Mike Rogers ..., the former US Representative., was a Special Agent for the FBI in Chicago from 1989 - 1994 (I didn't know him, but recall hearing the office buzz when Rogers resigned to go into politics). More to the point, after leaving the House in 2014, having served as Chairman of the Permanent Select Committe on Intelligence, Rogers joined the Trump campaign in 2016 as national security adviser. (You can locate other references to this Mike Rogers here.)
By the way--you won't find any mention of the six months Rogers spent on the Trump campaign on his Wikipedia page. Interesting, isn't that? But look here and here. It appears Rogers came on board the Trump campaign in May, 2016, once it became clear that Trump would be the GOP nominee. Again, it's difficult to imagine a more sensitive position in a presidential campaign--especially one that was being targeted for destruction by the Deep State--than national security adviser. And Rogers' Deep State ties were well known to DC insiders. Which led sundance to ask, way back then, "So how did Decepticon Rogers come to be an advisor to the Trump campaign?"
Late yesterday, sundance again drew attention to Rogers, noting that footnote 474 in the OIG FISA report may refer to Rogers, although without naming him. If true, this would mean that Rogers was an FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS - informant) while he was working for the Trump campaign as its national security adviser.
Before we delve into that a bit further, lets get some of the previous background on record again. Some of this was and remains speculative, but is highly suggestive:
Rogers was abruptly terminated within days after the election--much to the dismay of the Washington DC establishment. For example, in the Washington Post David Ignatius reported the dismissal in telling terms:
Just how far the new administration may depart from long-standing U.S. national-security policies was demonstrated by Rogers’s own departure.
You could imagine the jaws dropping Tuesday across the intelligence community when people heard the news of Rogers’s ouster. ... the intelligence agencies literally don’t know what to expect next.
Sundance himself ties Rogers' dismissal to the well known visit of Admiral Mike Rogers to Trump Tower a few days after the election, which led to the move of the Trump transition team headquarters from Trump Tower to a Trump golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. However, once again, sundance offers no further details.
The question, then, becomes: What would the NSA Director have to do with a human source inside the Trump campaign? Wouldn't that be the purview of the FBI? Would the NSA Director even know of the existence, much less the identity, of such a source? And even supposing that Admiral Rogers disclosed the existence and identity of a human source inside the Trump campaign, why would that necessitate a removal of the Trump transition team from Manhattan to rural New Jersey? Wouldn't removal of the source from the transition team solve the problem, without the need for a disruptive move?
I can only offer speculation. My speculation is that the paperwork flow for FISA orders includes a copy being sent to NSA, since in the modern FISA regime NSA plays a central role even on domestic FISA coverage. If that were the case--if, I repeat--and if the human source in the Trump campaign was used to support the predication for the Carter Page FISA, which was approved in late October, 2016, then Admiral Rogers could have become aware of the existence of that human source and may even have been able to determine the identity of the source from the characterization of the source in the FISA application. That information, of course, would be in the redacted portions of the FISA application which we have yet to see. At this point, all we can do is wait. Interestingly, Mike Rogers (the former Rep.) was one of the persons interviewed for the position of FBI Director after James Comey was fired. However, that interview was conducted at DoJ, so presumably the White House put the kibosh on that move.
UPDATE: H/T Gateway Pundit. GP points out this morning that Jeff Sessions was chairman of candidate Trump's National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC). Does that answer sundance's question: "So how did Decepticon [former US Representative, Mike] Rogers come to be an advisor to the Trump campaign?" If so, this certainly helps to explain the depths of Trump's obvious feelings of aggrievement against Sessions, the roots of which include other factors than Sessions' recusal. The recusal may, in fact, have been in Trump's view the straw that broke the camel's back--following on from the hiring of Rogers.
Let's also add some information from the CTH post that illustrates just how much of a Deep State actor Rogers was--and probably still is:
The modern intelligence apparatus has a history of leveraging/turning compromised politicians into assets for an agenda most Americans are only now starting to grasp. Former HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers was in place during the 2012 joint CIA/State Department Benghazi operation controlled by Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta, code name: Operation Zero Footprint.
Congressman Rogers was part of the group who covered for Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta in the outcome of Benghazi. Rogers motives on both fronts (cover Benghazi and surveillance of Trump) are part of the old fashioned motive, money. Mike Rogers’ wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a “security” defense contractor – and her connections delivered a $10 billion contract with the State Dept.
In the height of the scrutiny over Benghazi HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger authored a quick, and widely rebuked, intelligence committee report that provided the first line of defense for Clinton, Obama and Panetta. The media seized on the Rogers/Ruppersberger report to set the narrative.
Immediately following their efforts, Mike Rogers and Dennis Ruppersberger resigned from congress. Mike and his wife Kristi riding off into the sunset with multi-millions of wealth from the secured Aegis contract. [Oh yeah, and Kristi retired too]
Now, with that in mind let's turn to the OIG report. Remember that IG Horowitz's MO was to take everything the FBI interviewees told him pretty much at face value.
Horowitz: Did you have improper political motives for your actions?
FBI Agent: Are you kidding? Of course not!
Horowitz: OK, that's a relief!
So now we turn to p. 337 of the OIG report (p. 367 of the overall pdf). There we learn that OIG learned that the FBI had a CHS [Rogers?] who had formerly held a position in the Trump campaign. OIG asked FBI agents whether they had ever used that CHS [Rogers?] to target the Trump campaign. The agents were, very properly, horrified at the suggestion. If they'd been wearing pearls at the time the question was asked I have no doubt they would have clutched them. The very idea!
