The Manchester Free Press

Tuesday • May 24 • 2022

Vol.XIV • No.XXI

Manchester, N.H.

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Ruminations of a New Hampshire Republican with decidedly libertarian leanings
Updated: 10 min 7 sec ago

How Does "President Pelosi" Grab You?

Sun, 2022-03-20 15:51 +0000

Clarice Feldman:  The New York Times Signals the End of Biden's Road

In October 2020, prior to the election, Hunter Biden’s laptop was left unclaimed at a repair shop and turned over to the FBI. Yaacov Aplebaum has covered at length the Biden family corruption, their crooked international dealings, pornographic images of Hunter and others, evidence of Hunter’s drug use and the coverup of his and the Biden family’s corruption which he found on the laptop and elsewhere on the internet. (Warning, images in these reports are not for the faint-hearted.)

The New York Post, without all these sordid details and photographs, reported the story in that same month before the election. But in the face of widespread denial the story got little coverage. It is only now almost two years later, that the New York Times confirms that the Post’s reporting on the laptop was accurate. 

A comprehensive report about the ongoing federal probe into Hunter Biden’s tax filings published by the New York Times on Wednesday night confirmed the existence of the first son’s infamous laptop.

In October 2020, The Post exclusively reported on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop that he ditched at a Delaware repair shop in April 2019.

The laptop’s hard drive contained a trove of emails, text messages, photos and financial documents between Hunter Biden, his family and business associates — detailing how the president’s son used his political leverage in his overseas business dealings.

The repair shop owner reported the laptop to the FBI, which seized the device and its hard drive. 

As part of their investigation into Hunter Biden, the Times reports, federal prosecutors have looked into emails between the first son and his former business associates that were recovered from the laptop.

Emma-Jo Morris the author of the Post report tweeted:

“Just to clarify: the New York Times did not ‘confirm’ my reporting on the laptop from hell. They did not add any new information speaking to its authenticity. All they did was ADMIT that it was legit. That is not a minor distinction.”

No, it isn’t minor. There was ample evidence the report was accurate, as Apelbaum’s reporting all that month demonstrated.

It is hard to imagine how the Times justifies hiding from its readers news this important which clearly would have affected the election.

Read the rest here.

My personal view is that the Times hid this important news because it would influence the election, and influence in a way more to the Times's liking. 

Clarice concludes this week's "Pieces" with the suggestion that, from the Democrat standpoint, now might be a good time to dump Joe Biden.  Biden's presidential performance has all but guaranteed huge Democrat losses come November, but getting rid of Joe would not be without other perils.  Joe's replacement is at least as unpopular as he is, so plans to dump Joe might also include dumping Vice President Kamala Harris as well?  And if that happens, are we ready for President Nancy?  Oh, God.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Dishonest, Actively Partisan, and Unapologetic

Sat, 2022-03-19 12:53 +0000

New York Post:  Spies who lie: 51 ‘intelligence’ experts refuse to apologize for discrediting true Hunter Biden story

They are the supposed nonpartisan group of top spies looking out for the best interest of the nation.

But the 51 former “intelligence” officials who cast doubt on The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop stories in a public letter really were just desperate to get Joe Biden elected president. And more than a year later, even after their Deep State sabotage has been shown again and again to be a lie, they refuse to own up to how they undermined an election.

The officials, including CNN pundit and professional fabricator James Clapper — a man who was nearly charged for perjury for lying to Congress — signed a letter saying that the laptop “has the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

What proof did they have? By their own admission, none. “We do not know if the emails . . . are genuine or not,” the letter said. They’re just “suspicious.” Why? Because they hurt Biden’s campaign, that’s evidence enough.

Keep in mind this was written Oct. 19, 2020, five days after The Post published its first story. Neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden had denied the story, they simply deflected questions. Didn’t these security experts think that if this was disinformation, the Biden campaign would have yelled to the heavens that the story was false?

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Introductory Physics Education

Tue, 2022-03-15 12:12 +0000
Categories: Blogs, United States

Thumb on the Scales of Justice?

Tue, 2022-03-15 12:04 +0000
Leslie McAdoo Gordon, RedState: Federal Judge Thwarts Checkmate Move of Illegally Detained January 6 Defendant Last week the case of January 6 defendant Lucas Denney gained considerable attention when the defense sought Mr. Denney’s release because of two Government violations... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

For the Perpetually Enraged Liberal It's Always Somebody Else's Fault

Mon, 2022-03-14 19:19 +0000
New York Post: ‘Rust’ armorer claims Alec Baldwin ignored gun safety rules before deadly shooting The armorer on the set of Alec Baldwin’s flick “Rust” has accused him of violating gun safety rules and claimed she was not asked to... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

How Disappointing — National League Adopts the Designated Hitter

Mon, 2022-03-14 18:10 +0000
Christopher Jacobs, The Federalist: The Baseball Settlement Fans Got Isn’t The One We Deserve But for all the upsides of the game returning, the agreement comes with several drawbacks. Notably, the National League will now adopt the designated hitter, going... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

Kamala Kaptured

Mon, 2022-03-14 18:00 +0000
Best impersonation ever. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/cetEgU1puZ — Rocket City Mindy (@sparkyandtaz) March 14, 2022 Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

Life in the Contemporary Middle School Classroom Has Become Morally and Emotionally Draining

Mon, 2022-03-14 13:26 +0000
Rhyen Staley: I Will No Longer Comply Our schools are failing the long term development of students through the implementation of a Neo-Marxian, Neo-Racist agenda. Schools are now pushing kids as young as kindergarteners to become “Agents of Change” or... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

Aaron Russo, Producer of Trading Places

Sun, 2022-03-13 19:27 +0000
The producer of the film Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, discussing his shock about how when he was friends with a Rockefeller, he learned that they funded the women's liberation movement for ulterior motives. pic.twitter.com/FM1h6MsQ7r — Critical... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

One Deep State Revelation After Another

Sun, 2022-03-13 17:53 +0000
Lloyd Billingsley, American Greatness: The William Barr Code As One Damn Thing After Another reveals, the deep state is deeper and more powerful than embattled Americans have imagined. The CIA, once headed by a Gus Hall voter, meddles in domestic... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

This Week's Favorites

Sun, 2022-03-13 10:51 +0000
PowerLine: This Week in Pictures See the rest here. Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

Years of Ultra-Loose Fiscal and Monetary Policies Depreciated Our Currency

Sat, 2022-03-12 21:02 +0000
Mike Gleason, Money Metals Exchange: Washington Enters Full Scapegoat Mode for Brewing Inflation Disaster First It Was “Transitory,” Then a Sign of Recovery, Then Corporate Greed, Now It’s Vladimir Putin’s Fault! Another volatile week of trading saw precious metals markets... Tom Bowler
Categories: Blogs, United States

The Greatest Mystery of World War II Has Been Solved

Sat, 2022-03-12 12:56 +0000

Filipe Rafaeli, pour FranceSoir:  The day I understood the 'good German'

Simultaneously, scientists reached the scientific consensus that Jews were the carriers of the disease. Therefore, to protect the population from the pandemic, a wall was built as a public health effort to contain the typhus spreaders. It was 10 feet high and 18 kilometers long. It was the "epidemic wall". In this way, the Jews of Warsaw, about one third of the entire population of the city, were confined in the neighborhood. The total number of Jews in all of Poland was 3.4 million.

[...]

"Hospitals in multiple countries reportedly declined to treat a 3-year-old boy with a serious heart condition because his parents weren't vaccinated against COVID-19", says the story published in NewsWeek. 

