Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up”
Adam Lovinger, a former Defense Department analyst, never expected that what he stumbled on during his final months at the Pentagon would expose an integral player in the FBI’s handling of President Donald Trump’s campaign and alleged Russia collusion.
Lovinger, a whistleblower, is now battling to save his career. The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper, who was then an emeritus Cambridge professor, had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports, his attorney Sean Bigley said. Before Lovinger’s clearance was suspended he had taken a detail to the National Security Council as senior director for strategy. He was only there for five months before he was recalled to the Pentagon, stripped of his prestigious White House detail, and ordered to perform bureaucratic make-work in a Pentagon annex Bigley calls “the land of misfit toys.” His security clearance was eventually revoked in March 2018, despite the Pentagon “refusing to turn over a single page of its purported evidence of Lovinger’s wrongdoing,” Bigley stated. Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department to obtain the withheld records.
Lovinger also raised concerns about Halper’s role in conducting what appeared to be diplomatic meetings with foreigners on behalf of the U.S. government because his role as contractor forbids him from doing so, according to U.S. federal law.
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An investigation by SaraACarter.com reveals that the documents and information Lovinger stumbled on and other documents obtained by this news site, raise troubling questions about Halper, who was believed to have worked with the CIA and part of the matrix of players in the bureau’s ‘CrossFire Hurricane’ investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Halper, who assisted the FBI in the Russia investigation, appears to also have significant ties to the Russian government, as well as sources connected directly to President Vladimir Putin.
Halper did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Lovinger simply did what all Americans should expect of our civil servants
“When Mr. Lovinger raised concerns about DoD’s misuse of Stefan Halper in 2016, he did so without any political designs or knowledge of Mr. Halper’s spying activities,” Bigley told SaraACarter.com. “Instead, Mr. Lovinger simply did what all Americans should expect of our civil servants: he reported violations of law and a gross waste of public funds to his superiors.”
And for that, Bigley said, Lovinger has paid the ultimate price in his 12-year career as a strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. According to Bigley, shortly after Lovinger began reporting and asking questions about suspicious contracts given to Halper and others, including one person closely associated Chelsea Clinton, his security clearance was suspended. Later, on April 3, 2018, the DoD’s Washington Headquarters Services Director Barbara Westgate sent a letter to Lovinger indefinitely suspending him from duty and pay status after his clearance was removed in March. The letter stated, “The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that I am proposing to indefinitely suspend you from duty and pay status in your position as a Foreign Affairs Specialist.”
Lovinger, who is married with three children and is the family’s primary breadwinner, has been living off the generosity of family members since his pay was removed.
The retaliation for whistleblowing was something Bigley expected. “So, we weren’t surprised when DoD bureaucrats moved shortly thereafter to strip Mr. Lovinger of both his security clearance and his detail to the National Security Council, where he had been Senior Director for Strategy as a by-name request of the incoming Trump Administration,” said the attorney.
“Yet, we were puzzled by the unprecedented ferocity of efforts to discredit Mr. Lovinger, including leaks from DoD of false and defamatory information to the press,” he said. “Our assumption was that the other contractor about whom Mr. Lovinger explicitly raised concerns – a close confidante of Hillary Clinton – was the reason for the sustained assault on Mr. Lovinger, and that certainly may have played a role.”
Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon
Bigley suspects it was more than the Clinton-connected contracts adding, “Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon – Stefan Halper – and threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative than being plotted: that it was all a set-up.”
Halper’s Ties to Russian Officials Raise Serious Questions
Halper has had a long career and worked in government with several GOP administrations. At 73, the elusive professor spent a career developing top-level government connections–not just through academia but also through his work with members of the intelligence apparatus.
Those contacts and the information Halper collected along the way would eventually, through apparent circumstance, become utilized by the FBI against the Trump campaign. But, it was during his time hosting the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar at the University of Cambridge where Halper shifted from a professor and former government consultant to FBI informant on the Trump campaign.
In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused of being sympathetic to Russia and sought better relations between the U.S. and Russian officials. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.
During that time, the FBI sought and obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to spy on Page and used Halper to collect information on him, according to sources. The House Intelligence Committee Russia report and documents obtained by this outlet revealed that the bulk of the warrant against Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by Former British Spy Christopher Steele and the matter is still under congressional investigation. Steele, who was a former MI6 agent, also had ties to many of the same people, like former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, who were part of the seminar.
Halper, along with Dearlove, left the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in December 2016, saying they were concerned about Russian influence. Halper had told reporters at the time that it was due to “unacceptable Russian influence.”
Ironically, documents obtained by SaraACarter.com suggest that Halper also had invited senior Russian intelligence officials to co-teach his course on several occasions and, according to news reports, also accepted money to finance the course from a top Russian oligarch with ties to Putin.
Several course syllabi from 2012 and 2015 obtained by this outlet reveal Hapler had invited and co-taught his course on intelligence with the former Director of Russian Intelligence Gen. Vladimir I. Trubnikov.
On May 4, 2012, the course syllabus states, “Ambassador Vladimir I. Trubnikov will comment on the challenges faced while directing the Foreign Intelligence Service, his tenure as Ambassador to India, President Putin and the likely course of Russia’s relations with Britain and the U.S.”
In May 2015, Trubnikov returned to teach with Halper at his seminar in Cambridge on “current relations between the Russian Federation and the West.” Other notable intelligence experts attended the event in 2015, including Major Gen.Peter Williams, a former British commander of the mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany.
