As previewed earlier, on Monday afternoon president Trump met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Chris Wray and the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, in a discussion of the latest developments in the bombshell report that the Obama administration used a longtime FBI and CIA asset, identified as 73-year-old Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on Trump's campaign.
With the meeting concluded, the White House issued a statement according to which the DOJ said it has asked the inspector general to "expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's or the Department of Justice's tactics concerning the Trump Campaign" and adds that "White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested."
Full statement below:
"Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's or the Department of Justice's tactics concerning the Trump Campaign. It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested."
Translated: a lot of dirty laundry is about to become public.
As Sean Davis points out, the statement confirms Mollie Hemingway's reporting that contrary to claims from the Washington Post and anonymous DOJ officials made last week, "the White House was never on board with Rosenstein's plan to obstruct a congressional subpoena."
This confirms @MZHemingway's reporting last week that, contra claims from the Washington Post and anonymous DOJ officials, the White House was never on board with Rosenstein's plan to obstruct a congressional subpoena. https://twitter.com/evanmcmurry/status/998664665747075078 ...
6:51 AM - May 22, 2018
As Davis also adds, "it's also noteworthy that the White House released a statement immediately following the meeting, before Rosenstein et. al. could start leaking inaccurate information about the White House's position, which is what happened after the last meeting on the matter."
As we discussed previously, Halper was outed as the FBI's "informant" last Friday following weeks of speculation, after the New York Times and Washington Post published easily identifiable information about the U.S. citizen and Cambridge professor. Their reports matched a March 25 article by the Daily Caller detailing Halper's outreach to several low-level aides to the Trump campaign, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and a cup of coffee with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis.
These contacts are notable, as Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.
As we detailed earlier Monday, Halper - who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense for four annual contracts signed under the Obama administration, and paid through the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA).
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With the spotlight shining ever brighter on the "deep state" actors behind the scenes, we expect an avalanche of NYT/WaPo/CNN "leaks" in the coming week to distract from what is shaping up as a major showdown.
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