But let's read that section of the OIG report, which I found most interesting:
We also learned about a different CHS who at one point held a position in the Trump campaign. However, by the time that the CHS told his/her Handling Agent about this involvement, the CHS was no longer part of the Trump campaign. After Crossfire Hurricane team members learned about this CHS, they reviewed the CHS's file, but did not task the CHS as part of the investigation. The OGC Attorney told the OIG that he distinctly remembered the OGC Unit Chief "strongly advising [the Crossfire Hurricane agents] to be cautious with this particular CHS." Case Agent 1 recalled that, because this CHS was "at one point...part of the campaign ... we just said, hey, hands off." Documents in the CHS's Delta file reflect that the Handling Agent minimized contact with the CHS because of the CHS's campaign activities, even though the CHS was no longer involved in the Trump campaign. [footnote 474]
474: The email stating that the CHS would not be used in Crossfire Hurricane said:
"After careful consideration, the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE team has decided, at this time, it is best to utilize your CHS as a passive listening post regarding any observations [he/she] has of the campaign so far. Base[d] on current, on-going operations/developments in the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE investigation, we are not going to directly task or sensitize the CHS at this point in time. We appreciate [your] assistance in this matter and remain interested in any campaign related reporting that you guys may receive from the CHS during normal debriefs."
Case Agent 2, who wrote the email, told the OIG that the email was "incorrect" and what he was asking for was any information about attempts by Russia "to screw around with the campaign or the elections." He also acknowledged that it was "a mistake" not to make that clear in the email. The Handling Agent for this CHS told the OIG he "dismissed the e-mail...outright" because the CHS was "not even in the campaign" by that time. He added that within the field office, they had "made the decision ... that we weren't touching this ... right prior to a Presidential election." We found no evidence that the Crossfire Hurricane team received any information from this CHS in response to Case Agent 2's email.
1. The reference to the CHS's "Delta file" is readily explained by footnote 9 in the November 2019 OIG Audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Management of its Confidential Human Source Validation Processes:
9. (U) Delta is the FBI's official electronic record-keeping system for CHS management. According to the FBI, Delta was intended to facilitate compliance with the AG Guidelines and FBI CHS policies through automated administrative and management functions.
2. The timelines don't seem to add up. OIG tells us first:
by the time that the CHS told his/her Handling Agent about this involvement, the CHS was no longer part of the Trump campaign.
But Case Agent 2 states in the email:
it is best to utilize your CHS as a passive listening post regarding any observations [he/she] has of the campaign so far.
Surely this must mean that the campaign is still ongoing and that the CHS remains part of it?
And the Handling Agent, presumably working out of the Washington, DC, Field Office, states:
within the field office, they had "made the decision ... that we weren't touching this ... right prior to a Presidential election."
The most obvious reading of this is that the CHS was still part of the Trump campaign and, contrary to the claim that "by the time that the CHS told his/her Handling Agent about this involvement, the CHS was no longer part of the Trump campaign," the Handling Agent was in fact aware of the CHS's involvement in the campaign and that it was ongoing. Any other reading seems forced.
3. The protestations of the FBI agents are difficult to accept on their face. Consider the claim that the Handling Agent had a source who was working for the Trump campaign, but the CHS never told the Handling Agent what he was doing. I find that hard to believe. Source information is normally dependent upon the source's occupation. Further, FBI agents are required to meet CHS's on a regular basis and are expected to inquire into the source's current activities and access. This CHS obviously had high level connections, so the Handling Agent should have been eager to meet and to make such inquiries. If the CHS was Rogers, we know that Rogers worked for the Trump campaign from May to November. The likelihood is that the Handling Agent met with the CHS (Rogers?) at least once during those six months. That the topic of the CHS's current employment never came up seems unbelievable.
4. Again, with regard to using the CHS to target the Trump campaign, Case Agent 2's statements appear inconsistent. Here are the three relevant statements, the first two from the email:
it is best to utilize your CHS as a passive listening post regarding any observations [he/she] has of the campaign so far.
we are not going to directly task or sensitize the CHS at this point in time.
what he was asking for was any information about attempts by Russia "to screw around with the campaign or the elections."
Despite protestations to the contrary, it certainly appears that the CHS was being asked to be alert for information about the Trump campaign--"the campaign." You could argue that the CHS is being asked to be alert for Russian activities rather than campaign activities, yet it does appear that the CHS is being tasked in a much more general sense: to be "a passive listening post" inside "the campaign."
Here's my point: The Crossfire Hurricane investigation claimed that there was a "group in fact" within the Trump campaign that constituted a separate "enterprise." Yet the CHS wasn't being targeted at such a group or enterprise but, instead, at "the campaign" in general: be on the lookout for Russian activity with regard to "the campaign."
I believe that Durham and Barr are very alive to this distinction, and that they will regard any targeting of a CHS against a political campaign in so broad a sense to be highly suspect.
5. OIG states that they
"found no evidence that the Crossfire Hurricane team received any information from this CHS in response to Case Agent 2's email."
No harm, no foul? Proof that the Handling Agent was telling the truth about not directing the CHS against the campaign?
That's entirely possible. But here's the problem. If an FBI OGC attorney modified a document that was submitted to the FISC, can we assume that all CHS contacts were properly documented to the file? IMO, Barr/Durham would be foolish to assume anything of the sort.
6. Many of the difficulties that I've outlined above could be taken to argue that the CHS is not actually Rogers. Certainly if the CHS was no longer with the campaign by the time of the election, that would most likely mean that Rogers is not the CHS in question. But, as we've seen, that's exactly what's murky in the varying accounts.
However you look at this, I have to assume that Barr/Durham have examined this issue carefully.