FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER CLAIMS FOUR AMERICANS TARGETED BY FBI, AGREEING WITH FORMER DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 9, 2018) — On Sunday, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, as he did prior to serving a 12-day prison sentence which ended Friday, tweeted that four people associated with the Trump campaign were targeted for FBI surveillance in 2016, an interesting nexus with testimony provided to two congressional committees by former FBI Director James Comey also on Friday.
Papadopoulos used the name for the FBI’s counterintelligence operation, “Crossfire Hurricane,” divulged by The New York Times in a lengthy article dated May 16, 2018 which mentioned him in its second paragraph as the catalyst for the probe.
Although pleading “guilty” to being untruthful with the FBI in interviews conducted early last year, Papadopoulos has of late been vocal as to what he claims happened to him and three other Trump-campaign advisers as the FBI, according to Papadopoulos, surveilled and “framed” him to give the appearance that he interacted improperly with Russian operatives to provide an election advantage to Trump.
“The Americans under investigation during crossfire hurricane all had FISAs on them,” Papadopoulos tweeted. “Papadopoulos, Manafort, Flynn and Page. I cannot wait to see what manufactured [Russian flag] info was used to get one on me; or, was there Obama politically motivated spying on the [Israeli flag] and me?”
He concluded his thought with, “It’s in book,” a reference to a book he wrote to be released in March titled, “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.”
For the first time on Friday, Comey divulged that “we were investigating four Americans who had some connection to Mr. Trump during the summer of 2016″ (p. 58 of transcript). It was already known that Dr. Carter Page, another informal Trump adviser with business connections in Russia, was the subject of four successive FISA warrants between October 2016 and September 2017, under the FBI/DOJ claim that he was acting as an agent of a foreign government, namely, Russia.
On Sunday morning’s “Fox & Friends,” former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy speculated that the four individuals to whom Comey referred in his testimony are Page; Trump’s first national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret); one-time Trump campaign manager and former lobbyist Paul Manafort; and one of Manafort’s aides, Rick Gates, who accepted a plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Flynn and Manafort also accepted plea agreements, and Manafort was convicted of eight crimes by a jury in August for which he is serving prison time.
Flynn was enmeshed in the Russia “collusion” investigation overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a result of his conversations during the Obama-Trump transition with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The substance of those conversations, which included the expected Trump policy toward Russian sanctions were leaked to the press, and Flynn allegedly was untruthful with the FBI about them.
The person(s) responsible for the leak, which is a felony, have not been identified nor charged with the crime.
Thus far, no American has been charged with “colluding” with Russia or been accused of knowingly interfering in the 2016 elections, the two foci of the Mueller probe.
In previous tweets and interviews, Papadopoulos has suggested that information about the FISA warrant allegedly obtained on him and the others is contained in still-classified material from Carter Page’s FISA warrant application, documentation which Papadopoulos and many others want President Trump to immediately declassify.
In September, Trump had said he would release the classified material in short order but several days later changed his mind, reportedly after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein convinced him that releasing it at that time could give the appearance of obstruction of justice.
The Page warrant applications reportedly consisted almost entirely, to the public’s knowledge, of an unverified “dossier” whose various sections were aggregated by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and which Steele later said he himself could not verify. The FBI and DOJ officials signing off on the applications did not inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that not only was the “evidence” presented to them unverified, going against FBI protocol, but also that it was a political product paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.
In his Friday testimony, Comey did not identify the “four Americans” the FBI was investigating and said he was unable to identify the basis upon which the FBI probe was launched.