Here are a few takeaways:
Note that Schrage believes, based on his contacts with Durham, that this investigation will be continuing.
Note also that Schrage is coming forward to support Flynn "before the hearing," and that he appears to have Durham's blessing in doing so.
Finally, regarding the MI6 connection, while Dearlove and Steele are "retired," that doesn't mean that Dearlove might not have served as a high level--but deniable--connection among Five Eyes intel agencies. Note, for example, the way in which Dearlove's presence seemingly energized and directed Halper, in Schrage's telling of the events. That appears to be the truly main point that Shrage is trying to make--the influence of Richard Dearlove on what transpired and developed into the Russia Hoax. And we know that Christopher Steele consulted with Dearlove on this, as well.
Finally, in his companion article--The Spies Who Hijacked America--Schrage maintains that Halper's FBI handler was Stephen Somma. That's something I'll need to look into. Somma--the case agent for the Carter Page NYO investigation--is said to be in hot water over critical omissions from the Carter Page FISA.
All this maintains my belief that Barr and Durham are determined to get to the bottom of what looks increasingly complex.
Here's a link to a previous post in which I discuss Schrage--and quote extensively from a delicious Mark Steyn article that goes into detail regarding the Cambridge meeting that Schrage is now talking to the world about.
Here's the inteview:
Maria: It was the spark that ignited one of the worst abuses of political power in our country's history. In July of 2016, Carter Page attended an overseas conference in Cambridge, where he first met informant Stefan Halper. Three months later the FBI secured the first of four FISA warrants to unlawfully spy on Carter Page. My next guest is the man who first introduced Page to Halper while he [Shrage] was working as a PhD candidate at Cambridge. Steven Shrage is with us. He's joining me for the first ever television interview for him. Good morning, Steven. Thank you so much for being here.
Schrage: Good morning. Glad to be here.
Maria: You worked for Stefan Halper and we wanna ask you, really, the background of 2016. So let's start there. What is your background, in terms of working with Stefan Halper--and why did you invite Carter Page to a conference that you were planning?
Schrage: Right. I had had a long background working on crime and terrorism at the White House and Congress and went to Cambridge to finish a PhD I had started years earlier at Harvard. And my intent had always been to have a conference that looked at presidential campaigns and national security risk. I had no idea that it would blow up into this. Halper was *not that engaged*, up until the point that he crossed paths with Page and Christopher Steele's ex-MI6 boss--Sir Richard Dearlove. At that point he seemed to really focus on Page and really try to isolate him and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign in ways that seemed like a real turning point. But how Page wound up there with Halper is really a comedy of errors, and it was something where we were looking for someone from the Trump campaign to make sure the Trump campaign was represented, and it just kind of happened to fall in his lap, that Page landed there.
Maria: Well, why did you want someone from the Trump campaign? Here you have, you wrote about these guys--and you called the 'The Cambridge Four'--that they were 'washed up spies.' Why are 'washed up spies' wanting to get in with the Trump campaign?
Schrage: Well, for the *conference* they were not involved in that decision at all. The *conference* was because I came from a Republican background and wanted an unbiased conference. I wanted to make sure if we had Madeline Albright on one side we had *a* Trump representative on the other side. I don't believe Stefan Halper even knew Carter Page was gonna *be* at the conference until I emailed him [Halper]. Y'know, we had talked about people. But what happened was, *before* the conference, if you look at it, a few weeks ago, Christopher Steele had been hired by a Clinton campaign contractor. And then the spark that I think really set this off was when Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele's old boss Richard Dearlove, and Page were all together. And Trump was portrayed, to my surprise, as this national security threat, and that's when the interest really started to bubble, in terms of where this took off.
Maria: So, let me go back to Stefan Halper for a bit. This is your PhD supervisor. The Office of Net Assessment [ONA] awarded him four contracts between May of 2012 and September of 2016. In September of '15 he was awarded a contract valued at $245,000 dollars to study Russia and China. Characterize that. Do you, are these the kind of paychecks you get for doing a study on Russia and China? And isn't it interesting that, just months later, after he was awarded *another* contract of $411,000 dollars, then the wiretapping of Carter Page started.
