Stefan Halper, Swamp Things, & Sanitizing Sunlight

This will hopefully be my final post jumping into the weeds of this key timeline article

that was referenced by Sundance in his first post exposing Stefan Halper as the possible “beginning” of the coup attempt on Candidate/President Trump.  Two lengthy previous posts by me give more background & follow the marketswork posting’s timeline.

Resuming my own picking & choosing of important info from the timeline article at the March 20, 2017 mark…analyzing:

March 20, 2017 – A Washington Post article, FBI Director Comey Confirms Probe of Possible Coordination Between Kremlin and Trump Campaign by Ellen Nakashima, Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett.”

“…a direct quote from Devin Nunes regarding the Electronic Communication and the FBI Investigation:

We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation.”  

“5½ -hour public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in which Comey also said there is “no information” that supports President Trump’s claims that his predecessor ordered surveillance of Trump Tower during the election campaign.”

The quote immediately above from

The author at then states

“Per Comey’s testimony, Bill Priestap was responsible for making the decision not to inform Congressional leadership of the FBI’s July 2016 Counterintelligence Investigation.

Individuals directly below Priestap (Strzok) and above Priestap (McCabe) have been ensnared by the Inspector General’s Investigation.

I originally made the case that it was around this period Priestap began to cooperate with the Inspector General’s Investigation. I have come to suspect that Priestap, like Director Rogers, may have been aligned against Brennan, Clapper and Comey from the beginning.”

& he refers readers to some of his previous work:

The author quotes liberally from

& reveals some of Comey’s words, actions, & implied motivations surrounding his congressional testimony & contacts with Daniel Richman.

“Richman is the individual to whom Comey would later leak his Memos. Richman then leaked the Memos to the NY Times. Comey later testified he did this to obtain the appointment of Special Counsel.”

March 30, 2017 – A Vanity Fair article, How Ex-Spy Christopher Steele Compiled His Explosive Trump-Russia Dossier by Howard Blum.

This article, while full of misrepresentations, chronicles the actions taken by Steele and Fusion GPS and might be worthy of a skeptical read:

here’s the link:

“Steele had been friendly with this FBI team [in Rome] for some time – and had worked with them.”

is another of his prior articles/posts the author refers to…

Within the Vanity Fair article cited above & themarketswork author’s analysis there are mentions of Glen Simpson (Fusion GPS), Orbis, ex Russian spies, “the talkative Source E”, “The FBI’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad”, “the [FBI} bureau office in Rome”, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, “David Corn, the 58-year-old Washington-bureau chief of Mother Jones“, “Julian Borger, of The Guardian”, “Paul Wood in the BBC’s Washington radio studio”, “Halifax International Security Forum”…

“Senator John McCain and David J. Kramer, a former State Department official whose bailiwick was Russia…found themselves huddling with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia.”

…continuing my listing above the John McCain paragraph: James Comey, “James Clapper, the director of national intelligence”, “John Brennan, the C.I.A. director”, & “Admiral Mike Rogers, the N.S.A. director”.

“Note: NSA Director Rogers was not aligned with Brennan, Clapper and Comey. Rogers refused to go along with the Intelligence Community Assessment – which contains one significant caveat:

CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has only moderate confidence.

Rogers stated in Senate hearing testimony that his confidence did not reach even this threshold:

I wouldn’t call it a discrepancy, I’d call it an honest difference of opinion between three different organizations and in the end I made that call.…It didn’t have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources.

DNI Clapper tried to have Rogers removed from the NSA in October 2016 – and failed.

If you have doubts regarding Admiral Rogers see: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI.”

Links in the above (mixed) quote, “removed” & “The Uncovering” are the same link:

The next historical article to receive analysis would be:

April 4, 2016 – A New York Times article, Russian Spies Tried to Recruit Carter Page Before He Advised President Trump by Adam Goldman.”

within the author’s detailed analysis there are mentioned: “the FBI had obtained a FISA Warrant on Page”, 2013 FBI investigation of a Russian spy ring, “the House Intelligence Committee”, Trey Gowdy,  Victor Podobnyy, “the Evgeny Buryakov case” (begun in 2012), “Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and John P. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security”, Igor Sporyshev, “an FBI undercover employee (“UCE-1”), who was posing as an analyst from a New York-based energy company” (who May have been Carter Page), James Comey, CIA, (John) Carlin, FISA (warrant, application, & abuse), the DOJ’s National Security Division, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, & numerous FISA judges.