Halper’s partner in the seminar, Cambridge Professor Neil Kent has also espoused better relations with Russia and Putin in his writings and told Russia Today in a 2014 interview that “everyone is attacking and demonizing Russia.” According to Kent’s biography, he was a professor from 2002 to 2012 at Russia’s St. Petersburg State Academic Institute.
Even more interesting are reports from the British Media outlet, The Financial Times, that state Halper received funds for the Cambridge seminar from Russian billionaire Andrey Cheglakov, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cheglakov also funded Veruscript in 2016, which raised the suspicion of Dearlove and those connected to the seminar. Veruscript, a publisher for a Russian academic journal, was suspected by MI6 of being a front for Russian intelligence. Kent also happened to be the editor and chief of the journal. He published the inaugural article in the journal “The Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism” blaming the West for the Russian invasion into Crimea but the journal closed down due to their suspicions.
Dearlove was also concerned “that Russia may be seeking to use the seminar as an impeccably credentialed platform to covertly steer debate and opinion on high-level sensitive defense and security topics,” according to the Financial Times sources.
A former senior intelligence official told this news outlet, “It’s all smoke and mirrors. Halper was well aware when he was bringing in Trubnikov in 2012 that the Russian’s were already there at his invitation. The FBI uses Halper to get more information on Trump aides but it’s Halper who has the real connection to Russia.”
Lovinger raised concerns with top officials at the Pentagon in 2016 and noted that Halper went far beyond his work as a contractor after he discovered that the amount of money the professor was being paid for his research did not make sense. Lovinger stressed his concern that Halper was not just being utilized as a contractor, but that he was also conducting diplomatic work for the Pentagon “in violation of federal law,” according to Bigley.
In one email from Stephan Halper to Andrew May, the second highest ranking official in Lovinger’s office, Halper writes about a planned trip to conduct meetings in India.
“I am in Cambridge en route to India – arriving Saturday. So far 14 meetings have been scheduled with various parts of the political-military community. On Monday, a meeting is planned with the Delhi Policy Group where I will meet with Brigadier Seghal who is, apparently working with ONA (Office of Net Assessment) Can you tell me anything about him,” according to the document obtained by SaraACarter.com.
Halper and George Papadopoulos
Halper was not only spying on Page for the FBI in 2016, but he had also made contact in September 2016 with another Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos. He invited Papadopoulos to London that September, luring him with a $3,000 paycheck to work on a research paper under contract. By this time the young Trump campaign volunteer had already been in contact London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who had basically informed him that the Russians had damaging material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Misfud’s role has also come into question by Congress.
Eventually, Papadopoulos was swept into Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. His wife, Simona Papadopoulos, who’s been a vocal advocate for her husband, told SaraACarter.com that essentially he was forced to plead guilty because of threats from Mueller’s team and lack of financial resources.
After testifying behind closed doors last month to the House Intelligence Committee, Simona told this outlet that she testified to Congress “as far as George is concerned, he met with individuals following the same pattern of behavior….and all of a sudden (Halper) was asking if he was doing anything with Russians…. This is the case with Halper, who is now proven to be a spy, possibly with (Australian Ambassador) Alexander Downer” who her husband met with in London.
Halper and Michael Flynn
Before Page and Papadopolous, there was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been invited to Cambridge in February, 2014 for a a dinner hosted by both Dearlove and Halper.
The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn
But during that time, Flynn was already walking a fine line with the Obama Administration and battling President Obama and the CIA over his deep disagreement with the administration’s narrative that al-Qaeda and extremists groups, had been defeated or were on the run. Several months later Flynn was forced to resign early and ended his tenure as the director of the DIA.
“Flynn was pushed out by Obama and then became a thorn in the side of Obama and the Clintons when he joined the Trump campaign,” said a former senior intelligence source with knowledge of what happened. “The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn. Flynn was already on the CIA and Clinton target list. Those same people sure as hell didn’t want him in the White House and they sure as hell didn’t want Trump to win.”
Flynn’s career with Trump ended as quickly as it came. He was forced to resign as Trump’s National Security Advisor 27 days after taking the job. The highly classified conversation between Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post in January 2017 and he was later questioned by the FBI on that conversation. According to former FBI Director James Comey, the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he was lying, but in the end, Flynn pled guilty to one count of lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He had already spent more than $1 million in lawyers fees and sold his home to help with the debt. According to sources, Flynn’s family was being threatened by the Mueller team.
Halper’s involvement in the bureau’s investigation started much earlier than the FBI’s opening of its Crossfire investigation into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. He was already providing information on Page, Papadopolous, and Flynn earlier that year.
And it was in 2016 when Halper had told the FBI that he witnessed concerning interactions between Russian academic, Svetlana Lokhova, and Flynn at the February 2014 seminar dinner. This suspicion – without any proof – was then leaked to papers in London and eventually discussed in the U.S. media. Lokhova told the BBC in May 2017 that when she first saw the allegations raised in the media she thought it was a joke.
Numerous sources with knowledge of the allegations Halper made about Flynn, said that they were “absolutely” false and that Flynn and Lokhova only spoke for a short time at the dinner. Several email exchanges between Lokhova, Flynn and his assistant that took place after the dinner were generic in nature, as Flynn had asked her for a copy of a historical 1930s postcard she had brought to the seminar.
“But it didn’t matter that it wasn’t the truth,” said the former senior intelligence official. “It was already out there because of Halper’s allegations and the constant leaking and lying of false stories of those to the media.”