He is a boy from Cyprus. He tried to go to Germany to have surgery. "At the last minute, the Frankfurt hospital told authorities in Cyprus that the surgery wasn't going to happen. The hospital reportedly cited the parents' lack of a COVID-19 vaccine as the reason", the news reports.

"Cypriot authorities reportedly suggested a different guardian journey with the boy to Germany but were unsuccessful in persuading the hospital", informs the report.

With Germany's refusal, they tried in the United Kingdom, the country that was a base of the fight against fascism. It was also denied. Later they tried Israel, the country made up of the people who suffered the Holocaust, but was also refused. 

The child was not infected. The parents were not infected. And even with vaccines that do not reduce transmission, they decided that the parents are to blame for the pandemic and sent a message: that their child deserves to die because of it.

What is the difference between the health professionals in those hospitals and the doctors who applauded Dr Jost Walbaum? What is the difference between them and those who saw the trains full of children going to Auschwitz and didn't care? None. They made me understand the "good German". A contempt for the lives of others.

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Ideological Warfare — Part 1

Fri, 2022-03-11 13:06 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

On This Day in History It Began to Snow

Fri, 2022-03-11 12:45 +0000

The Windsor Historical Society:  The Blizzard of 1888

Windsor resident David J. Ellsworth (1840-1932) wrote in one of his diaries about his experience during the Blizzard of 1888. The following is an account he gave at a Windsor Historical Society meeting in November 1922, based on that diary entry and his memories of the blizzard.

This was the only really great snowstorm that can properly be designated as a blizzard that has occurred in my lifetime. I was 48 years of age at the time and so have it well in remembrance. It commenced snowing on Sunday night, March 11, and snowed all day Monday with a strong wind.

The first train to get stalled was at 2 PM that afternoon, Conductor Stone’s short train from Hartford, CT, to Springfield, MA. His train became stalled in the drifts nearly opposite our home in back of L.A. Parons’ land where the railroad is a cut several feet lower than the adjoining land. I never knew just how or when the train got away. Conductor Stone was one of our favorite conductors. He was the father of our James Stone and had that train for many years. He dropped down and died in his boots in the depot in Springfield.

I have the following entry in my diary for Tuesday, March 13: “The greatest snowstorm of the century. Wind blowing almost a gale, snow drifting in roads and around building as never seen before. All travel on railroads stopped and no moving on highways. Terrible in New York state. Mercury 10 to 15 degrees below zero.

It was snowing again on Wednesday until 11 AM. Up at the William Harvey place the snow was from six to eight feet deep. I wish to avoid exaggeration, but I helped to a deal of digging at that point. The wind and snow had an [un-]obstructed sweep across the low lands at the west which accounts for its great depth.

Original caption on reverse of photo: “Coming out of rock cut west of Winstead after being stalled – knocking photographer sideways”.

Corps of men and boys are shoveling the sidewalks in Hartford after the Blizzard of 1888. This view shows Main Street looking south from Mulberry Street (present day block between Buckingham St. and Park St.).

Teams of men and horses carted the snow on sleighs to the end of Trumbull Street and dumped the snow into the Connecticut River.

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Concerned Parents Were Accused of "Domestic Terrorism"

Fri, 2022-03-11 11:59 +0000

Just the News:  Fourteen attorneys general sue Biden administration over demand to investigate protesting parents

Fourteen Republican attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, have sued the Biden administration for not responding to a Freedom of Information request related to the Department of Justice calling for surveillance of parents expressing opinions at school board meetings and other forums.

The lawsuit follows a chain of events that began last October.

It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Indianapolis Division. It asks the court to force the Biden administration to respond to the requests for information.

It names President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, the U.S. Department of Justice, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and the U.S. Department of Education as plaintiffs.

The coalition, led by Rokita, are from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

On Oct. 4, Garland issued a memo on the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff” and called for the FBI and other federal law enforcement agents to monitor activities in school districts nationwide.

Six months later, the attorneys general argue, the Biden administration has provided no evidence of any spikes in threats against school personnel by American parents.

Garland issued the memo after the National School Board Association sent a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration lamenting that parents were opposing the teaching of critical race theory and other divisive ideologies, referring to parental protests as "domestic terrorism.”

Read the rest here.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Democrats Colluded With Ukraine Against Trump in 2016

Fri, 2022-03-11 11:22 +0000

Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigations:  Ukraine Worked With Democrats Against Trump in 2016 to Stop Putin. The Bet Backfired Badly.

Six years ago, before Russia’s full-scale invasion of their country, the Ukrainians bet that a Hillary Clinton presidency would offer better protection from Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though he had invaded Crimea during the Obama-Biden administration, whose Russian policies Clinton vowed to continue.

Ukraine worked with Hillary Clinton and the Democrats against Donald Trump as protection against President Vladimir Putin of Russia ...  AP   ... but Ukraine's bet backfired both when Trump won in 2016 -- and when Russia invaded after the Democrats regained power under Joe Biden. AP

Working with both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, Ukrainian government officials intervened in the 2016 race to help Clinton and hurt  Donald Trump in a sweeping and systematic foreign influence operation that's been largely ignored by the press. The improper, if not illegal, operation was run chiefly out of the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, where officials worked hand-in-glove with a Ukrainian-American activist and Clinton campaign operative to attack the Trump campaign. The Obama White House was also deeply involved in an effort to groom their own favored leader in Ukraine and then work with his government to dig up dirt on – and even investigate -- their political rival.

Ukrainian and Democratic operatives also huddled with American journalists to spread damaging information on Trump and his advisers – including allegations of illicit Russian-tied payments that, though later proved false, forced the resignation of his campaign manager Paul Manafort. The embassy actually weighed a plan to get Congress to investigate Manafort and Trump and stage hearings in the run-up to the election.

As it worked behind the scenes to undermine Trump, Ukraine also tried to kneecap him publicly. Ukraine's ambassador took the extraordinary step of attacking Trump in an Op-Ed article published in The Hill, an influential U.S. Capitol newspaper, while other top Ukrainian officials slammed the GOP candidate on social media.

  Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S. attacked Trump in an Op-Ed weeks before the 2016 election. The Hill   At first glance, it was a bad bet as Trump upset Clinton. But by the end of his first year in office, Trump had supplied Ukrainians what the Obama administration refused to give them: tank-busting Javelin missiles and other lethal weapons to defend themselves against Russian incursions. Putin never invaded on Trump's watch. Instead, he launched an all-out invasion during another Democratic administration – one now led by President Biden, Barack Obama's former Vice President, whose Secretary of State last year alarmed Putin by testifying, “We support Ukraine's membership in NATO.” Biden boasted he’d go “toe to toe” with Putin, but that didn't happen as the autocrat amassed tanks along Ukraine’s border in response to the NATO overtures.

The Ukrainian mischief is part of Special Counsel John Durham’s broader inquiry – now a full-blown criminal investigation with grand jury indictments – into efforts to falsely target Trump as a Kremlin conspirator in 2016 and beyond.

Related: Irregularities in Election Overseer's Handling of Chalupa and the DNC

Sources say Durham has interviewed several Ukrainians, but it’s not likely the public will find out exactly what he's learned about the extent of Ukraine’s meddling in the election until he releases his final report, which sources say could be several months away.

In the meantime, a comprehensive account of documented Ukrainian collusion – including efforts to assist the FBI in its 2016 probe of Manafort – is pieced together here for the first time. It draws from an archive of previously unreported records generated from a secret Federal Election Commission investigation of the Democratic National Committee that includes never-before-reviewed sworn affidavits, depositions, contracts, emails, text messages, legal findings and other documents from the case. RealClearInvestigations also examined diplomatic call transcripts, White House visitor logs, lobbying disclosure forms, congressional reports and closed-door congressional testimony, as well as information revealed by Ukrainian and Democratic officials in social media postings, podcasts and books.

