have been an insider cooperating with the FBI during the campaign.  That would be a highly significant development if the source was a true cooperative witness funneling information to the Bureau during the presidential campaign.

Of course, the Papadopoulos does not entirely square with the infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.  That meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort and a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin (and others) was premised on disclosing dirt on Clinton from the Russian government.  The premise of the meeting would suggest that the Trump people did not have the information and the meeting was reportedly a brief one after the Russians wanted to talk primarily about sanctions.  The record suggests that Papadopoulos was speaking about Russian dirt in May but, in June, top Trump people were still eager to learn what the dirt might be.
The reference in the op-ed could well be a reference to the fact that the Australians reportedly let U.S. intelligence know about the drunken exchange with Papadopoulos in London.  Hopefully, the public will get more details on such allegations in the coming months.

110 thoughts on “Did the FBI Have A Source In The Trump Campaign?”

  1. “For his part, Steele told Mother Jones that he forwarded the information he had uncovered to the FBI shortly after he began sending it to Fusion GPS. The FBI, he recalled, reacted with “shock and horror.” Agents asked him for information on his sources and their reliability, in addition to requesting that he continue sending the Bureau his reports. His perception was that the FBI judged the information highly significant, though he was not told how the information was used.

    Like the Times, Simpson and Fritsch now want to disassociate the dossier from the collusion narrative they labored to create. They want to reset the collusion narrative: No longer about Page and the dossier, now it’s all about, yes, George Papadopoulos.

    Thus, the authors assure us, “We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling.” Instead, the dossier that Simpson, Fritsch, and Steele were trumpeting as a smoking gun during the 2016 campaign is now portrayed as having merely “corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.” That one source? Why, Papadopoulos, of course. (The op-ed here links to the Times’ blockbuster Papadopoulos report this past weekend.)

    Just one problem: What did the Justice Department and FBI do when the FBI received reports from these sources? They got a FISA warrant for Carter Page.

    As I explained in my aforementioned column, to get a FISA warrant to surveil an American citizen, the government has to show the FISA court probable cause that the citizen is engaged in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power (here, Russia), which activities may involve violations of federal criminal law. If the FBI had such information about Page, it certainly did not get that information from Papadopoulos — that’s clear from the Statement of the Offense filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller when Papadopoulos pled guilty a few weeks ago. To date, the only source we know of for such allegations against Page is the dossier.

    And at present, there is no basis to believe such allegations were ever verified by the FBI (wholly apart from the fact that they are highly unlikely on their face, and that Page has both vigorously denied them and filed a libel suit over them).

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455105/fusion-gps-steele-dossier-collusion-narrative-falls-apart

    1. Forget about the damned link. Read this exerpt from the WaPo article instead:

      “The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.

      Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.

      An application for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act need not show evidence of a crime. But the information obtained through the intercepts can be used to open a criminal investigation and may be used in a prosecution.

      The application also showed that the FBI and the Justice Department’s national security division have been seeking since July to determine how broad a network of accomplices Russia enlisted in attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election, the officials said.

      Since the 90-day warrant was first issued, it has been renewed more than once by the FISA court, the officials said.”

      Once again, TBob is wrong. Does that surprise anyone anymore?

      1. From the Washington Examiner article linked above:

        “Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to during President Trump’s campaign, has been the subject of a foreign surveillance warrant since 2014.

        It was previously reported that Page had been under surveillance since last summer, after he left the campaign.”

        One suspects that the Washington Examiner is referring to a previous FISA warrant for Carter Page, rather than a FISA warrant that was extended for two years. Nevertheless, it shows that the FBI had intelligence evidence on Page long before the FBI received any intelligence reports from Christopher Steele.

  2. Fusion GPS is the likely source of numerous “leaks” throughout this.

    There are (in)famous for “managing” information – even when information damaging to them or their clients is about to get out – they have routinely sought to make sure the story came from them, prespun and through favorable reporters and outlets – and they often paid to get their version out.

    Their editorial is just a long shopping list of things they claim to “beleive” – there are no new facts, there is no substance, just lots of breathless spin.

    Their claim of an FBI source in the Trump campaign comes from where ? How is it anymore credible than the dozens of false rumours that we have gone through for more than a year ?

