Documents that were declassified on the day before former President Donald Trump left office show that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was an extensive intelligence operation that had failed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in mind.
“The Crossfire Hurricane investigative team is attempting to determine if anyone in the Trump campaign is in a position to have received information either directly or indirectly from the Russian Federation regarding the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton,” a declassified memo said, according to Just the News.
Documents declassified by Trump cover reports that concern the activities of Stefan Halper, an FBI informant.
The reports show that soon after the FBI began its Russia collusion investigation in July 2016, information was being sought on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, foreign policy adviser Sam Clovis, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, economic adviser Peter Navarro, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and campaign adviser Carter Page.
The FBI urged Halper to rely on surreptitious recordings to gather information, lie about wanting to work for the Trump campaign and gave him questions to be asked of those with whom he came in contact.
Former FBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Kevin Brock said the information about Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that was being used in the investigation failed to meet accepted FBI standards, based on his review of the electronic communications that were released, which he referred to as “ECs.”
“Normally when the FBI opens an investigation on a U.S. citizen, it has specific facts justifying an investigation of that person,” Brock said.
“But here what the ECs are saying is they don’t know who is involved and they are just conjecturing that someone in the Trump campaign might be in a position to receive help from Russia. You just can’t open a full field investigation on conjecture.”
“If you look at the FBI’s ECs dispassionately, there is no clearly predicated basis for investigation for U.S. citizens, so it looks instead like subterfuge to justify an open-ended inquiry. The only sane, logical explanation why the Crossfire Hurricane team would doggedly perpetuate such an unfounded investigation is political bias,” he added.
The memos show Halper was told to work on Page first. The communications give Papadopoulos the code name Crossfire Typhoon (CT). Page is referred to as Crossfire Dragon (CD).
“The main goal of the operation is to have CD admit that he has direct knowledge of and is either helping coordinate or assisting the RF [Russian Federation] conduct an active measure campaign with the ‘Trump Team,’” a report from Aug. 24, 2016, said, according to Just the News.
If the operation concerning Page did not work out, the FBI “team would then change its posture and move forward with an operation against CROSSFIRE TYPHOON,” the memos reportedly said.
The memos reveal that Page told Halper he was not involved in any activities involving the Trump campaign and Russia.
“You know, I’ve made clear in a lot of … subsequent discussions/interviews that I’ve been part of that I know nothing about it,” Page reportedly said in one documented conversation.
“I know nothing about that on a personal level. You know, no one’s ever said one word to me.”
The memos say that by October 2016, the FBI had been able to “conduct several operations utilizing the [Crossfire Hurricane Source] against other targets of the [Crossfire Hurricane] investigation.”
Brock said that when FBI officials wrote, they played semantic games to avoid using words such as “spying.”
“What they are doing is using preferred definitions,” he said. “When we employ the investigative techniques used against Carter Page to break the laws of another country and steal their secrets, it’s okay to call it spying. When we use those same techniques against a U.S. citizen, it’s called an investigation.”
Trump authorized the release of the documents on Jan. 19.
“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions! All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!” Trump tweeted at the time.
Page, who was picked by the FBI as its target when the discredited Trump-Russia probe was launched, supports airing out all the facts for everyone to see.
“Bad actors have been working against our duly elected president ever since the first political campaign of his career,” Page told Fox News in October.
“It is essential that these roadblocks are immediately demolished now, for the sake of the restoration of our democracy.”
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has declassified 2016 documents that said former CIA Director John Brennan informed former President Barack Obama that Clinton sought to link Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
Fox News reported that a declassified 2016 CIA document relayed “[a]n exchange [REDACTED] discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”