2014:
Prelude to Collusion U.S. envoys Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt helped bring to power Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko, right. AP   

The coordination between Ukrainian and Democratic officials can be traced back at least to January 2014. It was then when top Obama diplomats – many of whom now hold top posts in the Biden administration – began engineering regime change in Kiev, eventually installing a Ukrainian leader they could control.

On Jan. 27, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt phoned Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at her home in Washington to discuss picking opposition leaders to check the power of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whom they believed was too cozy with Putin. “We’ve got to do something to make it stick together,” Pyatt said of a planned coalition government, adding that they needed “somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing.”

Nuland responded that Biden’s security adviser Jake Sullivan had just told her that the vice president – who was acting as Obama’s point man in Ukraine – would give his blessing to the deal. “Biden’s willing,” she said. But they agreed they had to “move fast” and bypass the European Union. “Fuck the EU,” Nuland told the ambassador, according to a leaked transcript of their call.

Hunter Biden: His father helped engineer the rise of an amenable Ukrainian leader who would later fire a prosecutor investigating the son. RCP  

Nuland’s role in the political maneuvering was not limited to phone calls. She traveled to Kiev and helped organize street demonstrations against Yanukovych, even handing out sandwiches to protesters. In effect, Obama officials greased a revolution. Within months, Yanukovych was exiled and replaced by Petro Poroshenko, who would later do Biden’s bidding – including firing a prosecutor investigating his son Hunter. Poroshenko would also later support Clinton's White House bid after Biden decided not to run, citing the death of his older son Beau.

The U.S. meddling resulted in the installation of an anti-Putin government next door to Russia. A furious Putin viewed the interference as an attempted coup and soon marched into Crimea.

Nuland is now Biden’s undersecretary of state and Sullivan serves as his national security adviser.

Alexandra Chalupa, Ukrainian-American Democratic operative: Played a key role, beginning with the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.  Afric Vision NouvelleTV/YouTube  

Whispering in their ear at the time was a fiery pro-Ukraine activist and old Clinton hand, Alexandra “Ali” Chalupa. A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Chalupa informally advised the State Department and White House in early 2014. She organized multiple meetings between Ukraine experts and the National Security Council to push for Yanukovych’s ouster and economic sanctions against Putin.

In the NSC briefings, Chalupa also agitated against longtime attorney-lobbyist Manafort, who at the time was an American consultant for Yanukovych's Party of Regions, which she viewed as a cat’s paw of Putin. She warned that Manafort worked for Putin’s interests and posed a national security threat.

At the same time, Chalupa worked closely with then-Vice President Biden’s team, setting up conference calls with his staff and Ukrainians.

Another influential adviser at the time was former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who provided Nuland with written reports on the Ukrainian crisis and Russia that echoed Chalupa’s warnings. Nuland treated them as classified intelligence, and between the spring of 2014 and early 2016, she received some 120 reports on Ukraine and Russia from Steele.

2015:
The Move Against
Manafort Commences Paul Manafort: Targeted by Chalupa over work for the ousted Ukrainian president and ties to Trump. AP   

In April 2015, the DNC hired Chalupa as a $5,000-a-month consultant, according to a copy of her contract, which ran through the 2016 election cycle. (Years earlier, Chalupa had worked full-time for the DNC as part of the senior leadership team advising Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.) After Trump threw his hat in the ring in June 2015, Chalupa grew concerned that Manafort was or would be involved with his campaign since Manafort had known Trump for decades and lived in Trump Tower. She expressed her concerns to top DNC officials and “the DNC asked me to do a hit on Trump,” according to a transcript of a 2019 interview on her sister’s podcast. (Andrea Chalupa, who describes herself as a journalist, boasted in a November 2016 tweet: “My sister led Trump/Russia research at DNC.”)

Chalupa began encouraging journalists both in America and Ukraine to dig into Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine and expose his alleged Russian connections. She fed unsubstantiated rumors, tips and leads to the Washington Post and New York Times, as well as CNN, speaking to reporters on background so a DNC operative wouldn’t be sourced.

“I spent many, many hours working with reporters on background, directing them to contacts and sources, and giving them information,” Chalupa said.

But no reporter worked closer with her than Yahoo News correspondent Michael Isikoff. He even accompanied her to the Ukrainian Embassy, where they brainstormed attacks on Manafort and Trump, according to FEC case files.

Chalupa was also sounding alarm bells in the White House. In November 2015, for example, she set up a White House meeting between a Ukrainian delegation including Ukraine Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and NSC advisers – among them Eric Ciaramella, a young CIA analyst on loan to the White House who later would play a significant role as anonymous "whistleblower" in Trump’s first impeachment. In addition to Putin’s aggression, the group discussed the alleged security threat from Manafort. Chalupa was back in the White House in December. All told, she would visit the Obama White House at least 27 times, Secret Service logs show, including attending at least one event with the president in 2016.

Eric Ciaramella (middle right) across from Ukrainians in a June 2015 meeting at the White House, flanked by Biden security adviser Michael Carpenter and Ciaramella's NSC colleague Liz Zentos. UnknownUkraine.com   January 2016:
High-Level Meetings
With Ukrainians in the White House

On Jan. 12, 2016 – almost a month before the first GOP primary – Chalupa told top DNC official Lindsey Reynolds she was seeing strong indications that Putin was trying to steal the 2016 election for Trump. Emails also show that she promised to lead an effort to expose Manafort – whom Trump would not officially hire as his campaign chairman until May – and link him and Trump to the Russian government. That same day, Chalupa visited the White House.

Andrii Telizhenko, Andrii Telizhenko, Ukrainian official: He said Obama's Justice Department sought political dirt from Ukraine. Later Trump did too. He was impeached for it. LinkedIn/Andrii Telizhenko   Eric Ciaramella: Later the anonymous "whistleblower" in Trump's first impeachment, he organized meetings with Ukrainians. whitehouse.gov  

A week later, Obama officials gathered with Ukrainian officials traveling from Kiev in the White House for a series of senior-level meetings to, among other things, discuss reviving a long-closed investigation into payments to American consultants working for the Party of Regions, according to Senate documents. The FBI had investigated Manafort in 2014 but no charges resulted.

One of the attendees, Ukrainian Embassy political officer Andrii Telizhenko, recalled Justice Department officials asking investigators with Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, or NABU, if they could help find fresh evidence of party payments to such U.S. figures. (Three years later, Democrats would impeach Trump for allegedly asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival, Joe Biden.)

The Obama administration’s enforcement agencies leaned on their Ukrainian counterparts to investigate Manafort, shifting resources from an investigation of a corrupt Ukrainian energy oligarch who paid Biden’s son hundreds of thousands of dollars through his gas company, Burisma.

"Obama’s NSC hosted Ukrainian officials and told them to stop investigating Hunter Biden and start investigating Paul Manafort."

Ex-NSC Official  

“Obama’s NSC hosted Ukrainian officials and told them to stop investigating Hunter Biden and start investigating Paul Manafort,” said a former senior NSC official who has seen notes and emails generated from the meetings and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Suddenly, the FBI reopened its Manafort investigation. “In January 2016, the FBI initiated a money laundering and tax evasion investigation of Manafort predicated on his activities as a political consultant to members of the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian politicians,” according to a report by the Justice Department’s watchdog.

