Among the many revelations found in the new report about the FBI’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign is the fact that one of the FBI’s confidential sources, most likely Stefan Halper, was fired from the FBI in 2011 because he had “questionable allegiance to the [intelligence] targets” he was supposed to be monitoring.
Halper, a former Republican operative and White House aide-turned-foreign policy academic, was used as an informant for the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
Halper organized an intelligence seminar in 2016 and paid for Page’s travel to and from the seminar. Papadopoulos also said Halper paid him to fly to London to discuss foreign policy issues, where Halper grilled him on Russia and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The recent IG report confirms the FBI then used unverified information from both Halper and British spy Christopher Steele to obtain FISA warrants to wiretap Page.
In Appendix I of the report, investigators identify claims the FBI asserted as facts in its FISA applications and evaluate which claims were made without corroborating evidence. The FBI claimed “Source #2,” (which is likely Halper) “has routinely provided reliable information that has been corroborated by the FBI.” Investigators found the FBI provided “no supporting documentation” of this claim.
When a wiretap target is a U.S. person, a FISA warrant requires renewal every 90 days. The FBI renewed its wiretap three times with the FISA court after the initial warrant. On the third and final renewal application, the FBI finally divulged that its informant, Halper, had previously been terminated because the FBI questioned his motivation for informing. The terms “opened” and “closed” in this case mean “hired” and “fired,” respectively.
“In or about December 2008, Source #2 was opened as an FBI source. In or about January 2011, Source #2 was closed as an FBI source for, among other things, motivation for reporting, but not for validity of reporting. Source #2 was reopened in or about March 2011. Since that time, Source #2 has routinely provided reliable information,” IG investigators wrote. The IG found no supporting documentation for this claim either.
On page 352 of the report, an agent told investigators Halper had been “closed for cause” in 2011, resulting in “interpersonal conflict.” The agent also said when he hired Halper again for the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, Halper was told this was his “‘last opportunity’ and that the FBI would not tolerate the issues that had arisen in the past.”
Again, this source, whom the FBI apparently had multiple personnel issues with in the past, was the source the FBI cited in its applications to obtain permission to wiretap Trump campaign associates.
In March 2016, Halper endorsed Hillary Clinton, saying she would “be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union.”