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August 14, 2019

FBI Spy Stefan Halper: I'm Not Saying I'm a Paid FBI Informant, But If I Were a Paid FBI Informant, I Would Have Sovereign Immunity Against a Lawsuit for My Libel Against a Russia Collusion Conspiracy Target


There’s an interesting lawsuit playing out involving a woman Svetlana Lokhova and Steven Halper.

Halper was one of the “informants” that the FBI ran against Trump campaign associates, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis. In fact, it was Halper who invited George Papadopoulos to London in the first place, where he would then ask Papadopoulos if he knew "about the hacking the emails from Russia." This would be what Papadopoulos repeated to an Australian diplomat, helping to form the shaky genesis of the Trump-Russia investigation (further pushed by the Steele Dossier).

If it sounds like the FBI purposely lied to someone in order to later use it as an excuse to investigate the Trump campaign, that's probably because that is what appears to have happened. The investigation into all this is ongoing under the leadership of current AG Bill Barr and John Durham.

In regards to Lokhova, she is suing Halper for defamation over his alleged planting of false stories in the media accusing her of having an affair with Gen. Michael Flynn and working for the Russian government.

Because the lawsuit mentions him being an FBI informant/spy, he responds that while he's not "crediting" that claim as true, the courts should take it as true and declare he has qualified sovereign immunity from suit -- being a government employee-- and dismiss the case.

It's a bad argument. Qualified sovereign immunity only covers stuff that are explicitly within your job parameters, the stuff you're directed by your employer (the state) to do. Because the state would have sovereign immunity in those cases, you get that immunity so long as you're just an instrument of the state.

But... is planting libel about someone in newspapers in order to gin up a coup really within the explicit ambit of an FBI informant/spy? And is an FBI informant really the type of taking-official-action-for-the-state position where sovereign immunity could possibly apply?

This is a question that couldn't be resolved until discovery, when Halper admits he's a spy, the FBI admits he used him for spying, and the FBI explains what actions he was precisely directed to undertake.

And if the FBI did explicitly direct him to plant libelous stories about people for purposes of furthering a coup -- we need to know that.

True, that would constitute the state directing him to do this, but I think that would be an illegal order which is not within the purview of the state to order.

It's interesting that he's making this claim. People usually don't make very weak claims if they're confident of their non-silly claims.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:40 PM

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