“On October 21, 2016, the FBI obtained a FISA Title I Warrant listing Page as an “agent of a foreign power”.

Page has never been charged with anything. It’s unlikely he ever will be charged. Nevertheless, Page remains something of an enigma.

In my opinion, Page presented a opportunistic situation for the FBI to obtain a FISA Warrant.

As there was no official intelligence used in opening the July 2016 Investigation, the FBI desperately needed a FISA Warrant.

Page was the pathway to fulfilling that goal.”

Update: We now know Contreras did not sign FISA per Schiff Democrat Memo which specifies that Page FISA Application and renewals were approved by four different Federal (FISA) Judges and appointed by following: One by Reagan. One by G.H.W. Bush (elder). Two by G.W. Bush (younger).

Contreras was appointed by Obama.

Anne Conway signed a Page FISA Application or Renewal.

Either Raymond Drearie or Martin Feldman (FISA Court 5-19-10 to 5-18-17) signed FISA Application or Renewal.

Two of the following signed FISA Application or renewal: Collyer, Egan, Kugler, Mosman, Saylor.”

Honestly, even trying to “summarize” & encapsulate this extremely detailed post is quite a challenge, I strongly encourage the motivated reader to check out the author’s massive & detailed posting themself!  Here’s the link again for convenience:

The next article to get the author’s detailed treatment is

April 6, 2017 – A New York Times Article, CIA Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed by Eric Lichtblau.

This article loosely details the efforts of CIA Director Brennan to instigate the FBI Investigation and establish the Trump-Russia Narrative.

Brennan activities started no later than Spring 2016 – but probably began in late 2015.”

My suspicion is this: Brennan was pushing a reluctant Comey to initiate an FBI Investigation based on reports that were unsubstantiated and possibly manufactured. Reports that came far outside official intelligence channels – and likely originated with a select few British Intelligence officials.”

Here are more links on the Brennan aspect, per the author:

The next article analyzed is here:

“April 11, 2017 – A Washington Post article, FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Former Trump Adviser Carter Page by Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous.

In this article the existence of the Cater Page October 2016 FISA warrant was first disclosed. At the time of reporting, the article stated the FISA Warrant was obtained in the summer of 2016 – when Page was still part of the Trump Campaign. The article would later be updated” to say the Warrant was from October 2016, not summer 2016.

Was Carter Page a “foreign agent” working for the Russians when he’d already been “outed” as an undercover FBI plant inside the earlier Russian investigation?  Was he “planted” into the Trump campaign as a way to create the (false) Trump-Russian “collusion” narrative?  What Exactly was going on here???  The author elaborates:

“There is a lengthy story that lies behind all this – and it’s one of the keys to understanding what occurred.

Here is a timeline of occurrences.

  • November 2015-April 2016 – The FBI and DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) use private contractors to access raw FISA information using “To” and “From” FISA-702(16) & “About” FISA-702(17) queries.

  • March 2016 – NSA Director Rogers becomes aware of improper access to raw FISA data.

  • April 2016 – Rogers orders the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.

  • April 18 2016 – Rogers shuts down FBI/NSD contractor access to the FISA Search System. The compliance audit continues.

  • September 26 2016 – DOJ’s NSD Head John Carlin files the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. The filing does not disclose the FISA Abuses. Carlin is aware of Rogers’ compliance review. The 2016 certifications are scheduled for Court approval on October 26, 2016.

  • September 27 2016 – Carlin announces he is resigning. Mary McCord will later assume his position.

  • October 15, 2016 – Carlin formally leaves the NSD.

  • Mid-October 2016 – DNI Clapper submits a recommendation to the White House that Director Rogers be removed from the NSA.

  • October 20 2016 – Rogers is briefed by the NSA compliance officer on the Section 702 NSA compliance audit and “About” query violations.

  • October 21 2016 – Rogers shuts down all “About Query” activity. Rogers reports the activity to DOJ and prepares to go before the FISA Court.

  • October 21 2016 – DOJ & FBI seek and receive a Title I FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. At this point, the FISA Court is unaware of the Section 702 violations.

  • October 24 2016 – Rogers verbally informs the FISA Court of Section 702(17) violations.

  • October 26 2016 – Rogers formally informs the FISA Court of 702(17) violations in writing.

  • October 26, 2016 – The FISA Court refuses to formalize the 2016 Section 702 certifications. A complete overhaul of Section 702 processes ensues.

