As a doctoral candidate at Cambridge working under "FBI Informant" Stefan Halper, I had a front-row seat for Russiagate
Global scandals now labeled Russiagate, Spygate, and what President Trump calls Obamagate shook the political world, but hit me closer to home. Im the reason the so-called FBI spy at the center of Spygate, Stefan Halper, met Carter Page, the alleged Russian Asset in Russiagates Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
On May 19, 2018, this realization blindsided me in London as I was about to fly out for my wedding. The New York Times, NBC News and other sources had outed my PhD supervisor, Stefan Halper, as a spy known to the UKs MI6 intelligence service as The Walrus.
It didnt seem real. Could a former professor I once trusted as a mentor have betrayed his word, profession, and country to start these disasters? I had moved to England to pursue an academic career and leave DCs politics behind, only to have my PhD supervisor throw me back into the most outrageous political firestorms I could imagine. Just my luck. Then an even worse question began nagging at me. Did I unintentionally light the match that started it all?
As I started to piece together what happened over the next few months, I realized something. The stories that The New York Times, Washington Post, and others were pushing didnt add up. Many seemed planted to cover up or advance the agendas of several individuals whose tentacles secretly ran through these scandals, and who each had longstanding ties to intelligence services like the FBI, CIA, and MI6. I call these individuals the Cambridge Four.
Strangely, all four were linked through that sleepy British academic town thousands of miles from the alleged ground zeroes of Russiagates conspiracies, Moscow and DC. In addition to the central Spygate figure Halper, they include the central source of Russiagates fake conspiracy theories, Christopher Steele; former MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove; and Halpers and Dearloves partner in a Cambridge Intelligence Seminar linked to titillating but false tales of a Russian spy seducing Trumps top national security advisor. My years of work with Halper provided an inside view of how their four networks interconnected.
The more I dug up new pieces of this puzzle, the more I saw how these individuals seemingly separate acts might fit together in an absurd picture of how these scandals really started.
Armed with first-hand knowledge and evidence, I quietly sought to help federal investigators uncover these scandals mysteries. It wasnt my first rodeo. After witnessing the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I led G8 and State Department international crime and terrorism efforts with Department of Justice (DOJ), FBI, and intelligence officials and had worked for decades in White House, Congressional, and presidential campaign roles.
This helped me keep a stiff upper lip when I was falsely accused in 2019 by the House Intelligence Committees Ranking Republican and others on television as being part of a secret anti-Trump cabal. As much as I wanted to defend myself, I knew our best shot of exposing the real forces behind these scandals was for me to remain publicly silent and not let those under investigation know what I knew or was willing to say.
Yet a few weeks ago, I asked to speak to the DOJ lead investigator John Durham to give his team a heads up. I would continue to offer help, but my time for waiting for government to act was over. Recently, I had discovered and flagged for Durham disturbing recordings. One involved one of the Cambridge Four, Halper, and raised serious questions about the origins of what has been called the kill shot against Trumps first national security advisor, General Michael Flynn.
On January 12, 2017 a felony leak about phone calls between the Russian Ambassador and General Flynn was published by The Washington Post. This led to Flynns downfall and reignited the Trump-Russia investigations still tearing our nation apart. 48 hours before the leak was published, my former supervisor Halper eerily laid out what was about to happen to Flynn, something he had no independent reason to know. Halper described how Flynns so called enemies would make Flynn blow up
hes really fucked.
The next legal hearing on Flynns prosecution is this Tuesday. Yet for four years government officials have withheld key materials and blocked individuals like Halper from testifying about the real genesis of these scandals and the felony leak on Flynn. While I once worked in Republican politics, I know Americans of every affiliation believe citizens deserve a fair trial without the government concealing evidence.
The remaining mysteries of Russiagate are too important to be turned into a game of political football, or buried until after the election when unsubstantiated allegations could be dug up to sabotage Vice President Biden if he is elected president as I believe was done to President Trump.
Nor should they be used as a cynical, last-minute Republican October Surprise to disrupt the election. Nothing excuses foreign meddling in U.S. elections. Yet it is hypocritical and absurd to use that as an excuse to hide abuses by U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, and political officials against our own citizens.
I know the consequences of my speaking out. America is now in a political UnCivil War where individualseven at outlets like The New York Times and Washington Post that profess objective journalismare personally attacked if their facts dont fit entrenched narratives.
Key politicians and intelligence figures would like the facts surrounding Russiagates origins classified and buried for decades, as with past U.S./MI6 intelligence scandals. I cant let that happen. After all, I inadvertently helped jump-start it. Even if this story is hidden now, it will ultimately impact Trump, Biden, the 2020 election, and our country for years.
There is far too much to tell in a single article. In the next several weeks I plan to reveal what I know, including: the comedy of errors leading to a Cambridge Four member meeting and targeting the FBIs main surveillance excuse Carter Page; the information given to an FBI source in August 2016 should have immediately ended their investigation alleging Page was a master spy linking top Trump officials to Putin; how a secret anti-Trump source sought one of the worlds most powerful positions that could undermine the president; and how official statements by FBIs Crossfire Hurricane officials to the DOJ Inspector General were factually inaccurate or wildly inconsistent with other evidence, raising the question of if those officials risked criminal prosecution to conceal their acts.
