by WorldTribune Staff, July 13, 2020
Secret FBI documents that appeared in U.S. District Court files in May revealed evidence that exonerated former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The documents detailed a months-long U.S. investigation in which a longtime FBI asset, currently a Cambridge professor, played a central role.
The documents were the FBI’s “closing communication,” dated Jan. 4, 2017. After five months of investigating Flynn, whose code name was Crossfire Razor, the FBI counterintelligence team cleared him of any improper contacts with Russians or any derogatory information, Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted in a July 9 analysis.
Also covered was the 2014 dinner of intelligence specialists at England’s University of Cambridge, where Flynn, then director of the Obama administration’s Defense Intelligence Agency, met graduate student Svetlana Lokhova, a Russia-born British citizen.
A U.S. appeals court is weighing Lokhova’s libel lawsuit accusing major news organizations of implying that she is a Russian spy who was in an inappropriate relationship with Flynn. “The lawsuit lays the blame for rumormongering,” on Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on two Trump campaign volunteers, Scarborough noted.
The closing memo contains gossip about Lokhova that her attorney, Steven Biss, says proves that Halper lied about her.
While checking on Flynn, the FBI contacted an “established” confidential human source (CHS) who told agents about Crossfire Razor speaking at an unidentified location that involved “dinner and drinks.”
“This source’s profile fits that of Halper,” Scarborough wrote.
The source said he “witnessed” Flynn getting into a cab with a person whose name is redacted. Biss says it is surely Lokhova.
The memo states: “The CHS stated that a [redacted] surprised everyone and got into [Crossfire Razor’s] cab and joined CR on the train ride to [redacted]. The CHS stated that s/he was somewhat prominent members of [redacted]. The CHS believes that [redacted] father may be a Russian oligarch living in [redacted].”
Lokhova’s attorney says the “oligarch” claim is the type of rumor spread by Halper, who did not attend the dinner.
The memo deletes the dinner’s date and place. It does not identify the confidential human source. There is no official confirmation that it was Halper.
In his first appeals court brief, Biss states: “Lokhova’s allegations about Halper and the scheme to manufacture evidence of ‘Russian collusion’ have been corroborated. … On April 29, 2020, the Department of Justice released an FBI ‘Closing Communication’ which confirmed that Halper told the FBI in 2016/2017 that after the February 28, 2014 dinner Lokhova ‘surprised everyone and got into CR’s [Flynn‘s] cab and joined CR on the train ride to [redacted].”
Lokhova says Halper’s apparent testimony to the FBI could not possibly be true. He could not have “witnessed” such a cab ride because he did not attend the dinner and she never got into a cab with Flynn. She left with her husband. She never saw Flynn again after that night.
“He left with the DIA liaison and went back to the hotel,” Flynn attorney Sidney Powell told The Washington Times.
Scarborough noted that “for someone who news media suggested was a Russian agent connected to Flynn, Lokhova was of no interest to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators and prosecutors. They never contacted her.”
The closing memo said the FBI ran counterintelligence checks with U.S. and foreign services. The bureau found nothing derogatory, meaning Lokhova was cleared of being a Russian agent.
Lokhova has told her story in a book, “Spygate Exposed”.
“A Cambridge historian’s eyewitness account of America’s first presidential coup,” says a book blurb. “An innocent woman, Svetlana Lokhova was pulled into this fabricated narrative through dishonest accusations — for instance, that she was General Flynn’s paramour and a Russian spy.”
The FBI ended up clearing Flynn in its closing statement: “Following the compilation of the above information, the [Crossfire Hurricane] team determined that Crossfire Razor was no longer a viable candidate as part of the Crossfire Hurricane umbrella case. A review of logical databases did not yield any information on which to predicate further investigative efforts. While a CHS provided some information on CR’s interaction with [redacted] the absence of derogatory information on [redacted] limited the investigative value of the information.”
The Washington Times provided the closing memo to Halper’s attorney, Robert Luskin.
“Professor Halper does not intend to comment,” Luskin said.
Halper’s “modus operandi has been challenged elsewhere,” Scarborough noted. The Washington Times reported in 2018 that national security experts whom he listed as consultants for a pricey Pentagon study on Russia-China said they never contributed to his work.
It was determined last year that the Pentagon and Halper failed to verify that he spoke with or visited the sources he put into a statement of work for over $1 million in contracts.
Halper is described as “Source 2” in a report on FBI wiretap abuse by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Two Trump volunteers have publicly identified Halper as the FBI informant who made contact with them in 2016.
Halper first met with the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team on Aug. 11, 2016, as agents assessed whether to hire him for the Trump campaign targeting. He told agents “that he had been previously acquainted with Michael Flynn.”
Flynn associates say he has never met Halper. The FBI formally opened a case on Flynn five days after meeting with Halper.
Halper “was not always a model confidential human source,” Scarborough noted.
In 2011, the FBI fired him for “aggressiveness toward handling agents as a result of what [Mr. Halper] perceived as not enough compensation,” the Horowitz report says. It also said he had “questionable allegiance” to his own stable of intelligence sources.
Still, the FBI ultimately graded Halper’s reliability as “high” for the Trump investigation.