The White House summit with Ukrainian officials ran for three days, ending on Jan. 21, according to a copy of the agenda stamped with the Justice Department logo. It was organized and hosted by Ciaramella and his colleague Liz Zentos from the NSC. Other U.S. officials included Justice prosecutors and FBI agents, as well as State Department diplomats. The Ukrainian delegation included Artem Sytnyk, the head of NABU, and other Ukrainian prosecutors.

Ciaramella was a CIA detailee to the White House occupying the NSC’s Ukraine desk in 2015 and 2016. In that role, Ciaramella met face-to-face with top Ukrainian officials and provided policy advice to Biden through the then-vice president's security adviser Michael Carpenter. He also worked with Nuland and Chalupa.Ciaramella was carried over to the Trump White House. As RealClearInvestigations first reported, he would later anonymously blow the whistle on Trump asking Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to help “get to the bottom of” Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election, a phone call that triggered Trump’s first impeachment by a Democrat-controlled House. Ciaramella’s former NSC colleague Alexander Vindman leaked the call to him. Vindman, a Ukrainian-American, is also aligned with Chalupa. (Vindman is now back in the news for his demands that the United States provide more active military support to Ukraine and his insistence that Trump shares great blame for the war.)

As Manafort drew closer to Trump, Obama officials zeroed in, and the FBI reopened a closed 2014 probe. Justice Department Office of the Inspector General   February 2016:
Obama White House-Ukraine
Coordination Intensifies

On Feb. 2, two weeks after the White House meetings, Secret Service logs reveal that Ciaramella met in the White House with officials from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, which would later provide the FBI highly sensitive bank records on Manafort. (In addition, a senior FinCEN adviser illegally leaked thousands of the confidential Manafort records to the media.)

On Feb. 9, less than a month after the White House summit, Telizhenko, who worked for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met with Zentos of the NSC at a Cosi sandwich shop in Washington, according to emails obtained by the Senate. It's not known what they discussed. In addition, on Feb. 23, the two emailed about setting up another meeting the following day. “OK if I bring my colleague Eric, who works on Ukraine with me?” Zentos asked Telizhenko, apparently referring to Ciaramella. In the emails, they discussed the U.S. primary elections, among other things.

NSC's Zentos and Ukraine's Telizhenko would meet and correspond numerous times during 2016. HSGAC-Finance Committee Hunter Biden Report  

Telizhenko would later testify that Ambassador Chaly had ordered him then to “start an investigation [into the Trump campaign] within the embassy just on my own to find out with my contacts if there’s any Russian connection that we can report back.” He suspects the Ambassador delivered that report to Chalupa and the DNC. Chalupa visited the White House on Feb. 22, entrance records show, just days before the second meeting Telizhenko had planned with Zentos.

March 2016:
Chalupa Engineers
Manafort Messaging Assault
With Ukrainians After Manafort was named Trump campaign chair, the campaign against him went into overdrive. New York Times  

On March 3, Zentos and Telizhenko planned to meet again, this time at a Washington bar called The Exchange. According to their email, Zentos wrote, “I’ll see if my colleague Eric is up for joining.” The pair also met the next day at Swing’s coffee house in Washington. After the meeting, Telizhenko emailed Zentos seeking a meeting with senior Obama NSC official Charlie Kupchan, an old Clinton hand who was Ciaramella’s boss on the Russia/Ukraine desk. Kupchan is an outspoken critic of Trump who has made remarks suggesting what countries “can do to stop him” and “protect the international institutions we’ve built .” Zentos and Telizhenko also met on March 10, patronizing the Cosi coffee shop again.

On March 24, 2016, four days before the Trump campaign announced that it had hired Manafort, Chalupa met at the Ukrainian Embassy with Ambassador Chaly and his political counselor Oksana Shulyar, where they shared their concerns about Manafort, according to Politico.

When news broke on March 28 that Manafort was joining the Trump campaign, Chalupa could hardly contain herself. “This is huge,” she texted senior DNC officials. “This is everything to take out Trump.”

She immediately began circulating anti-Manafort memos, warning the DNC of the “threat” he posed of Russian influence. The next day, March 29, she briefed the DNC communications team about Manafort. They, in turn, hatched a plan to reach out to the Ukrainian Embassy to get President Porochenko to make an on-camera denouncement of Manafort and feed the footage to ABC News, where former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos works as a top anchor. On March 30, Chalupa fired off an email to Shulyar, her contact at the Ukrainian Embassy:

"There is a very good chance that President Poroshenko may receive a question from the press during his visit about the recent New York Times article saying that Donald Trump hired Paul Manafort as an adviser to his campaign and whether President Poroshenko is concerned about this considering Trump is the likely Republican nominee and given Paul Manafort’s meddling in Ukraine over the past couple of decades,” Chalupa wrote. "It is important President Poroshenko is prepared to address this question should it come up. In a manner that exposes Paul Manafort for the problems he continues to cause Ukraine."

Within minutes of sending the email, Chalupa wrote the DNC’s communications director Luis Miranda, “The ambassador has the messaging.”

Then she reached out to a friend in Congress, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, about holding hearings to paint Manafort as a pro-Kremlin villain.

April 2016:
Chalupa Solicits Ukrainian Dirt on Trump,
His Campaign, and Manafort In an FEC probe, accounts differed on whether Chalupa discussed Trump "dirt" with Ukrainians. Federal Election Commission  

American presidential campaigns aren't supposed to work with foreign governments to dig up dirt on their political opponents. Geneva Convention rules bar diplomats from becoming entangled in their host country’s political affairs, particularly elections. There are also federal laws banning foreign nationals from engaging in operations to influence or interfere with U.S. political and electoral processes. In 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on charges of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government for that purpose.

But just weeks after Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign, the Ukrainian Embassy appeared to be working with the Clinton campaign to torpedo him and the campaign.

Emails reveal that Chalupa and Shulyar, a top aide to Ambassador Chaly, agreed to meet for coffee on April 7, 2016, at Kafe Leopold, a restaurant near the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington. (Chalupa had paid a visit to the White House just three days earlier.) One of the purposes of the meeting, according to FEC case files, was to discuss Manafort and the danger he allegedly posed. They were joined at the café by Telizhenko, who said he was working on a “big story” on Manafort and Trump with the Wall Street Journal.

In a sworn 2019 deposition taken by the FEC, Telizhenko alleged that Chalupa solicited “dirt” on Trump, Manafort, and the Trump campaign during the meeting. Telizhenko also testified that Chalupa told him that her goal was “basically [to] use this information and have a committee hearing under Marcy Kaptur, congresswoman from Ohio, in Congress in September and take him off the elections."

Telizhenko later approached Ambassador Chaly about the DNC representative's overtures and he responded: “Yes. And I know that this is happening. You should work with her."

After speaking with Chaly, Telizhenko claims that he went back to Shulyar who instructed him to help Chalupa. “I went to Oksana and said, ‘Like what are we doing?’” he testified. " And she told me, ‘You have to work with Chalupa. And any information you have, you give it to me, I’ll give it to her, then we’ll pass it on later to anybody else we are coordinating with.’”

Less than a week later, on April 13, Telizhenko met again with White House official Zentos, email records reveal.

Telizhenko said he resigned the next month because of concerns regarding his embassy’s work with Chalupa and the Clinton team.

In her sworn account of the meeting, Chalupa acknowledged discussing Manafort and the “national security problem” he allegedly presented, but denied asking the embassy for help researching him. She allowed that she “could have mentioned the congressional investigation … that I had talked to Marcy Kaptur,” but maintained she couldn't recall trying to enlist the embassy in the effort.

Shulyar, however, clearly recalls that Chalupa sought the embassy’s help warning the public about Manafort – including pitching stories to the press and lobbying Congress, according to a 2020 written statement to the FEC. An “idea floated by Alexandra Chalupa was that we approach a co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus to initiate a congressional hearing on Paul Manafort,” Shulyar said, though she denied the embassy acted on the idea.

