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May 11, 2018

Kim Strassel: Is The FBI's Super-Secret "Source" Actually a Spy in the Trump Campaign?

Here's some of that reportage that no one on the right does.

After recounting the FBI's and DOJ's bad-faith efforts to keep embarrassing information from the oversight committees, Strassel turns to the newest effort to play hide-the-ball from Congress:

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's response was to double down--accusing the House of "extortion" and delivering a speech in which he claimed that "declining to open the FBI's files to review" is a constitutional "duty." Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments--that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in "loss of human lives."

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post's unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes's request deals with a "top secret intelligence source" of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough.... Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carre style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair--the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors--have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?

And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn't being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.

Strassel says she thinks she knows the name of this "source"/informant/spy but no one will confirm it.

Chuck Ross had a post back in March about the mysterious doings involving Steele, Steele's intel community pals, and Papodopolous back in March, which I exerpted. But you should probably just read Ross' full piece.

As I said at the time: it's a knotty thing and hard to untangle. But there seemed to be a few people connected with Christopher Steele (and therefore with Fusion GPS) trying to put a bug in George Papodopolous' ear about Wikipedia leaks before the FBI opened a file on him for talking about, yes, Wikipedia leaks.

Which other people had told him about.

More from Instapundit.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:42 PM

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