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.

Part 3 reviews what happened during the summer that year.

The_War_Economy posted a 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 between September 2016 and the election on November 8.

Emphases mine below.

September 2016

At the end of Part 3, Stefan Halper met with Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis for coffee at a hotel in the Washington DC area hotel. That was on September 1. They appeared to have discussed China; Halper also asked how he could get in touch with George Papadopoulos (137).

On September 2, Halper invited Papadopoulos to join him in London. Republican operative Peter W Smith set up KLS Research LLC to help find Clinton’s emails, something he had been trying to do since July. FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted her colleague Peter Strzok to say that James Comey was going to meet with Obama, as he was interested in what the FBI was doing (138).

Meanwhile, James Comey refused to say whether Trump campaign aides were being investigated. In Rome, FBI agents were asking Christopher Steele about his sources and future copies of his memos (133).

Steele also spoke with the State Department’s Jonathan Winer about his (Steele’s) dossier. Winer prepared a two-page summary of the discussion and shared it with State Department colleagues Victoria Nuland and Jon Finer (134). Finer went to share the information with then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Once Kerry found out the FBI had a copy, he dropped the subject. So did Victoria Nuland (135).

Steele was very much against Donald Trump’s candidacy. He met with the DoJ’s Bruce Ohr and made his views clear (136). Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, had applied for a ham radio licence on May 23.

There was confusion at the Treasury Department about investigating people’s bank accounts. Treasury Department lawyer Paul Ahern said that draft guidelines were in place to do so (139), but, in reality, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis had never finalised said guidelines (140).

Russian interference was high on the agenda:

On September 13, George Papadopoulos began meeting with Stefan Halper in London (145). On March 26, 2018, The Daily Caller reported:

Papadopoulos now questions Halper’s motivation for contacting him, according to a source familiar with Papadopoulos’s thinking. That’s not just because of the randomness of the initial inquiry but because of questions Halper is said to have asked during their face-to-face meetings in London.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Halper asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”

Papadopoulos told Halper he didn’t know anything about emails or Russian hacking, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. The professor did not follow up on the line of inquiry.

Halper first contacted Papadopoulos by email. In a Sept. 2, 2016, message sent to Papadopoulos’s personal email account, he offered the Trump aide $3,000 to write a policy paper on issues related to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and the Leviathan natural gas field. Halper also offered to pay for Papadopoulos’s flight and a three-night stay in London.

Papadopoulos accepted the proposal, flew to England, and met with Halper and one of his assistants. He delivered the paper electronically Oct. 2 and received payment days later, according to documents TheDCNF reviewed

Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts he had during the campaign with Russian nationals and a London-based professor with links to the Russian government.

That professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos in April 2016 he learned the Russians had possession of “thousands” of Clinton-related emails. That conversation would later spark the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign. It is not known whether Papadopoulos told anyone on the Trump campaign about Mifsud’s remarks

London was a veritable stomping ground for Papadopoulos during the campaign.

In addition to meetings there with Halper and Mifsud, the Chicago native had an encounter that would serve as the catalyst for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling.

In May 2016, a month after his meeting with Mifsud, an Israeli embassy official, who Papadopoulos knew, introduced him to Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Alexander Downer.

During a barroom conversation at Kensington Gardens, Papadopoulos told Downer about the emails Mifsud mentioned to him, The New York Times reported in December 2016.

After WikiLeaks published a trove of stolen DNC emails in July 2016, Australian government officials told the FBI about Downer’s interaction with Papadopoulos. The bureau opened its counterintelligence investigation July 31, 2016 …

The Daily Caller article says the reasons why Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos are unclear and added that Downer and Halper have no clear personal connection with each other.

As to the meetings between Papadopoulos and Halper, the two:

met several times during the London trip, including at the Connaught Hotel and the Travellers Club — a classic 19th century club foreign diplomats and politicians frequent. Halper’s research assistant — a Turkish woman named Azra Turk — also met with Papadopoulos. The Connaught Hotel meeting was scheduled for Sept. 13, 2016, and the Travellers Club conclave was two days later …

At the time of the Papadopoulos meeting, Halper was working on a project related to China and Russia’s economic relations. There are no public records of Halper releasing reports on Turkey, Cyprus and Israel.

On September 14, the Department of Homeland Security’s Lisa Monaco told those attending (146):

the 10-year-anniversary of the DOJ’s National Security Division that Russia hacking the elections would be “extremely difficult”.

On September 22, two California Democrats — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff — issued a joint statement condemning Russian hacking based on briefings they had received (148).

On September 23, journalist Michael Isikoff posted an article (149):

“U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin” with information provided by Steele. The FBI takes notice.

Isikoff knows a Democrat operative, Alexandra Chalupa, who, Politico says:

had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.

A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching [Paul] Manafort’s role in Yanukovych’s rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych’s political party.

On September 26:

Concern about cyberattacks loomed larger near the end of September:

In the employ of Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele (154):

starts meeting with journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CNN and Yahoo! News. He meets Jane Mayer at the Tabard Inn in Washington. This is done under Glenn Simpson‘s watch, as he paid $168,000.00 to Steele to do it.