Around the same time, two Ukrainian lawmakers – Olga Bielkova and Pavlo Rizanenko – visited the U.S. and met with journalists, as well as a former State Department official with close ties to Sen. John McCain – David Kramer of the McCain Institute. Kramer would later leak the entire Steele dossier to the media. The meeting was arranged by major Clinton Foundation donor Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch who lobbied Clinton when she was Obama’s secretary of state. Bielkova was also connected to the Clinton Foundation, having once managed a Clinton Global Initiative program for Ukrainian college students.

While Clinton was at Foggy Bottom from 2009 to 2013, Ukrainians gave more money – at least $10 million, including more than $8 million from Pinchuk – to the Clinton Foundation than any other nationality including Saudi Arabians. Pinchuk's donation was a down payment on an astounding $29 million pledge.

On April 12, 2016, Bielkova also attended a meeting with Ciaramella and his NSC colleague Zentos, head of the Eastern Europe desk, according to lobbying disclosure records.

In late April, Chalupa helped organize a Ukrainian-American protest against Manafort in his Connecticut hometown. Activists shouted for Trump to fire Manafort, whom they called “Putin’s Trojan Horse,” while holding signs that read: “Shame on Putin, Shame on Manafort, Shame on Trump” and “Putin, Hands Off the U.S. Election.” Chalupa also organized social media campaigns against Manafort and Trump, including one that encouraged activists to share the Twitter hashtags: “#TrumpPutin” and "#Treasonous Trump."

Also that month, Chalupa reached out to Yahoo News reporter Isikoff to pitch a hit piece on Manafort. She connected him with a delegation of Ukrainian journalists visiting D.C. Isikoff would later be used by Steele to spread falsehoods from his dossier.

May-June 2016:
Manafort Dirt Spreads

In a May 3 email, Chalupa alerted DNC communications director Luis Miranda and DNC opposition research director Lauren Dillion that there was “a lot more [dirt on Manafort] coming down the pipe[sic].”

Nellie Ohr, Fusion GPS researcher: Emailed her husband Bruce at Justice about documents found by Ukrainian authorities purportedly showing Manafort receiving illicit payments. Fox Business/YouTube  

Chalupa told them the dirt has “a big Trump component” and would “hit in the next few weeks.” It’s not clear if she was referring to the notorious "black ledger” smear against Manafort, who was promoted to campaign chairman on May 19, but a story about it was brewing at the time.

On May 30, Nellie Ohr, an opposition researcher for the Clinton-retained firm Fusion GPS, emailed her husband, Bruce Ohr, a top official at the Justice Department who would become a prime disseminator of the Steele dossier within the government, and two federal prosecutors to alert them to an article indicating NABU had suddenly discovered documents allegedly showing Manafort receiving illicit payments.

Amid the flurry of anti-Manafort activity, Zentos met again with Telizhenko on May 4, records show. And Chalupa visited the White House for a meeting on May 13.

Chalupa paid another visit to the White House on June 14, Secret Service logs show. On June 17, Ciaramella held a White House meeting with Nuland and Pyatt of the State Department to discuss undisclosed Ukrainian matters.

In late June, the FBI signed an evidence-sharing agreement with NABU, less than two months before the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency released what it claimed was explosive new evidence on Manafort.

July 2016:
Ukrainian Officials Attack
Trump Publicly

Chalupa continued to pow-wow with the Ukrainian Embassy and got so cozy with officials there that they offered her a position, which she declined, as an “embedded consultant” in the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That same month, high-ranking Ukrainian officials openly insulted Trump on social media in an unusual departure from normal diplomacy.

“It was clear that they were supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. They did everything from organizing meetings with the Clinton team to publicly supporting her to criticizing Trump."

Andriy Artemenko, Ukrainian lawmaker  

For instance, Ukraine Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov tweeted that Trump was a “clown” who was “an even bigger danger to the U.S. than terrorism.” In another July post, he called Trump “dangerous for Ukraine.” And on Facebook, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk warned that Trump had “challenged the very values of the free world."

(After Trump upset Clinton, Avakov and other officials tried to delete their statements from their social network accounts, saying that they had been wrong and had rushed to conclusions.)

“It was clear that they were supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy,” Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Artemenko told Politico. “They did everything from organizing meetings with the Clinton team to publicly supporting her to criticizing Trump."

While attending the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Chalupa spread the scurrilous rumor that Manafort was the mastermind behind the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC and that he “stole" her and other Democrats’ emails. She later told her sister’s podcast that she had reported her conspiracy theory to the FBI, eventually sitting down and meeting with agents in September to spin her tale of supposed espionage (the Senate has asked the FBI for copies of her interview summaries, known as FD-302s). Chalupa also prepared a report for the FBI, as well as members of Congress, detailing her Russiagate conspiracy theories, which Mueller later found no evidence to support.

In addition, Chalupa helped spread a false narrative that Trump removed a reference to providing arms to Kiev from the Republican platform at the party's convention earlier that month. Internal platform committee documents show the Ukraine plank could not have been weakened as claimed, because the “lethal” weapons language had never been part of the GOP platform. The final language actually strengthened the platform by pledging direct assistance not just to the country of Ukraine, but to its military in its struggle against Russian-backed forces.

August-September 2016:
The Phony Manafort Ledger Leaks  A page released by Ukrainian authorities from the fake Manafort ledger. New York Times/NABU  

In another attempt to influence the 2016 election, Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko leaked to the U.S. media what he claimed was evidence of a secret handwritten ledger showing Manafort had received millions in cash from Yanukovych’s party under the table. He claimed that 22 pages of the alleged ledger, which contained line items written by hand, had mysteriously appeared in his parliament mailbox earlier that year. Leshchenko would not identify the sender. A fuller copy of the same document showed up later on the doorstep of a Ukrainian intelligence official who passed it to NABU, which shared it with FBI agents stationed in Kiev. Leshchenko and NABU officials held press conferences declaring the document was “proof" of Manafort corruption and demanding he be “interrogated.”

The Clinton campaign seized on the story. In an Aug. 14 statement, campaign manager Robby Mook stated: “We have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump's team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine.” He demanded Trump "disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort's and all other campaign employees' and advisers' ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities."

But there was a big hole in the story. Though Manafort was a consultant to Yanukovych's party, he was paid by wire, not in cash, casting serious doubt on the ledger’s authenticity. Another problem: the ledger was alleged to have been kept at party headquarters, but rioters had destroyed the building in a 2014 fire.

Leshchenko admitted that he had a political agenda. He told The Financial Times at the time that he went public with the ledger because “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy.” He added that most of Ukraine’s politicians are “on Hillary Clinton’s side."

Leshchenko also happened to be "a source for Fusion GPS,” as Nellie Ohr confirmed under questioning during a 2019 closed-door House hearing, according to a declassified transcript. Fusion was a paid agent of the Clinton campaign, which gave the private opposition-research firm more than $1 million to gin up connections between Trump and Russia. Fusion hired Steele to compile a series of “intelligence” memos known as the dossier. As a former MI6 operative, Steele gave the allegations a sheen of credibility.

"The ledger and the dossier are both Fusion hit jobs. The two items shared a common origin: the Hillary campaign’s oppo research shop."

Mark Wauck, ex-FBI official  

FBI counterintelligence veteran Mark Wauck said the dossier and the black ledger both appear to have originated with Fusion GPS, which laundered it through foreigners who hated Trump – Steele and Leshchenko.