The FBI and DOJ’s NSD were quite literally racing against Rogers’ Investigation in order to obtain a FISA Warrant on Carter Page.

Carlin specifically didn’t disclose his knowledge of FISA Abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications so as not to raise suspicions at the FISA Court pre-FISA Warrant.

For the complete story see: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI.”

Here is the link referenced immediately above:

The next article discussed is:

April 12, 2017 – A New York Times article, Court Approved Wiretap on Trump Campaign Aide Over Russia Ties by Matthew Rosenberg and Matt Apuzzo:”

“Page left the Trump Campaign on September 26, 2016. He has never been charged with a crime. The FBI did not interview or speak with Page regarding the Warrant. They have not spoken to him since a conversation in March 2016 relating to the Evgeny Buryakov case.

The Schiff Memo unintentionally highlights an interesting point:

Page remained on the radar of Russian intelligence and the FBI. In 2013, prosecutors indicted three other Russian spies, two of whom targeted Page for recruitment. The FBI also interviewed Page multiple times about his Russian intelligence contacts, including in March 2016.

Steele’s information about Page was consistent with the FBI’s assessment of Russian intelligence efforts to recruit him and his connections to Russian persons of interest.

Problem One: Steele’s claims were based on hearsay and uncorroborated by either Steele or the FBI.

Problem Two: An attempt at recruitment does not satisfy the FISA threshold:

Steele’s information about Page was consistent with the FBI’s assessment of Russian intelligence efforts to recruit him.

FISA Title I and Title III surveillance require there be probable cause to believe the proposed target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.

Problem Three: Page was cooperating with the FBI in the 2013 case – and provided testimony against the three Russians.

The March 2016 meeting relates to a conversation Page had with the FBI regarding the Evgeny Buryakov case.

Page assisted the FBI and prosecutors, providing testimony against the three Russians that Schiff refers to. Buryakov was sentenced in May 2016.

March 2016 was the last time Page would speak with the FBI – although he offered repeatedly to do so.”

“Like the Post article, the Times article originally noted the FISA Warrant was granted in the Summer of 2016.

Ask yourself why this might be. The sources clearly knew the correct date. What was to be gained.

Recall, the FBI Investigation began in July 2016 – while Page was a member of the Trump Campaign.

That investigation was started with no official intelligence.”

The next article discussed is:

April 13, 2017 – A Guardian article, British Spies Were First to Spot Trump Team’s Links With Russia by Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins.

This article is deserving of attention – I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Harding details the extensive role that foreign intelligence – likely mostly unofficial – played in the formation of the Agency Task Force and the FBI Investigation. Brennan was at the center of events:”

As my (Valerie’s) goal is to be “brief” & pointed in sharing key components of this massively detailed work I’ll limit this present article treatment to another listing of mentioned people & organizations–please see the original article for minutiae: “Britain’s spy agencies”, “counterparts in Washington”, “members of Donald Trump’s campaign team”, “Russian intelligence operatives”, GCHQ (& other nations listed in the snippet below), Robert Hannigan, John Brennan, Mike Rogers, & the Hillary Campaign…

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material.

Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.”

GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level”. After an initially slow start, Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

Hannigan’s U.S. counterpart was actually NSA Director Rogers – not Brennan. Hannigan would abruptly resign immediately following President Trump’s Inauguration:

One person familiar with the matter said Brennan did not reveal sources but made reference to the fact that America’s intelligence allies had provided information. Trump subsequently learned of GCHQ’s role, the person said.

It’s my suspicion that this article comes closest to describing what actually occurred. Brennan used unofficial intelligence – from unofficial channels – to establish a Multi-Agency Task Force and push the FBI into starting their July 2016 Investigation.

It is entirely possible the Steele Dossier was compiled using this information.

I suspect that we will uncover some meaningful ties between the British, the DNC and the Hillary Campaign.

The article’s author, Luke Harding, had a good relationship with Christopher Steele.”

The next item examined is:

June 28, 2017 – A letter from Senator Grassley on June 28, 2017″

This discussion involves timeframes & an attempt at analysis of FBI & FISA Court activities related to surveillance of the Trump Campaign (implied)…

“The FISA Court’s 2016 annual report provide[s] reason to believe…

Media reports also provide reason to believe that the FBI and Justice Department may have submitted some final, signed FISA applications in these matters that the FISC rejected outright. The Committee needs all of these documents to evaluate fully the FBI’s and Justice Department’s actions in this situation.