    Does this even make sense ? How exactly do you think the FBI places someone into Trump’s inner circle ? Page and Papadoulis were far from inner circle. I am sorry no one cares if the FBI had someone in the mail room.

    All of these investigations have leaked like a seive. We have not had a shortage of leaks of the facts. The problem has never been that some investigators sucessfully kept some deep dark secret eapon against Trump hidden for months. It has been that in with the tiny tidbits of truth were dozens of false rumours all claimed to be from credible former or current administration sources.

    At this time any reasonable person would long ago have concluded – there is no wolf.
    Anything true and damaging to Trump has already been released. There is no reason to beleive that the FBI or Mueller or Congress or anyone is holding some secret evidence against Trump.

    Beleiving that requires beleiving that the juiciest secret of all has been kept even though every other minor tidbit has gotten out.
    There is a reason that GOP congressmen are more brazenly going after the FBI and DOJ regarding the Steele dossier – because the probability the FBI has anything else is near zero. Jordan, Gowdy, Graham and others are not sticking their necks out without being fairly certain no one is cutting them off.

    With respect to publishing Fusions Testimony – My understanding is Grassley agreed to that months ago. ‘

    Regardless, Fusion is a private entity No one can prevent them from making public what they know on their own. This entire NYT editorial meme that if only their testimony would be published everyone would no the truth is garbage. They are not and can not be bound not to reveal their own testimony.

    This editorial is particularly Troubling. Contra what they are Claiming Fusion GPS is the biggest villian in all of this. They have their fingers in almost EVERYTHING.
    They claim to have read about the Trump Jr. meeting like everyone else in the paper.
    Right! Natalia met with them twice that day – immediately before, and immediately after the Trump Jr. meeting. Sorry, that meeting looks like an attempt by Fusion to setup the Trump campaign, and it is going to be a hard sell to convince me that the before and after conversations were about the weather.

    Finally one of the most damning things about this entire Trump russia nonsense is that it is an insane claim.

    None of the Trump Russia stories that have the slightest credibility work with the time line.
    If the Trump Campaign was colluding with Russia since 2015 or april 2016 – then why would Trump Jr meet in July for Clinton dirt from Russia ? What the Trump Jr. Meeting should make clear to everyone is there were NO high level contacts prior and no one of consequence in the Trump campaign kew of lower level ones. If they did – no one would have met in July.

    Next you have to “collude” to do something.
    There are only 4 possibilities and none make sense.

    1). The russians are accused of unsuccessfully hacking voting machines.
    If Trump wanted to hack voting machines why on earth would Trump make himself subject to blackmail by Putin, by involving Russian help ? This applies BTW to ALL involvement with Putin.
    2). The russians are accused of hacking the DNC.
    Again why involve the Russians ? There are more credible claims that the DNC emails were leaked.
    If Trump wanted the DNC emails dumped to wikileaks – he could have just hired someone to do it. No hacking involved. The DNC was heavily infiltrated by Pakistani IT guys desparate to make illegal bucks.
    3). The Russians are accused of social media malfeasance.
    Total russian spending is purportedly $100K. That is pocket change for Trump.
    Regardless why involve Russia in a social media effort that you can easily do perfectly well yourself ?
    4). Getting dirt on Hillary.
    The good news for the left is it is pretty evident that the Trump campaign wanted dirt on Clinton.
    The bad news is that Trump never used any secret dirt on Clinton making it highly unlikely he ever got any. But Hillary did buy dirt on Trump from Russia.

    The entire Trump/Russia meme requires beleiving Trump used Russia to do something he could more easily have done himself and in the process made himself Putins rent boy.

    If Putin owns Trump – why is it that Trump has been more difficult with Putin than Obama ?
    Trump has worked to keep gas prices down, to chase ISIS and therefore Russia out of Syria,

        1. A lying sack of manure [Trump] accuses a steaming heap of hogwash [Bannon] of having lost his mind and Mespo727272 agrees with the lying sack of manure [Trump] while accusing Ken of being a lunatic for citing the opinion of the steaming heap of hogwash [Bannon].

          What a lovely bunch of coconuts.

          1. And speaking of coconuts:

            Bannon: “The President of the United States is a great man. You know I support him day in and day out ….”

            Er … what’s the word for supporting “treason”?

        2. When da Bannon testifies under oath he can say that T rump is a great man that broke the law. And that t rump’s family committed treason. And don’t forget da money laundering.

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