Schrage: Yes. I have never heard of that in an academic setting--providing that much compensation for these types of reports. One thing I will say that was quite unusual was, even after Carter Page had been kind of smeared improperly as a quote unquote "Russian Spy," um, Stefan Halper would profusely thanks me for introducing him [Page] to him [Halper]. And I never really understood that, but once I saw these massive payments kind of corresponding to when he was, y'know, surveilling Page and Papadopoulos, which I learned about in 2018, y'know, there was obviously--could it be a connection there?--y'know, there's a theory about how that played out. The key part and, I think, the real smoking gun in all this, is, y'know, all these tentacles lead back to the small group, including Stefan Halper at the center of Spygate, Christopher Steele at the center of Russiagate, Stefan Halper's FBI handler. None of the Senate has subpoenaed or called these people to talk in four years. I think that's the real smoking gun: How are these people being protected, and how are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn's hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of all this. And, y'know, the information that *I* gave provides a lot of troubling aspects of this.
Maria: So, let's talk about that because you actually recorded stuff on Halper. He was *aware* that you recorded him, because you used to do recordings, but this was on January 10th, 2017, two days before there was a leak in the Washington Post that General Flynn was gonna be investigated about the Logan Act, and you recorded Stefan Halper talking about Flynn. Let's roll that recording right now:
Halper: If you go to the NSC, you have to consider very carefully if you feel it's appropriate for you to work for Flynn. I don't think Flynn's going to be around long. I mean that's just my guess. The way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with *someone*, I mean you always do. Probably lots of people. And when your opponents, so called enemies, when people who oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you're at odds with. And that's how it builds and eventually you get squeezed pretty hard. ... But Flynn's reaction to that is to blow up and get angry, He's really f****d. I mean I don't where he goes from there. But that is his reaction. That's why he's so unsuitable.
Maria: So, what do you think was going on here, Steven? Do you think Halper was working for the FBI or the CIA and getting paid by the Office of Net Assessment to dirty up Flynn and dirty up Trump campaign officials? How did he know Flynn was about to blow up, two days before it was in the Washington Post?
Schrage: Right, and some of this is things that I believe based on interacting with him for a long time, but they are *beliefs*. It was very odd, because I had told him extensively that, y'know, Flynn was incredibly close with President Trump. At the time, as it's been reported, the FBI was about ready to pull its investigation [of Flynn] on January 4th , before the Oval Office meeting met where the Logan Act and Flynn was discussed. So I don't think he had any independent reason to expect that this would happen to Flynn. He had also bragged to me and talked to others that David Ignatius was one of his big press-media contacts. So, again, it seems like something that really needs to be investigated. One of his students was *also* working with Ignatius at the Post--Bob, Robert Costa--so the fact that this has not been investigated, that no one has called him [Halper] to testify and looked at this, I think is *as shocking* as what's happened.
Maria: Well what about you? I mean, you told me you spoke with John Durham. Somebody else told me that they thought *you* were disseminating the dossier. Were *you* involved in all this?
Schrage: No. I had no idea at all. I mean, this has really upended my life. I was actually about to fly out for my wedding when the stories broke, that my PhD supervisor for a long time was this FBI spy known as 'The Walrus'. And since that time I've tried to uncover that. I've worked, y'know, with investigators to try to do that, but with this Flynn information I discovered a few weeks ago and the fact that these investigations have *not* moved so far, I felt I needed to come forward before the Flynn hearing. And, frankly, the fact that some people have been spreading rumors about other people leaking it, I think there were quite a few *Republicans* involved in leaking this, that I found out through these different processes that have *not* been revealed, so I think there's a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing, and I think that's why it's so critical that we get to the bottom of it.
Maria: And you did talk to John Durham, correct?
Schrage: I did. And I did tell him a couple of weeks ago, I said, y'know, happy to continue to help, but I need to go public, because I'm concerned about how long this is taking, this shouldn't be political about Democrats or Republicans, this is about officials undermining our democracy, and it needs to be known long before the election.