This is not a position I ever sought. As I worked with government investigators it seemed inconceivable that key facts could be covered up until now. Yet with both Flynns hearing and the election approaching, whatever the consequences, everyone impacted deserves to know the truth.
Conspiracy of Dunces
People who convince themselves that theyre really smart often do the dumbest things. Ive fallen prey to this dynamic myself in the past. Yet perhaps no one in history is a better example of this than the Cambridge Four. Their story is both a tragedy and a farcethink Jason Bourne meets Austin Powers with larger-than-life characters that might be equally at home in a Saturday Night Live skit or a John Le Carré spy thriller. Yet the damage they did is deadly serious.
The Cambridge Fours most mythical, larger-than-life character both literally and figuratively is my former advisor, Halper. Codenamed the Walrus, in person he appears well over 300 pounds, and carries himself with grandiose airs, evoking fictional anti-heroes like Ignatius OReilly of Confederacy of Dunces or Shakespeares Falstaff.
At first, I was drawn to and respected him for his bold books opposing brain-dead Republican orthodoxies on the Iraq War and China policy. It seemed his real-world government experience eerily mirrored my own. I had yet to discover his checkered past, including: his reported role in organizing ex-CIA operatives to steal Jimmy Carters 1980 debate materials; 1990s crack cocaine arrest; and FBI firing in 2011 for mercurial behavior, demanding more compensation and questionable allegiance to [intelligence] targets.
By the time I organized a major 2016 conference to serve as a capstone of my years of research at Harvard and Cambridge ironically focused on the national security risks of U.S. presidential campaigns Halper was a gregarious, opinionated eccentric who struggled to use Cambridges basic internet system without help.
He appeared slightly more mercurial and rattled after losing his politics professorship in the months before my conference. Yet the idea that any competent FBI or government official would rely on him as a linchpin for world-changing Trump-Russia conspiracy investigations was and is preposterous.
Halper might have faded into retirement and Spygate likely never would have happened without my driving forward with the 2016 conference, one that Halper, again ironically, had repeatedly urged me to cancel. An all-star cast of international academics and officials would be there, headlined by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clintons confidante Madeleine Albright.
But after a 20-something Cambridge administrative official smugly told me theres no way Trump can win and cut our travel funding, it sent me on a mad scramble. I had to find someone, anyone, to fly over on a last-minute economy ticket to represent the Trump campaign. This is the only reason Spygates FBI Spy Halper and Russiagates Russian Spy Carter Page ever met, with consequences still shaking politics today. For most of the conference, Halper couldnt be bothered with Page, about whom he made snarky comments about behind Pages back, while focusing on Albright. That all changed when another one of the Cambridge Four arrived.
Sir Richard Dearlove is a former director of MI6 and Halpers long-time collaborator. He arrived at the last minute from a billionaires Rocky Mountain soiree called the Allen Conference, whose other attendees reportedly included Oprah, Obama confidants, and Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. Dearlove was under the cloud of an official UK investigation into the Iraq war rationale, called the Chilcot Report that were serious even by the Walruss or Weinsteins standards, given the geopolitical consequences.
Among other things, it involved Dearloves MI6 allegedly withholding the fact that a key piece of intelligence George W. Bush used to launch the attacks the idea that chemical munitions were kept in glass beads or spheres suspiciously mirrored an erroneous factoid from the plot of the 1996 WMD-heist movie The Rock, starring Nicholas Cage.
At my conferences last session, Dearlove went far off the script I had discussed with his assistant, lambasting Trump as a national security threat in front of a Trump advisor, and our official guest, Page. My jaw hit the floor in embarrassment, but that, and his discussion with Dearlove, seemed to cause Halper to do a 180-degree shift. Suddenly, he seemed desperately interested in isolating, cornering, and ingratiating himself to Page and promoting himself to the Trump campaign.
Dearloves former MI6 agent and the third Cambridge Four member, Christopher Steele, is now as famous as his old boss. According to multiple reports, Steele had been hired by a Clinton campaign contractor a few weeks earlier to compile the infamous Steele Dossier. Steele filled his intelligence reports with obviously non-intelligent assertions, including that Trump-Russia conspiracies were run out of Russias Miami consulate a consulate an average high schooler with internet access could instantly show did not exist.
Similarly, Steeles famous allegations that notorious germaphobe Trump paid prostitutes to urinate while Putin recorded him seemed like a teenage boys dream after watching too many Austin Powers movies and with recent news revealing Steeles highly suspect sub-source, Igor Dyachenko, his story appears just about as based on reality.
The Cambridges Fours final member, Christopher Andrew, seemed the least likely to become involved. He initially called some of Halpers Russia conspiracy theories absurd. Yet by early 2017 he published an articlethat helped legitimize false allegations against Trumps team and even implicated his own student.
I call them Halper, Steele, Dearlove, and Andrew the Cambridge Four because of parallels to another British spy story of yore, perhaps the most notorious intelligence scandal in history. That earlier Cambridge Five spy ring, including infamous names like Kim Philby and Guy Burgess, became the basisfor John LeCarrés famous spy thriller and film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The Five were Cold War Soviet spies who escaped virtually unpunished after embarrassed British and American officials essentially covered up the extent of their betrayals. One, Anthony Blunt, was even knighted and served as art curator to the Queen.
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