October 2016

October 2016 was a nail-biting month for both the Trump campaign as well as Hillary and her fellow Democrats.

So many things happened, yet Dems were sure their candidate would win.

Christopher Steele continued to be busy. At this point, he was in contact with the FBI (DoJ) and the State Department:

The FBI had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Also, then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe hadn’t yet told James Comey about Andrew Weiner‘s laptop (157). Incidentally, Jeff Sessions sacked McCabe on March 16, 2018.

On October 6, the Washington Post held their Cybersecurity Summit. The DHS’s Lisa Monaco said it would be difficult to hack the November 8 election because of the various voting systems in place throughout the 50 states (158).

Russia loomed large on October 7:

That day (161), the 2005 Billy Bush Access Hollywood tape dropped, which the GOPe and Democrats hoped would sink Trump. WikiLeaks also started dropping the Podesta emails, a treasure trove of insider Dem information. Two days later, on October 9, the FBI told John Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s campaign supremo — they were investigating the email hack (162).

WikiLeaks realeased near-daily dumps of Podesta emails from then until the election.

Meanwhile, on October 13, candidate Trump delivered his ‘Slings and Arrows’ speech in Florida (163).

On October 14, retired CIA official Michael Morrell (164):

takes some time out to try and tie Trump, Manafort, Stone and Page to Russia through financial connections and suggesting they are all agents of Russia.

That same day, Peter Strzok‘s wife received a promotion at the SEC and a former US ambassador to Russia visited the White House (165):

Michael McFaul is in the White House, where he bumps into Ambassador Kislyak. Also, Strzok’s wife, Melissa Hodgman, is promoted to Associate Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

Christopher Steele refocussed his efforts in meeting with journalists, including the BBC’s Paul Wood, and once again met with the aforementioned DoJ’s Bruce Ohr (166), whom he had met in September.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Obama that NSI director Admiral Mike Rogers should be fired (167). Rogers would turn out to be an invaluable asset to president-elect Trump.

October 15 was the DOJ’s John Carlin‘s last day at work. He had resigned as head of the DOJ’s National Security Division (168).

On October 16, Julian Assange’s access to the Internet was severed (169) but that contingency plans were in place. WikiLeaks claimed a ‘state party’ was responsible.

On October 18, the Obamas held their last state dinner. It was for Italy’s prime minister, Mario Renzi. The guest list includes a few of the names here (see 170 and 171).

On October 19, Robert Mueller appeared on the scene (172):

he’s been hired by Booz Allen Hamilton to review their security after the thefts committed by NSA contractor Harold Martin, who was discovered during the FBI’s search for the Shadow Brokers.

On October 20, Christopher Steele finished his memos, Stefan Halper addressed the China Forum in Washington and Mike Rogers received a briefing on pending FISA issues (173).

Also related:

As the month drew to a close:

The FBI terminated their relationship with Christopher Steele, as journalist David Corn wrote about information he should not have made public (187):

Now David Corn also drops the article “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump”, which ends Steele’s relationship with the FBI as they terminate him as a source.

Early November 2016

At the beginning of the month, the Steele Dossier began making the rounds in the Obama administration (189). Again, there was still no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

On October 31 the Obama administration sent a message to Russia via a secure channel originally designed for use in averting a nuclear exchange. On November 1, Russia confirmed receipt of the message (191).

That same day, Andrew McCabe recused himself from the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation (190).

On November 2, Obama criticised James Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary’s emails (192). Reopening the investigation at the end of October shocked many. The election was only days away.

A number of legislators and media pundits questioned whether Comey had violated the Hatch Act, a few of whom are listed below. From Wikipedia:

On October 30, 2016, U.S. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid stated that FBI Director James Comey may have violated the Hatch Act by sending a letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, which stated that the FBI would be reopening their investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[34][35] Also on October 30, Richard Painter, a chief White House ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush administration, published an op-ed saying that he had filed a complaint against the FBI with the OSC and with the Office of Government Ethics about the same matter.[36]

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to the DoJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz about conflicts of interest in the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s emails (193). Grassley’s letter mentioned the July 2016 tarmac meeting between then-AG Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton.

On November 3, Stefan Halper told Sputnik News that Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Donald Trump (194).

On November 6, news emerged that the FBI had examined all of Hillary’s hundreds of thousands of emails (195):

FBI’s Comey shuts down the Clinton investigation again, having read through 650,000 e-mails within about six days, something Michael Flynn openly questions.

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, an anti-Trumper now living in New York, wrote a piece for the now-defunct Heat Street (196):

… Louise Mensch (yes, her) published the article “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia” in Heat Street …

Meanwhile, confident of a Hillary victory, John Kerry left on a trip to Antarctica. And he must have got the surprise of his life learning the news from November 8:

Of course, as we all know, the story was far from over. In fact, in some respects, Spygate had only just begun.

Tomorrow’s post concludes the story of Spygate up to the present.

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