"The ledger and the dossier are both Fusion hit jobs,” Wauck said. “The two items shared a common origin: the Hillary campaign’s oppo research shop."

In an August 2016 memo written for Fusion GPS, “The Demise of Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort,” Steele claimed he had corroborated Leshchenko’s charges through his anonymous Kremlin sources, who turned out to be nothing more than beer buddies of his primary source collector, Igor Danchenko, a Russian immigrant with a string of arrests in the U.S. for public intoxication, as RealClearInvestigations first reported. Danchenko had worked for the Brookings Institution, a Democratic think tank in Washington that Durham has subpoenaed in connection to its own role in Russiagate. Danchenko was indicted last year by Special Counsel Durham for lying about his sources, including one he completely made up, as RCI reported.

“YANUKOVYCH had confided in PUTIN that he did authorize and order substantial kick-back payments to MANAFORT as alleged,” Steele claimed in the unsubstantiated report, citing “a well-placed Russian figure” with knowledge of a "meeting between PUTIN and YANUKOVYCH” allegedly “held in secret” on Aug. 15. As a paid informant, Steele had long reported to the FBI about alleged corruption involving Yanukovych.

The FBI used his Clinton-funded dossier as a basis to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump adviser Carter Page, including the false claim that Page acted as an intermediary between Russian leadership and Manafort in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” that included sidelining Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue. Steele also falsely claimed that Page had helped draft the RNC platform statement to be more sympathetic to Russia’s interests by eliminating language about providing weapons to Ukraine, according to a report by the Department of Justice's watchdog. In fact, Page was not involved in the GOP platform. The misinformation came from Danchenko’s fictional source.

Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson worked closely with the New York Times on the Manafort ledger story. In his book, “Crime in Progress,” Simpson boasts of introducing Leshchenko to the Times as a source, who ended up providing the paper some of the dubious ledger records. On Aug. 19, Manafort stepped down from the Trump campaign the day after the Times reported what it had been fed by the anti-Trump operatives.

In effect, Ukrainian government officials tried to help Clinton and undermine Trump by disseminating documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and telling the American media they were investigating the matter.

In 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that Leshchenko and NABU’s Sytnyk illegally interfered in the 2016 U.S. election by publicizing the black ledger. Among the evidence was a recording of Sytnyk saying the agency released the ledger to help Clinton’s campaign – “I helped her,” Sytnyk is recorded boasting. But the damage was done. The Ukrainians, along with Chalupa and the Clinton camp, achieved their goal of undermining the Trump campaign by prompting Manafort’s ouster though they never proved he was colluding with the Russians. Neither did Special Counsel Mueller. In fact, Mueller did not use the ledger to prosecute Manafort after a key witness for the prosecution told him it was fabricated. “Mueller ended up dropping it like a hot potato,” Wauck said. 

Ukraine’s neutrality in the election was also called into further question that September, when Porochenko met with Clinton during a stop in New York. He never met with Trump, who appeared to get the cold shoulder from the Ukrainian leader. In statements following Trump’s surprise victory over Clinton in November, Ukraine’s embassy has denied interfering in the election and insisted that Chalupa was acting on her own.

Epilogue

After Trump won the election in spite of her efforts to sabotage him, Chalupa predicted: “Under President Trump, the Kremlin could likely invade U.S. allies in Europe without U.S. opposition.”

Not only did Russia not invade Europe “under Trump,” it didn’t even invade Ukraine. Rather, the invasion came under Biden, whose campaign Chalupa supported. Yet she continues to blame Trump. Recent tweets show a still-obsessed Chalupa has not dialed back her extremist views about Trump or Manafort, whom she believes should be prosecuted for “treason."

In a Feb. 28 post on Twitter, for example, Chalupa claimed that Putin installed “a puppet regime in the U.S. with the help of Paul Manafort.” The previous day, she tweeted, “We had a Putin installed Trump presidency.” A day before that, she wrote: “Now would be a good time to release the Putin-Trump treason calls.”

And on Feb. 25, Chalupa tweeted another wild conspiracy theory: "It’s important to note that Putin’s imperial aspirations are of a global criminal empire, as we saw when he installed Donald J. Trump president and tried to turn the U.S. into a Russian satellite state."

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Categories: Blogs, United States

No Worries, Biden Has It All Under Control

Thu, 2022-03-10 13:23 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

Bryce Mitchell

Wed, 2022-03-09 14:09 +0000
Categories: Blogs, United States

The Curious Case of Stefan Halper

Wed, 2022-03-09 13:44 +0000

Mark Hemingway, RealClearInvestigations:  The Curious Case of Stefan Halper, Longtime 'Zelig' of American Scandals Who 'Crossfired' Trump

In the late summer of 2016 Stefan A. Halper met with at least three of Donald Trump’s associates in England and the United States, bragging about his friendship with Russian spies who “can be very helpful to us at this time.”

Two men approached by Halper and lured to events at Cambridge: Carter Page ...  FNC   ... and George Papadopoulos. CNN  

As they listened to his tales of foreign intrigue and promises of illegal foreign help, what George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis did not know was that Halper was not who he said he was. He was, indeed, a spy, but his handler was not the Kremlin – it was the FBI. Armed with leading questions and on at least two occasions a hidden tape recorder, Halper had been tasked by the bureau with finding dirt on the Trump campaign.

 

Halper’s undercover operation, which was documented in a report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, would prove largely a bust. Transcripts between Halper and Trump campaign officials would show that  none of them took the bait, or appeared to otherwise be soliciting Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential campaign

Even now, it might seem odd that the FBI made Halper, then a septuagenarian Cambridge University professor, a linchpin of its top-secret counterintelligence probe codenamed "Crossfire Hurricane." But a closer look at Halper’s life and work makes that decision seem inevitable. Stefan Halper is the Zelig of modern American political scandal – a chameleon-like, unusually ubiquitous figure who keeps appearing when mischief is afoot.

A Wide Resume,
and Questions About It

The former son-in-law of a top CIA official, Halper cut his teeth in the Nixon White House during Watergate. The New York Times identified him as the Reagan campaign’s point man in an alleged effort to spy on President Jimmy Carter, and he was later chairman of a bank that helped provide money to surreptitiously fund Nicaragua’s pro-American contra rebels during the 1980s. In the run-up to his subterfuge in the Trump-Russia caper, Halper was paid more than $1 million by a Pentagon office that produced work deemed of such little value that Sen. Charles Grassley recently identified it as a prime example of the government’s “systemic failure to manage and oversee” spending.

Given the secret nature of his work, it is not surprising that Halper’s exact role in these scandals is still debated by insiders and historians. An examination of long-ignored records by RealClearInvestigations, however, shows that Halper has added to the mystery by appearing to consistently misrepresent his background and experience on resumes. There is, for example, no public evidence for his claim, on a resume he submitted to the Ford White House, that he was class president at Stanford University in 1967, or a Fulbright scholar. Nor is there any for the claim on another resume that he held the prestigious position in the Ford administration listed.  

Halper declined to speak with RCI when asked for an interview in person at his Virginia home. He also declined to respond to a letter from this reporter subsequently sent to his attorney, inquiring about discrepancies documented in this article. 

Oxford, top, would neither confirm nor deny whether Halper had earned a Ph.D. there, as he claimed. Bottom type: From Halper resume posted on Institute of World Politics website (removed 2020).   Reinvention
at the Center of History

For an example of the entrenched, protective, and largely unaccountable  “deep state” that many see as a central problem in Washington, one would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting embodiment than Stefan Halper. Like the fictional character Leonard Zelig in Woody Allen’s 1983 mockumentary, Halper – who worked for Republicans until he helped try to take down a GOP candidate – has used his ability to reinvent himself to stay at the center of history.