The 2016 FISC Report, which provides annual statistics about the Court’s actions in general, states that in 2016 the FISC denied nine applications or certifications, and denied in part or modified 365 orders.

The FISA Court very rarely denies FISA Applications. Nine denials appears to be an anomaly.”

The next article tackled is:

November 17, 2017 – An article in the Guardian, How Trump Walked Into Putin’s Web by Luke Harding.

This article is a more lengthy recap of the article Harding wrote in April 2017. Remember, Harding is one of the few journalist who has an actual relationship with Steele:”

Mentioned in either quotes or the discussion are: Russia, Ukraine, the US state department, secretary of state John Kerry, assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, Jonathan Winer, the Steel Dossier,  Fusion (GPS), British Intelligence Agencies, GCHQ, (Christopher) Steele, Trump (campaign “officials”), central Europe, Moscow, Russian spies, & others included in the quotes below…

“It appears that Steele may have started his work much earlier than widely reported. Perhaps as early as late 2015.

This would directly align with involvement from British Intelligence Agencies: “GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information.”

“Steele’s sources offered one final devastating piece of information. They alleged that Trump’s team had co-ordinated with Russia on the hacking operation against Clinton. And that the Americans had secretly co-paid for it.

Steele was adamant that his reporting was credible. The dossier, Steele told friends, was a thoroughly professional job, based on sources who had proven themselves in other areas.

How many people did Steele tell…

According to friends, he assessed that his work on the Trump dossier was 70-90% accurate.

In late 2015 the British eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, was carrying out standard “collection” against Moscow targets.

Nothing unusual here – except that the Russians were talking to people associated with Trump. The precise nature of these exchanges has not been made public, but according to sources in the US and the UK, they formed a suspicious pattern. They continued through the first half of 2016. The intelligence was handed to the US as part of a routine sharing of information.

That summer, GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan.

In June, Steele flew to Rome to brief the FBI contact with whom he had co-operated over Fifa. His information started to reach the bureau in Washington.

In September, Steele went back to Rome. There he met with an FBI team.

Later that month, Steele had a series of off-the-record meetings with a small number of US journalists.

Comey then announced he was reopening an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. At this point, Steele’s relationship with the FBI broke down.

The FBI had their FISA Warrant. Steele was no longer needed.”

The next article the author examines is:

December 14, 2017 – A Washington Post article, Doubting the Intelligence, Trump Pursues Putin and Leaves a Russian Threat Unchecked by Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe and Philip Rucker:”

Discussed are: Donald Trump, Russian 2016 election interference, Trump’s “inner circle”, US intelligence agencies, “policies toward Moscow”, “interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials”, White House, national security agencies, anonymous/unnamed sources, Russia-related intelligence, “former senior intelligence official” (could be foreign?), “former senior U.S. intelligence official“, Joint Base Andrews, Washington, New York, PDB (Presidential Daily Brief), “virtual meeting”, “secure video conference”, “classified report”, (Admiral Mike) Rogers, ICA (Intelligence Community Assessment), Clapper, Comey, Brennan, “an infamous dossier that included salacious allegations”, FBI, Trump Tower, Comey memo(es), Jake Tapper/James Comey interview transcript, the Steele dossier, Paul Mannafort, Michael Cohen, the prostitutes, & “the created media narrative”.

Here are some of the links in this discussion:

Here is the author’s conclusion!

“The primary intent behind this effort was to look at the carefully created media narrative with the benefit of hindsight. Many of these articles are transparently obvious from our current vantage point, but together they tell a fascinating story.

They also provide a compressed overview of events. A platform from which it becomes easier to see a more complete picture.

In very broad terms, here is what I think probably transpired:

Brennan used unofficial intelligence – from unofficial channels – to establish a Multi-Agency Task Force and push the FBI into starting their July 2016 Investigation.

Some of this unofficial intelligence originated from foreign sources – particularly Britain’s GCHQ.

Some of this unofficial intelligence came through illegal Section 702 searches conducted by the FBI and NSD.

This unofficial intelligence – both foreign and Section 702 – was insufficient to obtain a FISA Warrant.

Early FISA attempts either failed or were simply not attempted due to dubious intelligence sources.

The FBI may have been rightly concerned over inclusion of illegally obtained Section 702 data in early attempts – or potential attempts – to gain a FISA Warrant.

The Steele Dossier would serve as a laundering device for both types of information previously gathered – illegal Section 702 searches and unofficial foreign intelligence.

