Trump authorizes ‘total declassification’ of Russia probe documents
Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, Trump 2020 campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie react on ‘Hannity.’
The Senate Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper for records relating to his work during the Russia investigation as part of their investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
Fox News obtained a copy of the subpoena, issued on Oct. 5.
“You are hereby commanded to appear before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate on October 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. at its committee room,” the subpoena read, adding that there, he is compelled to “produce all records related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation; the Department of Justice Inspector General’s review if that investigation; and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons or entities affiliated, formally or informally, with the Trump campaign, Trump transition, or Trump administration.”
Halper, an American professor who reportedly is deeply connected with British and American intelligence agencies, has been widely reported as a confidential source for the FBI during the bureau’s original investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the 2016 election.
During the 2016 campaign, Halper contacted several members of the Trump campaign, including former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Papadopoulos told Fox News that he met with Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos also told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News last year that he always suspected he was being recorded.
Professor Stefan Halper is at the center of a Pentagon whisteblower complaint, documents show.
(Voice of America, File)
The subpoena also requires Halper to disclose documents related to “unmasking,” a process the committee is investigating.
Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earlier this year, made public a list of Obama officials who purportedly requested to “unmask” the identity of Michael Flynn, who at the time was Trump’s incoming national security adviser.
Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens' conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens' identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected.
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Officials, however, can determine the U.S. citizens' names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights. In the typical process, when officials are requesting the unmasking of an American, they do not necessarily know the identity of the person in advance.
The roster featured top-ranking figures including then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s then-chief of staff, Denis McDonough.
The Justice Department also, at the time of the release of the names, revealed that U.S. Attorney John Durham from Connecticut, who is reviewing the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, was also investigating the so-called unmasking of Trump campaign associates as part of his broader review.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Gregg Sofer is also reviewing the process of unmasking, taking over the probe from former U.S. Attorney John Bash, who announced his resignation from the Justice Department earlier this week.
The subpoena of Halper comes after Johnson was granted authority to issue subpoenas for former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and other Obama administration officials as part of its broad review into the origins of the Russia investigation.
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The committee last month held a business meeting to authorize committee Johnson to issue notices for taking depositions, subpoenas, for records, and subpoenas for testimony to individuals relating to the panel’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, the Justice Department inspector general’s review of that investigation, and the “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the 2016 Trump campaign, transition team and the Trump administration.
The committee also authorized subpoenas for Sidney Blumenthal, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough, former FBI counsel Lisa Page, former FBI agent Joe Pientka, former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, former FBI director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, former White House national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith – who pleaded guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign – among others.
The committee further authorized subpoenas for “the production of all records” related to the FBI’s original Russia investigation and the Department of Justice Inspector General’s probe, as well as the process of “unmasking” for James Baker, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, FBI case agent Steven Somma, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Teftt, former deputy assistant attorney general Tashina Gauhar; and Halper.
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