Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Whither Durham's Russia Hoax Investigation?

Yesterday we heard that John Durham's Russia Hoax investigation is:

making "excellent progress"

adding prosecutors to his team.

moving "full speed ahead"

"remains full steam ahead,”

“is definitely still happening,”

Does that explain why Stefan Halper and FBI Agent Stephen Somma are as hard to find as, well, Joseph Mifsud?

That would appear to be the subtext of an excellent article at Fox:

Who's hiding 'Russiagate' informant Stephen Halper, and why?

Questions raised over what became of the subpoena -- and no-show -- of FBI informant Stefan Halper and his handler, Stephen Somma

Halper, of course, is the highly paid, corpulent, CIA/FBI crack(head) operative who was at Ground Zero for all things related to Michael Flynn and Donald Trump--including the setup of Carter Page. Stephen Somma is the New York agent who was both the case agent for the CI investigation of Page as well as the handler for Halper. 

IG Michael Horowitz' report fingered Somma as primarily responsible for the 17 errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA which, had they been known to the FISA court, would have deepsixed the Page FISA application. Now, to understand what that's about, you have to recall that FBI investigations are normally handled by Field Offices. Carter Page worked out of New York so the New York Office of the FBI handled the CI investigation of Page, and Somma was the case agent for that investigation. That also means that a FISA application, although it's routed through FBIHQ, originates with the Field Office. That's why Somma, the Carter Page case agent in New York, was so closely involved with the FISA application.

Nevertheless, as I've been at pains to stress, Carter Page was far from being unknown to FBIHQ--due to his key role in a very high profile Russian CI investigation that (most unusually) went to prosecution. This was a case that Obama himself would have been briefed on. Therefore, it defies credulity, in my opinion, that FBIHQ officials like Peter Strzok could have been unaware of some or all of those 17 errors or omissions in the FISA application--they would have had to be well up on all the details of the case. 

From this you can see that Somma would be an absolutely key witness in any prosecution targeting the "origins of the Russia Hoax"--as Durham's remit is typically described. Somma would be able to testify regarding the FBI's use of Halper against Flynn and Page and would likely also be able to provide important information regarding the whole process involving the origination of a false FISA application against Carter Page. Once again it strains credulity to imagine that Somma was solely responsible for those 17 errors or omissions and that nobody at FBIHQ had a clue about those errors or omissions.

And so the question arises: Why does it appear that Halper and Somma are being hidden? No one seems to know their whereabouts and Halper even blew off a Senate subpoena--something most people wouldn't consider doing without powerful protection. It goes without saying--but I'll say it anyway--that Halper, with his decades long involvement with the CIA and FBI, would likely have some very interesting stories to tell.

Of course it's possible that John Durham really does intend to use these two as star witnesses in his investigation that's making such "excellent progress," and so doesn't want them exposed to the media. That would make sense. On the other hand, IMO Durham is running up against a time deadline--a month or so from now, the way things are going, the odds of excellent Russia Hoax prosecutions will dwindle drastically. Are Halper and Somma witnesses or targets? So far the only plea deal is the Clinesmith one--who was also heavily involved with the Carter Page FISA.

Overall, the article is a very useful refresh.


  1. Any chance that Durham became an SC, to block key declasses by DJT?
    Or, to discourage others' efforts to look into Halper & Somma?

  2. ... the FBI has provided access to all requested subjects throughout the investigation. However, this has been limited only to those who remained employed at the bureau.

    It's obvious that Somma has not remained employed at the bureau.

    Has someone been paying hush-money to Somma, Halper and Mifsud?

    1. The linked article at the end of this comment suggests to me that Somma is still employed, as is Auten. Durham may have requested that a Senate interview be postponed or canceled:

      We've heard nothing suggesting that he's been disciplined or fired or retired--we've heard that about others.

    2. Somma's gotta be in the SDNY witness protection program. The other's similar in their own countries.

  3. Are Halper and Somma witnesses or targets?

    My guess is that they are witnesses. Mifsud too.

  4. Mark just went Sundance!

    I'm still not buying the Durham SC appointment.

    My theory, because the ONA was paying Halper for his garbage I don't think the government wants the exposure of that piece of the saga. Hence all of the limiting in scope. (limiting in Clinesmith court docs were a tell)

    But we should all email Special Agent William Aldenberg and ask him about these things.

  5. So many questions!

    And Halper undoubtedly has many, many secrets to threaten to tell.

    For my money, Barr's legacy depends upon the answers. He told us he was going to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax.

    1. IMO Barr's taking one for the team. To allow Durham in his SC capacity to run loose and wild... I think (in the end) we'll all be pleasantly surprised.

    2. "He told us he was going to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax."

      Maybe he did, and that's where he lost his soul?

  6. Dyer:

    "My antenna is twitching with the Barr development. Maybe it shouldn’t be. But the features of the move are out of pattern."
    "If I had to put this in terms of another military analogy, I’d say the DOJ is massing forces with the Durham plus-up"


  7. Small detail, but a recent declassification contained a redaction in every reference to the Christopher Steele supporting computer files. Except one time, it revealed that the Simpson folder could be found in a folder called "Rome Files."

  8. Neo today writes about how the GOP missed the ball on Dem election fraud:
    "They should have anticipated fraud, and I believe they did, and that they made preparations to fight it even prior to the election.
    But I don’t think they anticipated the vast *extent* of the fraud, and the *boldness* with which the Democrats did things like throwing out the observers in so many places."

    1. So basically they showed up expecting it to be the '84 election all over again.

      That change's everything and blows my theory that they were duplicitous back-stabbing a-holes completely out of the water. Instead their merely falling down stupid. Makes me feel much better.

      “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjamin Franklin

      The GOP Mission Statement.

      Never again.
      Tom S.

    2. At You Know Where, he's claiming that "Republican Legislatures Choose Alternate Electors" in swing states, but shows only tweets from state GOP brass.
      Anyone know if that headline was justified?

  9. I’ll read the article in a minute, but I have to say that it’s a joy to see our rich language used to its fullest. In a world where it is a capital offense to call someone “fat” or even “obese”, Mark gets off corpulent and there probably won’t be a whimper. Bravo, Mark!