Information that had been contrived and internal now became independent and external, was neatly packaged and presented back to the FBI as evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

The Dossier allowed the FBI’s hands to appear clean and independent. It allowed Brennan to appear totally removed.

Carter Page’s July 2016 Moscow trip coupled with Page’s involvement in the Buryakov case presented the FBI with a fortuitous and unique opportunity.

The Steele Dossier was re-compiled. Data previously gathered – Section 702 and unofficial foreign intelligence – was combined with allegations relating to Page’s July 2016 Moscow trip and information the FBI held regarding Page’s involvement in the Buryakov case.

The reformulated Dossier was then used to obtain the October 2016 FISA Warrant. Former Deputy Director McCabe testified that without the Steele Dossier no FISA Application would have been attempted.

The FISA Warrant provided retroactive cover for opening the July 2016 FBI Investigation and the illegal Section 702 searches.

Brennan and Clapper then used the Intelligence Community Assessments to push the Russian Narrative so prevalent in 2017.

Concurrently, information from the illegal Section 702 “About” queries was disseminated into intelligence channels and leaked to the media.

I suspect that we will uncover some meaningful ties between the British, the DNC and the Hillary Campaign.

Obama Administration officials and State Department officials were involved as well.

Again, this is the broadest of descriptions. Actual details appear endless. Many more connections will be uncovered.

If you’ve actually managed to make it to the conclusion, I congratulate you. Hopefully, with benefit of hindsight the carefully constructed media narrative is both apparent – and transparent.

A few well placed intelligence officials, a small group of willing FBI officials, Clinton & Obama loyalists, some worried allies – unnerved over the prospect of losing the status quo, a shaky Dossier, and a compliant and complicit group of reporters.

They never imagined Hillary Clinton could lose.

When she did, the hubris remained. They felt certain President Trump would either be impeached or fundamentally wounded. An Administration hobbled by scandal and uncertainty until 2020.

Thankfully, they were wrong.”

Looking forward as to where things go from here the author posits:

Inspector General Horowitz is readying his reports – alongside Outside Prosecutor John Huber.

Sara A. Carter



BREAKING: DOJ will make the 6 months of missing texts that were eventually located by IG between Strzok and Page available to Congress sometime tonight or tomorrow, according to sources…developing


The Inspector General’s Investigative Phase is mostly completed.

Now comes the dissemination:

  • Phase I – The Clinton Email Investigation.
  • Phase II – Carter Page FISA Application.
  • Phase III – Russia-Trump Investigation.

The first phase of the Inspector General’s Report is scheduled for May.

There will be overlap, but each Phase moves higher up the political echelon. Phase III includes the broader Intelligence Community and may require Congressional Investigation.

Or Special Counsel Intervention.

For more on the Inspector General see:

Ultimately, I believe there are two fundamental stories that will unveil the entirety of what’s transpired in Washington:

  1. John Brennan’s dual role – using unofficial intelligence to establish the FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation and using the ICA to push the Trump-Russia Narrative.
  2. FISA Abuse committed by the DOJ’s National Security Division and the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.”

Here are the links in the above quote:

Well, I hope someone finds this series of three posts to examine & highlight many aspects of what is discussed in the main post to be of some benefit.  Here, again, is the source of this material:

Please consider reading the entire post above for incredibly detailed, organized, analyzed, & cited material.  The author has done Heroic Work!  There appear to be many other valuable resources to be discovered at his site.

Also, please consider checking out as the many detailed writings of “Sundance” there can serve to enlighten and inspire us all.   There is a vibrant community of informed participants within the lively comments section after virtually every post.

The initiation of this lengthy 3 post journey was Sundance’s post here:

From the original CTH article:

“There are about two dozen check-references to identify who the ‘source’ was in providing the underlying intelligence to CIA Director John Brennan; who then wrote the “EC” for the FBI; which started the 2016 Counterintelligence Operation.

Stefan Halper checks off every single box:  √Currently overseas. √Current/Former CIA operative. √Current/Former source for FBI. √Anti-Trump motive. √Formerly put together this exact type of operation. √Connections to UK spies/intel community/politicians. √Connection to Australian spies/intel community. √Connection to Alexander Downer. √Political operative. √Wanted Clinton to win 2016 election. √Connects to Carter Page. √Connects to George Papadopoulos. √Connects to John Brennan. ETC.”

All of this speculation is “above my pay grade”…Sundance linked to several articles for deeper info:…& that is where the first post began…

Here are links to those other posts (again) in case someone wants to review those massive works.

See the source image



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