Judicial Watch has uncovered a document that on its face purports to be the origin of the Crossfire Hurricane “investigation.” It was authored by Peter Strzok, is heavily redacted and requires some knowledge of FBI protocols to understand fully. Nevertheless, the general import seems clear:
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Title: Crossfire Hurricane Date: 07/31/2016
Strzok Peter P II
Contact: Strzok Peter P II, [Redacted]
Approved by: Strzok Peter P II
Drafed by: Strzok Peter P II
Case ID #: [Redacted]
FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACT –
SENSITIVE INVESTIGATIVE MATTER
This document contains information that is restricted to case participants
Synopsis: (S/ / ) Opens and assigns investigation
Reason 1.4 (b)
Derived from: FBI
Declassify On: 20411231
(S/) An investigation is being opened based on information received by Legat [Redacted] on 07/29/2016. The text of that email follows:
Title: (S/ / CC/NF) CROSSFIRE HURRICANE
Re: [Redacted] 07/31/2016
(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] information from [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission
(U/ /) Legat [Redacted] received information from the [Redacted] Deputy Chief of Mission related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.
(S/ /[Redacted] On Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Legal Attaché (Legat) [Redacted] was summoned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the [Redacted] who will be leaving [Redacted] post Saturday July 30, 2016 and set to soon thereafter retire from government service, advised [Redacted] was called by [Redacted] about an urgent matter requiring an in person meeting with the U.S. Ambassador. [Note: [Redacted]. The [Redacted] was scheduled to be away from post until mid-August, therefore [Redacted] attended the meeting.
(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] advised that [Redacted] government had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President. One of the people identified was George Papadopolous (although public media sources provide a spelling of Papadopoulos), who was believed to be one of Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers. Mr. Papdopoulos was located in [Redacted] so the [Redacted] met with him on several occasions, with [Redacted] attending at least one of the meetings.
(S/ [Redacted]) [Redacted] recalled [Redacted] of the meetings between Mr. Papdopolous and [Redacted] concerning statements Mr. Papadopolous made about suggestions from the Russians that they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. [Redacted] provided a copy of the reporting that was provided to [Redacted] from [Redacted] to Legal [Redacted]. The text is exactly as follows:
(S/ [Redacted]) 5. Mr. Papadopolous [Redacted] also suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama). It was unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of through other means. It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer. We note the Trump team’s reaction could, in the end, have little bearing of what Russia decides to do, with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.
(s/ [Redacted] Legat requests that further action on this information should consider the sensitivity that this information was provided through informal diplomatic channels from [Redacted] to the U.S. Embassy’s DCM. It was clear from the conversation Legal [Redacted] had with DCM that [Redacted] knew follow-up by the U.S. government would be necessary, but extraordinary efforts should be made to protect the source of this information until such a time that a request from our organization can be made to [Redacted] to obtain this information through formal channels.
(S/ / ) Based on the information provided by Legat [Redacted] this investigation is being opened to determine whether individual(s) associated with the Trump campaign are witting of and/or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia.
If this really is the origin of the Russia hoax, the pretext is the familiar conversation involving George Papadopolous, the then-28 year old “foreign policy adviser” to the Donald Trump campaign. But the email contains nothing that could possibly justify the investigation that ensued. It merely repeats the rumor that “the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist this process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Mrs. Clinton (and President Obama).” The reference to President Obama is interesting, and may help to account for the great interest he took in Crossfire Hurricane. More on this below.
Further: “It was unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of through other means.” So there is no tie to the intrusion into DNC emails, however that may have been carried out.
And: “It was also unclear how Mr. Trump’s team reacted to the offer. We note the Trump team’s reaction could, in the end, have little bearing of what Russia decides to do, with or without Mr. Trump’s cooperation.” In fact, the “intelligence” recited in the email contains no suggestion that the Trump campaign had reacted to the purported “offer” at all. And, as Strzok acknowledged, the Trump campaign’s reaction was likely irrelevant.
If this really is how the Russia investigation began, several points are obvious. First, it all had to do with Peter Strzok, who apparently both proposed and approved the alleged “investigation,” and kept it secret from most of his colleagues at the FBI.
Second, the investigation is specifically tied to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This is odd, to say the least, since 1) nothing in the Papadopoulos story could possibly invoke that statute in any way, and 2) the FARA was, as of 2016, a rather obscure and rarely enforced statute, not the stuff of secret FBI investigations.
Third, the Papadopoulos rumor is an absurd pretext for what turned into a comprehensive investigation into the Trump campaign, and ultimately an effort to destroy the Trump administration. Taking the Papadopoulos rumor at face value, there was no suggestion that anyone associated with the Trump campaign had done anything wrong. Three and a half years and a million newspaper headlines later, it was confirmed that no one associated with the Trump campaign did anything wrong. Why was there an investigation in the first place? The answer obviously lies in the realm of politics, not law enforcement or national security.
Fourth, it is interesting that the Papadopoulos rumor included a suggestion that the Russians had “dirt” on Barack Obama. Perhaps this has been reported before, but if so, I don’t remember it. Might this be the reason why Obama’s FBI was so interested in the Papadopoulos rumor and determined to act on it, even though, as Strzok readily acknowledged, what the Russians might do needn’t have anything to do with the Trump campaign’s response to the supposed Papadopoulos overture?
Has anyone checked the White House visitor logs to see whether Strzok met frequently with Barack Obama? And might this explain why the Strzok-Page texts include the statement that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing”? Also, how did Lisa Page know what the president wanted?
No doubt Obama preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump as a successor, but there was no love lost between the two. Maybe Obama’s concern, at least initially, was more about his own legacy than the 2016 election. Maybe he was terrified that the Russians might release information that reflected badly on him, relating, possibly, to his assurance to President Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” to give away the store in Europe after he was re-elected. And who knows what other communications might have passed between President Obama and Vladimir Putin’s regime, which, according to Obama, was no threat at all? (“The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back.”) Especially since Obama was weirdly determined to forge an alliance with Iran, Russia’s proxy in the Middle East. (Remember that Obama appointed Michael Flynn Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, but then fell out with him because Flynn opposed the Iran nuclear deal.)
The deeper we dive into the worst scandal in American history, the more Barack Obama seems to be a central actor.
John Solomon at Just The News consulted Kevin Brock, former chief of intelligence for the FBI, on the Strzok memo:
[Brock] said the electronic communication did not meet the bureau’s rigorous standards for predicating the opening of a criminal or counterintelligence case.
“There is nothing in the EC that meets the traditional thresholds for opening up a FARA or CI investigation,” Brock told Just the News. “It appears hastily constructed.”
The memo also contains evidence of other red flags, Brock explained, including that Strzok both drafted and approved the opening of his own investigation and originally segregated the memo so it could only be seen by “case participants” and not other FBI officials.
Asked whether as an FBI assistant director he would have approved opening Crossfire Hurricane based on what was in the memo, Brock said: “Not in a million years. I wouldn’t have approved it as a squad supervisor either. This would have set off alarm bells in any FBI field for not meeting our standards for a predicate.”
What could have caused a veteran FBI bureaucrat like Strzok to depart so wildly from established FBI norms? The most obvious possibility is that he believed–or knew–that he was doing the bidding of his ultimate boss, the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The guy who “wants to know everything we’re doing.”
It may be that we will never get to the bottom of the biggest scandal in American history. If that happens, it will be because many people do not want to know where the trail of evidence ultimately leads.