Little information is available about Halper’s childhood. His Wikipedia entry says he was born in 1944. A relative who requested anonymity said he was reared in New Jersey. His public biography picks up in 1967, when he graduated from Stanford University – though he was not, as he later claimed, class president. That honor belonged to Jim Binns, a Vietnam veteran who would later go on to have a distinguished career in government service. According to the Stanford Quad yearbook, Halper was president of the Institute of International Relations club.

After Stanford, Halper earned a Ph.D. from Oxford in 1971, according to both his Ford White House resume and one posted until 2020 on the website of the Institute for World Politics, a foreign policy graduate school where Halper was on the faculty as a “research professor.” At Oxford, such a doctoral degree requires a dissertation to be submitted to the university’s library system, a search of which showed no listing for Stefan Halper. The school would neither confirm nor deny for RCI whether Halper had earned a Ph.D. from the university. A 1968 newsletter does place him at the school. The dust jacket of a book of essays he co-edited in 1972 says that he “recently completed a doctoral thesis at Oxford.”

Halper’s Ford resume states that he was a Fulbright Scholar in 1971. Peter VanDerwater, Head of Outreach and Recruitment for the Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs, said he was not “able to locate [Halper’s] name in the directories we publish for the Fulbright Student and Scholar programs.”

Halper’s claims about Stanford, Oxford and the Fulbright scholarship were among the discrepancies and gaps in the official record RCI asked Halper to clarify. He declined.

The Nixon Years

During that same busy year of 1971, according to Halper’s Institute for World Politics resume, he joined the Nixon White House as a member of the Domestic Policy Council.  If this were true, it would have placed him near the nerve center of Nixon-era dirty tricks. Council staff were recruited by John Ehrlichmann, who also oversaw the infamous White House Special Investigations Unit – better known as the “plumbers.” With a team that included CIA alum E. Howard Hunt, the unit was designed to stop leaks of damaging information questioning America’s role in the Vietnam war. The plumbers would later execute the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, which led to Nixon’s resignation and landed Hunt, Ehrlichmann, and others in prison.

But civil service records obtained by RealClearInvestigations indicate that Halper did not work for the Domestic Council. His job title is listed as “Special Assistant to the Director, Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention” (SAODAP). Although this office was overseen by the Council’s head, Egil “Bud” Krogh Jr. (who was supervised by Ehrlichmann), it was a separate program within the Executive Office of the President.

Jerry Jaffe, the former head of the SAODAP program, confirmed in an email to RCI that, “Mr. Halper worked for the special action office for drug abuse prevention, and that the dates were approx 1971 to 1973.” Jaffe added: “SAODAP was not part of the Domestic Council.”

Other records show that Halper tried and failed to secure a prominent role in the administration as a speechwriter. In a 1972 memo regarding Halper’s job interview, Nixon speechwriter Harold J. “Tex” Lezar described him as “very smooth,” “a little surer than he had a right to be,” “something of a schemer,” and “a bit disingenuous.” Nonetheless, a resume Halper submitted to the White House in 1975, which is stored at the Gerald Ford presidential library, claims that he served as a “consultant” to Nixon’s speechwriting staff in 1972.

Questions were raised back then about Halper’s resume.

“I remember that at some point after he was hired someone on the staff pointed out that there were discrepancies between the credentials he claimed to have earned and those we could verify,” Jaffe wrote RCI. ”After more than 50 years, I can no longer recall what was done about these findings.”

A leg up due to family ties: Halper's father-in-law was top CIA official Ray S. Cline. Ashbrook Center   The Ford Years

The resume Halper submitted to the Ford White House raises other questions. Along with a White House memo dated July 23, 1975, it states that he was working at the Office of Management and Budget.

Halper’s later resume posted by the Institute for World Politics places him in a far more significant position. It says that from “1974 - January 20, 1977” Halper worked at the “White House Office of the Chief of Staff [as] Assistant to the Chief of Staff. (responsibilities included summary and analysis of foreign developments and security issues).” This would have been a very significant position, as it meant Halper had worked under Ford’s noteworthy chiefs of staff – Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig.

But documents obtained from the Gerald Ford Presidential Library show that Halper was employed by OMB during much of that time and didn’t join the Ford White House until May 17, 1976, where he was a "consultant" in the press secretary's office. On August 9, 1976, he moved to full-time status with the title of Staff Assistant for Communications. The Ford Library also has a December 1976 memo to Halper from Ron Nessen, Ford’s press secretary, thanking him for his service as the administration drew to a close.

While it appears that Halper struggled to gain prominent political jobs, his career soon got a leg up thanks, in part, to family ties. In the mid-1970s, Halper married Sybil Cline, whom he met while she was working at a drug abuse council and he was working at the OMB. Her father was Ray S. Cline, who served as a codebreaker for the Navy during World War II until he was assigned, in 1944, to the newly created Office of Strategic Services – a precursor of the CIA. (E. Howard Hunt had worked alongside Cline in the OSS during World War II and later at the CIA.) Cline, who died in 1996, became Director of the Directorate of Intelligence during the pivotal years from 1962 to 1966 – the No. 2 position at the Agency – and later served as the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the Nixon administration.

“I think that [Halper’s] career early on was promoted by Ray [Cline],” says Richard Perle, a prominent former national security official who knew Halper from their time together in the Reagan administration. “And Ray was a pretty widely respected intelligence official.”

The "Debategate" debate of Oct. 28, 1980, where Reagan admonished Carter: "There you go again." MCamericanpresident/YouTube   Ronald Reagan
and the 'Debategate' Scandal

In 1980, Halper joined the ultimately unsuccessful first presidential campaign of former CIA Director George H.W. Bush. A Washington Post article that year reported that Bush’s primary campaign was generating “rumblings of uneasiness” over its close ties to the intelligence community. The article specifically noted that Ray Cline “recommended his son-in-law, Stefan A. Halper, a former Nixon White House aide, be hired as Bush’s director of policy development and research.”

After Ronald Reagan’s victory over President Carter, with Bush as Reagan’s running mate, Cline appears to have helped his son-in-law get a job at the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. Richard Burt, whose long record of government service included a stint as Director of the Bureau during the Reagan Administration, confirms Cline’s influence was pivotal. “And as is typical with these new administrations you're running or in charge of a small bureaucracy. There are usually these political types that have some kind of in with the new administration,” he said. “And you're sort of told that you're going to hire them.” A New York Times report from 1983 was even more blunt: “State Department officials said the White House, and [Reagan adviser and later Clinton adviser David] Gergen in particular, had applied a great deal of pressure to create this position for Mr. Halper.” Gergen did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Michael Ledeen: Halper “was on Stef Halper’s team,” he recalled. “He was unreliable … a very murky person.” Foundation for the Defense of Democracies  

Though Halper was closely associated with his father-in-law, those who knew them in the Reagan administration had divergent opinions of the two men. Barbara Ledeen, an ex-Senate staffer who worked in the Department of Defense in the Reagan administration, says she and her husband, Michael, who also worked under Reagan, were “old buddies through the fight against communism” with Cline during the cold war. But their interactions with Halper were off-putting. “[Halper] was like a guy who was pretending to be a Republican, but he really was not on our team at all,” Ledeen said. “He was on Stef Halper’s team.” Michael Ledeen added, “He was unreliable … a very murky person.”

Halper’s time on the Reagan team did connect him to another scandal – “Debategate.” In July 1983, the New York Times reported that Reagan’s 1980 campaign had engaged in a spying operation that obtained top secret briefing materials Jimmy Carter was using to prepare for the candidates' second presidential debate. According to the Times, the operation “involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive” and “sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge.”

