Whistleblower steps forward to expose how Carter Page was targeted as basis for wiretapping Trump campaign and Gen. Flynn targeted for destruction
The 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump was targeted by an international conspiracy of top-level spies, working in concert to generate phony evidence of Russian involvement so as to provide a legal basis for electronic spying on it. Following Trump's election, his designated national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, was targeted for destruction via a bogus perjury trap and blackmailed into a guilty plea that is still working its way through the appeals process.
For more than two years, we have had evidence that a key figure in this conspiracy was Stefan Halper, ostensibly a Cambridge University don, who was paid vast sums by the shadowy U.S. Office of National Assessment for work that remains unclear.
Now a former Ph.D. student of Halper's at Cambridge has stepped forward to tell his tale of intrigue, including his own role in introducing Halper to Carter Page, after which Page become the target used to submit false warrants to the FISA Court enabling use of the NSA's electronic surveillance capability to spy on the Trump campaign.
Steven P. Schrage, who now has completed his doctoral studies and received his Ph.D., came forward yesterday in two forums to tell the inside story of the targeting of Carter Page and Michael Flynn. Schrage wrote a long article on Matt Taibbi's website, titled "The Spies Who Hijacked America" and appeared on Maria Bartiromo's Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures, which has been the single most important source of information on Obamagate since the story started emerging. Schrage promises a series of articles to come laying out more detail.
YouTube screen grab.
The TV interview lasts almost nine minutes but is quicker than the long article in getting the gist of the story.
If you have time and want to get a clearer sense of how this outrageous plot developed, the entire article is well worth your time. One key to the conspiracy is a group of 4 individuals associated with Cambridge whom he dubs "The Cambridge Four," who, if they were not on Russia's payroll, certainly acted in ways that served Russia's goal of sowing chaos and distrust within the American political system
I call them — Halper, Steele, Dearlove, and [Christopher] Andrew — the Cambridge Four because of parallels to another British spy story of yore, perhaps the most notorious intelligence scandal in history. That earlier "Cambridge Five" spy ring, including infamous names like Kim Philby and Guy Burgess, became the basisfor John LeCarré's famous spy thriller and film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The Five were Cold War Soviet spies who escaped virtually unpunished after embarrassed British and American officials essentially covered up the extent of their betrayals. One, Anthony Blunt, was even knighted and served as art curator to the Queen.
I have no indication that any of the Cambridge Four were ever on Russia's payroll or were actual spies for Russia, like their Cambridge Five namesakes. Yet the Cambridge Four, and their media and political enablers, did a miraculous job in pushing fake Trump-Russia conspiracy stories that undermined America's democratically-elected government and sparked investigations still ripping us apart today. In this regard, the Cambridge Four were probably the most effective tools for Russia's disinformation campaign to divide America that Putin could have ever dreamed of.
As a doctoral candidate, Schrage led a seminar at Cambridge to which Page was invited as the sole representative of the Trump campaign. It was at the seminar that Halper met Page and appears to have realized his potential as an excuse to spy on the Trump campaign:
Halper might have faded into retirement — and Spygate likely never would have happened — without my driving forward with the 2016 conference, one that Halper, again ironically, had repeatedly urged me to cancel. An all-star cast of international academics and officials would be there, headlined by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton's confidante Madeleine Albright.
But after a 20-something Cambridge administrative official smugly told me "there's no way Trump can win" and cut our travel funding, it sent me on a mad scramble. I had to find someone, anyone, to fly over on a last-minute economy ticket to represent the Trump campaign. This is the only reason Spygate's "FBI Spy" Halper and Russiagate's "Russian Spy" Carter Page ever met, with consequences still shaking politics today. For most of the conference, Halper couldn't be bothered with Page, about whom he made snarky comments about behind Page's back, while focusing on Albright. That all changed when another one of the Cambridge Four arrived.
Sir Richard Dearlove is a former director of MI6 and Halper's long-time collaborator. He arrived at the last minute from a billionaire's Rocky Mountain soiree called the Allen Conference, whose other attendees reportedly included Oprah, Obama confidants, and Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. Dearlove was under the cloud of an official UK investigation into the Iraq war rationale, called the Chilcot Report that were serious even by the Walrus's or Weinstein's standards, given the geopolitical consequences.
Among other things, it involved Dearlove's MI6 allegedly withholding the fact that a key piece of "intelligence" George W. Bush used to launch the attacks – the idea that chemical munitions were kept in "glass beads or spheres" – suspiciously mirrored an erroneous factoid from the plot of the 1996 WMD-heist movie The Rock, starring Nicholas Cage.
At my conference's last session, Dearlove went far off the script I had discussed with his assistant, lambasting Trump as a national security threat in front of a Trump advisor, and our official guest, Page. My jaw hit the floor in embarrassment, but that, and his discussion with Dearlove, seemed to cause Halper to do a 180-degree shift. Suddenly, he seemed desperately interested in isolating, cornering, and ingratiating himself to Page and promoting himself to the Trump campaign.
The targeting of General Flynn also seems to have a Cambridge Four connection:
Starting in 2016, Halper made odd requests for me to brief him and others on Trump's team. He even had me research Trump, allegedly as part of my thesis work, even though my thesis was focused on past, not present, presidents.
In these discussions I stressed that Flynn was indispensable. He was perhaps the only campaign advisor who both had Trump's personal trust and the deep intelligence experience necessary to expose hidden problems in the intelligence community. At one point, I even recall telling Halper that taking Flynn out would be like "beheading" Trump's team. I had no idea I had been unintentionally aiding a spy preparing the guillotine and helping lead Flynn to exactly such a beheading. (snip)
Halper's long-time FBI handler Steve Somma, who personally saved Halper's FBI career after Halper's firing in 2011, was quickly reassigned to Crossfire Hurricane despite Somma telling the DOJ's Inspector General that he "lacked a basic understanding of simple [campaign] issues." Shortly after his reassignment, Somma claimed he "couldn't believe [their] luck" as he "kind of stumbled upon" Halper's ties to Crossfire Hurricane's top targets, including from his recently meeting Page at my conference.
Halper quickly agreed to highly questionable, if not illegal, FBI requests to secretly record his own party's presidential campaign advisers. Two business days after Somma held his meetings with Halper, the Crossfire Razor investigation of Flynn launched on August 16.
Halper had long been a highly paid intelligence source, but Obamagate enriched him even more:
… Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA)… reported paying Halper $411,575 while he surveilled Trump's team. ONA claims this enormous sum —more than the annual salary of the President of the United States — was paid to Halper for fairly normal, largely publicly-sourced, reports to this office. I always found it strange that Halper profusely thanked me for introducing him to Carter Page, even after Page was accused of being a "Russian spy." The disclosure that some of these payments started around the time Halper met Page, provided me with a theory on why he was so grateful.
There is lot more.
But what is most shocking is the revelation that until Schrage stepped forward to contact U.S. attorney Durham, neither he nor (apparently) the Cambridge Four had been targeted for testimony.