In the first thread, Lokhova begins from a letter that Senator Grassley sent to the DoD IG, Glenn Fine. In the letter Grassley asks for information regarding the "loose accounting" of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) and, in particular, the dates and amounts of money paid by ONA to Stefan Halper for alleged "reports" Halper was providing to ONA. So, Lokhova writes:
Halper gets first Spygate contract from DoD in Sept 2015, draws expenses in Dec 2015, incl. trip to London. He is claiming he’s going to speak with “former Russian intelligence officers”, likely to manufacture lies about Flynn who previously cooperated with Ru intel under Obama/2
That's very interesting, in that it demonstrates that Halper was being targeted against Trump associates as early as September, 2015. Lokhova is probably correct in assuming that Flynn was the target at this point. By September, 2015, there was almost certainly a CI investigation already open on Flynn, but note: 1) Trump would not have been warned about this--whereas Clinton would have been warned in similar circumstances; 2) the predication for the investigation would have been bogus (nonsense like Flynn attending the RT dinner, etc.); 3) while this was probably part of the Intelligence Community's (and especially John Brennan's) jihad against Flynn, the notion of pursuing someone associated with a presidential campaign in this baseless way should give any reasonable person pause.
But the really interesting question is, who exactly were these "former Russian intelligence officers" that Halper was going to speak with? Cambridge can't be crawling with high level former Russian IOs. One suspects there was only one who would ever be named, and that would be Vyacheslav Trubnikov. Trubnikov co-taught a seminar with Halper and later shows up in Steele's dossier. But Trubnikov is really just a name. Naming him doesn't necessarily even mean that Trubnikov knew how he was being used, nor that Halper ever discussed his real business with Trubnikov.
Lokhova is understandably focused on Halper's Flynn-related smears against her, but she does also raise some fascinating points with regard to Carter Page's role in the Steele dossier. In the past I've pointed out how Page doesn't appear to have generated a huge amount of interest from the Deep State--until he flew to Moscow in mid July, 2016, to deliver a commencement address (was that a setup?). Halper and Page were long time acquaintances. On his return from Moscow Page traveled through the UK, where he met with Halper. Presto! Within days, Steele is suddenly all over Page as the connection between the Trump campaign and "the Russians," and the WSJ contacts Page about his supposed contacts in Moscow with Putin allies. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to suspect that it's Halper feeding both streams of reporting--overt and covert. Moreover, in a WaPo article by Deep State operative/reporter David Ignatius (of Flynn leak fame) the former head of MI6, Richard Dearlove, praises both Steele and Halper, seeming to associate them.
Regarding all this Lokhova makes two observations:
Page ends up in Steele’s dossier within days of meeting Halper. It’s impossible for this “intelligence” to get to Steele from Moscow securely in that time. Logically, this demonstratively false information might have come from Halper. This information is attached to the FISA. /15
But the timeline works if the information flow is person to person: Page to Halper to Steele. Somebody has read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. and it's not just Lokhova.
Previously, the meeting between Halper and Page was described as a “chance encounter”. Page recently confirmed that he “had a longstanding relationship with Halper, my conversations with him intensified right in the month before my illegitimate FISA warrant in September 2016”/16
The point, again, is that the flow of information appears to move most logically from Halper to Steele and then onward.
"Onward", of course, includes the FBI. And there, Lokhova suggests, in her second thread, a problem arose: Comey got cold feet. At this point all the "dossier" information was being filtered through one source: Steele. True, Steele claimed to be talking to various "sub sources," but the FBI had no way to verify any of that. Here is Lokhova's suggestion:
On July 30, 2016 Crossfire Hurricane (Russia investigation) is launched against four Trump advisors but not Trump. It appears that Comey does not dare to start a CI investigation into a presidential candidate based on 'intel' from a single source, informant Stefan Halper. /12
Brennan is not happy, Steele is not happy, Halper is not happy. What happens next? Brennan goes to Obama! The second part of the drama begins. Tune in later for more. /13 --break--
So, in other words, Lokhova believes that Brennan had pretty much expected the FBI to open a Full CI Investigation on Donald Trump, based on the stories that the CIA, through Halper, were feeding to Steele, who then fed them to the FBI. But that was too a bridge too far for the former prosecutor Comey. If Lokhova is right, it begins to look like Brennan was hiding Halper's real role from the FBI. This version of events receives support from a text exchange between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page:
July 27, 2016: FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page discuss opening CI investigation on Trump.— Svetlana Lokhova (@RealSLokhova) November 26, 2019
Lisa Page: 'Have we opened on him yet?'
Peter Strzok: 'Opened on Trump'? /2 pic.twitter.com/AYq7CsIJLy
This is far from suggesting that the FBI didn't engage in criminal activity themselves. However, Lokhova's account does makes sense of comments that Peter Strzok later made to Lisa Page (April, 2017), as reported by the Washington Examiner:
Johnson and Grassley point to what they believed was “the FBI’s apparent awareness of leaks by other agencies or entities to the media” by quoting a December 2016 text message from Strzok to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page discussing one of the FBI’s sister agencies, which said: “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking in to overdrive.”
The senators also point to an April 2017 email from Strzok to other colleagues at the FBI in which he seemed to complain about the CIA being involved in the Trump-Russia investigation earlier than he’d initially believed and about them not being fully transparent with the FBI. “I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us,” Strzok said. “Might explain all these weird / seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some of the leaks.”
Nevertheless, after Brennan's rebuff by Obama, Brennan continued to target Halper at the Trump campaign, now in the hope of obtaining a FISA order against Carter Page that might provide some sort of smoking gun aimed at Trump. In fact, Lokhova reports based on the Grassley letter to DoD:
Halper signed his richest contract award with the Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment - $411,475 for two studies on China's economy - on Sept. 26, 2016, around the time Halper was meeting with Page and Papadopoulos.
What other things Brennan may have had in mind for Halper may be suggested by the fact that Peter Navarro actually recommended Halper to be ambassador to China.
To conclude, I can think of no better way than to quote a Lokhova tweet that channels one of my favorite books:
"I've got a story to tell you; it's all about spies. And if it's true, which I think it is, you boys are gonna need a whole new organisation."— Svetlana Lokhova (@RealSLokhova) November 26, 2019
John le Carré
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy