This is part of a series about Spygate.

Please see Part 1 for a list of people involved and how they know each other. The same names will be appearing in this and other related posts.

Part 2 covers events from 2015 and the first half of 2016 as The_War_Economy laid out in his brilliant Twitter thread of 246 tweets with accompanying sources.

His thread is called SPYFALL, available in Thread Reader and individual tweets.

I will be excerpting and summarising SPYFALL this week as well as adding some of my own information so that those of us reading about Spygate can better comprehend its various elements.

When summarising SPYFALL, I will include the relevant tweet number in parentheses which will have a link to the source material.

Today’s post covers what happened during the summer of 2016, when the Republicans and Democrats held their respective conventions to elect their candidate. What appear to be random occurrences in Part 2 start to form pieces of a greater puzzle.

Emphases mine below.

Conferences, private meetings

Conferences take place all year round. However, those that took place during the summer of 2016 would reveal international trips and private meetings.

Secret meetings — unrelated to conferences — also took place.

On June 4, Carter Page received an invitation from a doctoral candidate at Cambridge University to the Race to Change the World symposium (91). The doctoral candidate is thought to have been an assistant to Stefan Halper.

Two years later — on June 5, 2018 — The Daily Caller reported that President Trump’s speechwriter, Stephen Miller, received an invitation in May, weeks before Page was invited:

Carter Page was not the only Trump campaign adviser invited to a July 2016 event at the University of Cambridge, the storied British institution where “Spygate” is believed to have originated.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned that an invitation to attend the campaign-themed event was extended to Stephen Miller, another Trump campaign adviser who currently serves in the White House. Miller did not attend the event, which featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a keynote speaker.

J. D. Gordon, the director of the campaign’s national security advisory committee, told TheDCNF he believes the invitation from Cambridge to Miller was sent in May 2016. That’s a month before a graduate assistant of FBI informant Stefan Halper sent an invitation to Page to visit the campus.

“The invitation was to Stephen Miller who could not attend,” Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman, told TheDCNF. “In the midst of our policy office search for a surrogate, Carter Page informed me that he had also been invited and would like to attend.”

Gordon said he told Page the campaign preferred he did not attend the Cambridge conclave.

“Though since he wasn’t planning to make public remarks, conduct media interviews or otherwise represent the campaign, he was not required to fill in one of our request forms.”

Gordon said Miller, a former Senate aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, passed the Cambridge request to John Mashburn, a campaign policy adviser. Mashburn gave it to Gordon.

The three-day Cambridge conclave was where Page first met Halper, a former Cambridge professor who turns out to have also been working for the FBI as part of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

Page, an energy consultant, has said Halper, a veteran of three Republican administrations, offered advice about the campaign during a brief chat on the sidelines of the event.

The pair met numerous times over the course of the next 14 months, Page told TheDCNF. He visited Halper’s farm in Virginia and met with the 73-year-old academic in Washington, D.C. They stayed in contact through September 2017, the same month the U.S. government’s surveillance warrants against Page expired. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Adviser During Campaign, Beyond)

Halper, who has longstanding connections to the CIA, met with at least two other Trump campaign advisers — Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.

The Daily Caller article says it is unclear as to whether Stephen Miller was a target of Spygate.

On the Democrat side, an important meeting took place on June 27, approximately one month before the Democratic National Convention (DNC). That was the day when Bill Clinton just happened to be in Phoenix, Arizona, and boarded then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch‘s plane for an extended chat with her (92). Details about what was discussed are still unknown.

Concerning intelligence, the GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan went to Washington DC to give material to John Brennan, then-CIA director (93). However, it should be noted that Brennan was not Hannigan’s direct counterpart. Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA was the person Hannigan should have seen (94). They had already met earlier that year for the US-UK’s intelligence relationship anniversary. Yet, Hannigan chose to see the CIA’s Brennan.

On July 7, Carter Page travelled to Russia to speak at the New Economic School. During his time there, he also met with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (99).

Page returned to the US, then flew to England for the aforementioned Race to Change the World conference. He met with Stefan Halper, who told Page that he (Halper) knew Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (100).

Between July 27 and July 30, the Aspen Security Forum brought together intelligence officials and CNN reporters. Attendees included Homeland Security’s Jeh Johnson, DOJ’s John Carlin, ODNI’s James Clapper, CNN’s Evan Perez, CNN’s Jim Sciutto, WaPo’s Shane Harris (108, 109). This could explain how Clapper was later hired as a CNN contributor. See Crossfire Hurricane below for details on what happened next.

Other news: DNC emails and FISA

In July, more than 19,000 DNC — Democratic National Committee — emails had been ‘stolen’. It was thought that various Russian hacking groups or persons, including Guccifer 2.0 were responsible. It was more likely that these were saved internally by someone working for the DNC — the late Seth Rich, an alleged Bernie Sanders supporter — then leaked. Nonetheless, the narrative of Russian hackers began circulating in the media. One of the intelligence people looking at what happened, particularly with regard to Guccifer 2.0, was Matt Tait, a former GCHQ employee who also writes for the Democrat-dominated blog, Lawfare (95).

The FBI tried to obtain a FISA warrant concerning two Russian banks. They had tried earlier in June. Once again, the FISC — FISA court — rejected the application (96).

On July 25, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok sent text messages to each other (105):

about Strzok’s relationship to Judge Rudolph Contreras of the FISA Court. 

On July 24, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook blamed the DNC hacks on Russia. ABC news said that CrowdStrike was Mook’s source. On July 26, Christopher Steele filed a memo which confirmed what Mook had said (106). That day, Obama (107):

signed a directive to place the FBI in charge of responding to all cyber threats, allowing the federal government an role in investigating, preventing and mitigating attempts to hack US-based computer networks.

USA Today quoted Department of Homeland Security’s Lisa Monaco, who defended the new policy.

Hillary Clinton

On July 2, the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton about her server. On July 5, then FBI director James Comey suggested that no charges be brought against her. On July 6, Loretta Lynch said no charges would be brought against the soon-to-be Democrat nominee for president (98).

In late July, Peter W Smith — a well-connected Republican operative — contacted Matt Tait (103) :

in an attempt to recruit him to figure out who hacked Clinton’s private server (aside from Russia), as he had heard from somebody on the dark web had copies of the e-mails.

Donald Trump

On July 20, Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee (102). Paul Manafort had done a stellar job the previous two months in getting Trump the necessary delegates. He had been negotiating with hardened anti-Trumpers much of the time.

This was around the time that Peter W Smith got in touch with Matt Tait (see above).

Crossfire Hurricane

On July 31, the day after the aforementioned Aspen Security Forum ended, Crossfire Hurricane began.

This series of tweets is particularly important:

N.B.: The NSA’s Mike Rogers was not invited to these meetings.

August’s events

With Crossfire Hurricane underway, quite a few things happened in August.

Some of this information emerged only a few weeks ago.

We now know that Crossfire Hurricane provided the basis for Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged Trump campaign Russian collusion.

On May 16, 2018, the New York Times reported that, in early part of August 2016, two FBI agents went to London to meet with Alexander Downer, Australian ambassador to the UK, about his meeting with George Papadopoulos:

a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation.

On August 4, James Clapper had a telephone conversation with Russia’s FSB’s Alexander Bortnikov to warn him against future interference (119). Bortnikov denied any involvement in the US presidential election.

On August 6, before leaving for his summer holiday on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama (120):

ordered his aides to “check vulnerabilities in state-run election systems, seek bipartisan support from Congressional leaders for a statement condemning Moscow and urge states to accept federal help”.

Remember, Obama mocked Trump that year about election fixing. Obama said there was no way to rig an election and that there were no vulnerabilities in the voting system.

Hillary Clinton chimed in on Russia for the first time (121):

A few days later:

On August 15 (125):

Strzok and Page discussed the “insurance policy” as DoH’s Johnson started calling state officials to gain their support in their election defence campaign, but he was met with “a wall of resistance”.

On August 19, Paul Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign manager (126). Kellyanne Conway took the reins and led The Donald to victory.

Obama returned from holiday on August 21 (127).

Then:

On August 27, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) sent a letter to then-FBI director James Comey (130):

about the Russia investigation, demanding an investigation be opened, with zero knowledge of Crossfire Hurricane‘s existence. Reid cited Carter Page in the letter.

On August 28, disgraced New York politician Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary’s confidante Huma Abedin, had been caught sexting again (131). His laptop would be seized, opening up a re-investigation by the FBI into the contents of the political emails therein just days before the election in November.

On August 29, Stefan Halper contacted Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis, mentioning that Carter Page suggested they meet. He issued an invitation to meet in Washington DC (132).

On June 5, 2018, The Daily Caller reported:

Clovis met with Halper once for coffee on Sept. 1, 2016 at a Washington-area hotel.

Tomorrow’s post will look at what happened in the run-up to the November 8 election.

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