Thursday, May 2, 2019

First Take On Azra Turk

So the interwebs are ablaze with the news that the FBI is admitting, via the NYT, that they sent either an agent or an asset of some sort to pose as Stefan Halper's female assistant in London, while meeting with George Papadopoulos. The woman went under the name Azra Turk and the meeting took place in September, 2016.

What's going on here? Sure looks like damage control, right? Several things may be involved.

For starters, the date is very important. September, 2016, places this meeting after the official opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the Full Enterprise Counterintelligence Investigation into "four Americans" in the Trump campaign. Crossfire Hurrican was opened on July 31, 2016. Therefore, targeting Papadopoulos with the "flirty" Azra Turk in September makes it legal, since there was an open investigation. That's very much the focus of the article.

There also appears to be a diversion angle at work. The NYT article places the focus on Azra Turk rather than Halper. It seems the FBI wants us to forget about Halper and his interactions with Papadopoulos and Carter Page before the Crossfire Hurricane opening. Presumably, there will be an explanation forthcoming for that interaction--such as, that there was a preliminary investigation going on, or that Halper met Page and Papadopoulos on his own or as part of something else that was happening in London. Again, they want us to focus on what happened after the Crossfire Hurricane opening, not on anything before. And the reason may be that reports say IG Horowitz is really focusing hard on Halper.

The goal of this leak, ultimately, appears to divert attention to just how far back the inception of the Russian Hoax goes. As we've seen, the appearances are that it may have started as early as a few weeks after Trump declared his candidacy in summer, 2015. The Lisa Page/Strzok texts also strongly indicate a very early beginning--a targeting of Trump campaign aides virtually as soon as they came on board with the campaign.

One wonders what AG Barr thinks of this leak. Has he spoken to the esteemed Chris Wray about it?

In any event, the hope has to be that other news organizations will forget the collusion narrative and start competing for scoops.


  1. I caught that ignoring of Halper, too. I hadn't quite put it together with the date and the start of Crossfire Hurricane, so I do think you are right. If Turk is being outed, then all the others before July 31, 2016 will be, too. This tells me that someone is on the paper trail at the DoJ and Turk could no longer be shielded.

  2. Hey, Yancey, I'm working on a longer examination of these issues. I hope to have it up in an hour or so. It should tie together some of the stuff that has been discussed here recently.

  3. From now on, every criminal defendant in Federal Court should claim innocence and assert that everything they did was legal because Russia. Call it the Comey defense.

  4. Replies
    1. The Russians made me do it. They hacked my brain. Or, maybe, my dog was whispering messages from Putin to me.

  5. "Mr. Halper continued to work with the F.B.I. and later met with Mr. Page repeatedly in the Washington area. The two had coincidentally run into each other in July as well at Cambridge, according to people familiar with the episode."

    I’m sure the three stenographers from The Grey Lady were quite skeptical about the convenient coincidence on offer from their FBI leakers, were about to ask probing follow up questions, but then pigs flew by a window which distracted them.

    1. Pretty threadbare, isn't it? I don't think this narrative will make through tonight.

    2. Yes, it's a slim reed to lean on. But so is the notion that GP blabbing about a rumor that Russia had dirt on Hilary Clinton was sufficient predication to open an enterprise CI investigation into four members of a presidential campaign; so is the notion that an alleged enterprise that included four members of a campaign - including the campaign manager - didn't include the campaign itself or the candidate; so is the notion that it took three months for the Steele Dossier to make it through the tortuous FBI bureaucracy from Gaeta to the CH team. None of it makes a whit of sense.

    3. I agree, but that predication business--for any of this--is actually their best defense. I'm looking forward to this.

  6. Reading the tea leaves here. The NYT knows the jig is up. They're doing spin and damage control.

    What a bad couple of weeks for them. First the anti-Semitic cartoon and the Russia Hoax continues to implode, unravel and blow up in their face. Yes, I'm aware that my use of implode contradicts blow up in their face. But it fits.

    This has been a great start to May.

  7. I agree about Wray. He's not the right man for the job.