Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor who allegedly told the FBI a false story to dirty up then-Trump adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, seemed keenly aware of Flynns impending downfall in January 2017, according to a recently released recording.
Halper predicted Flynns departure from the position of President Donald Trumps national security adviser just two days before a leak of classified information set in motion a chain of events that indeed cost Flynn his job and that still continues today with Flynns turbulent legal saga.
Halpers comments suggested insider knowledge of what was about to unfold, according to Cambridge PhD candidate Steven Schrage, who recently released the recording of Halper that he said was made on Jan. 10, 2017, when Halper supervised his PhD work.
In the one-minute audio clip, it appears Halper was cautioning Schrage, former think tank national security scholar and congressional aide, from joining the National Security Council (NSC), which Flynn was slated to lead upon Trumps inauguration.
“If you go in the NSC you have to consider very carefully if you feel its appropriate for you to work for Flynn [crosstalk]. I dont think Flynns going to be around long. I mean, thats just my guess, but the way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with someone—I mean, you always do, probably lots of people—and when your opponents, so-called enemies, when people oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people they know youre at odds with. And thats how it builds and then eventually you get squeezed pretty hard. … But Flynns reaction to that is to blow up and get angry. Hes really [expletive], I mean [crosstalk], I dont know where he goes from there, but that is his reaction. Thats why hes so unsuitable.”
His comments came at a time when Flynn had already been for months hammered with negative media coverage that coincided with his joining the Trump team. None of it, however, rose to the point of dissuading Trump from appointing him to the NSC.
That changed starting on Jan. 12, 2017, when The Washington Post ran a column by David Ignatius, which suggested that Flynn violated the Logan Act in his December 2016 calls with then Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
The Logan Act is a 1799 law that prohibits private citizens from conducting diplomacy with foreign nations without White House approval. There are not only questions about its constitutionality, but it has never been applied to the incoming administration of a president-elect. In fact, nobody has ever been successfully prosecuted under it.
Based on documents released over the past several months, the FBI was investigating Flynn in 2016 for supposed links to Russia, as part of a wide ranging probe into alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
But the agents came up empty handed and on Jan. 4, 2017, drafted a memo to close the Flynn case.
FBI top brass intervened at the last minute to keep the case open as they “considered opening a new criminal investigation based solely on a potential violation of the Logan Act” by Flynn, the DOJ said in a May 6 court document (pdf).
Even though the Department of Justice (DOJ) made clear to the FBI that a Logan Act violation wouldnt fly in court, the bureau kept the case open and even sent agents to the White House to interview Flynn without notifying the White House counsel or the DOJ.
Flynn at first didnt portray to the Trump team his calls with Kislyak accurately, which led to the incoming Vice President Mike Pence providing inaccurate information during an interview. Thats why Flynn was fired in February 2017, Trump said.
His firing came after DOJ officials informed the administration that Flynn also portrayed the calls inaccurately during the FBI interview.
Around the same time, anonymous sources were spreading to the media stories alleging Flynn had an affair with a suspicious Russian woman. The woman was a Cambridge scholar of Russian origin Svetlana Lokhova, who denied the rumor and accused Halper of spreading the rumor. She said she had only met Flynn once at a 2014 formal dinner organRead More From Source