Cline told the Times that reports suggesting former CIA officials were running a spy ring for the Reagan-Bush campaign were a “romantic fallacy.” Halper told United Press International the report was “just absolutely untrue.”

The Times report noted that Halper was no longer working for the State Department at the time. 

Stefan Halper,
GOP Banker

Now out of government, Halper landed a surprising position, this time in the private sector: Despite having no previous experience in finance or banking, Halper was chairman and majority shareholder, according to his IWP resume, of the Palmer National Bank in Washington.

Palmer was initially financed with nearly $3 million from Herman K. Beebe, a Louisiana financier who was convicted in 1985 of defrauding the Small Business Administration over a loan to allegedly finance a nursing home. Beebe was sentenced to community service for defrauding the SBA, but he would later serve 10 months in prison for a later fraud conviction for his role in Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s.

Beebe also had extensive ties to Louisiana and Texas politicians, including George H.W. Bush, as well as relationships with organized crime. Other key figures involved in the founding of Palmer had ties to the vice-president and former CIA director, including William Kilberg, an attorney who was part of the Reagan-Bush transition team, and Harvey McLean, Jr, a real estate developer who worked on Bush’s campaign and whose father had worked for Bush at an offshore oil drilling company.

According to “The Mafia, CIA, & George Bush” – a 1992 book by former Houston Chronicle investigative reporter Pete Brewton in which Halper was interviewed and quoted – Halper was “eased” out of his position as chairman of Palmer National Bank in 1984 as Debategate attracted more publicity. Halper then became chairman (and, according to his IWPresume, majority shareholder) of the National Bank of Northern Virginia, a bank that, according to Brewton, “Palmer expressed interest in purchasing at one time.”

As a banker, Halper was linked to secret funding for the Iran-contra efforts of Lt. Col. Oliver North. YouTube/C-SPAN    A Connection to
Oliver North and Iran-Contra

The Palmer National Bank would go on to become closely associated with the Republican Party in the Reagan era – managing the finances of various GOP political action committees and conservative organizations, including Sen. Bob Dole’s PAC and the influential American Legislative Exchange Council. However, the bank had less reputable clients, and it appears that despite being at a different bank, Halper was still involved in operations at Palmer. Brewton reports that “a former top officer at Palmer” said Halper was responsible for bringing on conservative fundraiser Carl R. “Spitz” Channell as a client at the bank – a claim that Halper denied, telling Brewton he had “never met Spitz Channell in my life.”

Channell established an account at Palmer for the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, an organization that raised some $10 million for contras fighting Nicaragua’s ruling communist Sandinistas, after Congress prohibited U.S. military aid. Eventually that money made its way from Palmer National to Swiss bank accounts controlled by Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. While working for the White House National Security Council, North was responsible for selling weapons through cutouts to Iran, and using the profits from the arms sales to fund the contras. The Iran-contra scandal would result in weeks of televised congressional hearings and become the biggest scandal since Watergate. Channell later pleaded guilty to defrauding the government as a result of his involvement in Iran-contra, and died in 1990 at age 44 after being hit by a car while standing on a street in Washington D.C.

Despite Halper denying to Brewton any knowledge of Palmer’s role in the scandal, the day Ollie North was fired from the White House for his role in the clandestine mission to fund the contras, North titled an entry in one of his notebooks -- “Legal Defense Fund” -- and under the heading was written Halper’s name. Halper told Brewton: “Ollie is a friend of mine. His daughter and my daughter are in the same pony classes, stuff like that.” He also admitted to helping North after he was enmeshed in scandal. “We at that time thought we might be able to help him [North] in the development of a legal defense fund. The fund got off the ground. He did develop a legal defense fund. We got trustees and put it in place,” he said.

Further, Brewton reports that Curtis Herge, an attorney with the National Bank of Northern Virginia where Halper was chairman, represented Channell, the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, and another organization, the Nicaraguan Resistance Education Foundation, which got into legal trouble for a role in funding the contras. Herge also worked for the National Conservative Political Action Committee, a large client at Palmer National Bank.

Halper’s father-in-law, Cline, also ended up testifying before the congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra about his role advising GeoMiliTech, a company that was also heavily involved in private efforts to arm the contras. The fees GeoMiliTech paid Cline went to a company whose stockholders were members of Cline’s family, including his daughter Sybil, Halper’s wife. Halper and Sybil Cline would separate at some point around this time. By 1989, Sybil Cline was travelling around Africa with Col. Bob Mackenzie, a notorious mercenary and editor at “Soldier of Fortune” magazine. They married and had a child before Mackenzie died fighting in Sierra Leone in 1995.

The Cambridge Years --
and $1 Million-Plus
in Dubious Pentagon 'Research'

Throughout the 90s, Halper’s IWP resume says, he retreated into the world of think tanks and journalism. He wrote books, a syndicated newspaper column, and had various affiliations with foreign policy think tanks including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the National Interest, and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. But if Halper avoided public controversy during this time, his personal life appeared troubled. In 1994, he was arrested in Washington D.C. for possession of crack cocaine – though the case file detailing the circumstances of the arrest has been destroyed.

In 2001, he became a professor at the University of Cambridge, where in 2004 he claimed a second Ph. D. According to Barbara Ledeen, Halper “went to England because nobody would hire him over here.”

Whether through personal pique at being frozen out by old allies or an epiphany, Halper appears to have undergone a significant ideological transformation in the early 2000s. In 2004, as the post-9/11 war on terror was in full swing, Halper, along with Jonathan Clarke, authored “America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order,” a book that attacked many figures in the Republican party foreign policy establishment whom Halper had previously worked alongside.

Richard Perle: “He was the sort of person who would befriend people with ulterior motives." YouTube/Henry Jackson M. Jackson Foundation  

Perle says he was not surprised by Halper’s about face. “He was the sort of person who would befriend people with ulterior motives … He always gave the impression that he valued our relationship, which I think wasn't sufficient to constitute a real relationship,” he said. “And then one day he, out of the blue, he writes this book about neoconservatives in which he attacks me relentlessly. It was a complete 180-degree turn.”

According to one former student, Halper didn’t exactly keep a low profile at Cambridge. In a town notable for historic buildings going back to the 13th century, Halper lived in an expensive, modernist residence with an elaborate video security system, and the student told RCI that he just assumed Halper did intelligence work. It was an astute assumption. Despite his checkered past, Halper returned to government work in 2008 – this time as an FBI informant. But controversy followed. According to an Inspector General report, in 2011 the FBI stopped using Halper as a “confidential human source” because of his “aggressiveness toward [his] handling agents” over a dispute about what he was getting paid for his services. The IG report also added that the FBI had additional concerns about “questionable allegiance to the [intelligence] targets.” The IG report doesn’t specify what “targets” the FBI was referring to, though it’s known that Halper had relationships with Russian intelligence.

But Halper rose from the ashes almost immediately. Still working at Cambridge, he began a lucrative side gig in 2012 writing research papers for the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. Ultimately he would earn more than $1 million over the next few years for foreign policy studies that appear to have made little impact until another IG report cited them as evidence of deep problems at ONA. The 2019 report notes that the cost basis for a study of potential Russian-Chinese collaboration against the U.S. included travel to Moscow and Beijing where Halper would interview key players. “None of the 851 footnotes” in that study, the IG found, “attributed source material to an interview conducted by Professor Halper.”

Halper was awarded his largest ONA contract – $411,575 for two studies on the Chinese economy – on September 26, 2016. At that same time, he was also working for the FBI. How he rekindled that relationship remains a mystery.  Halper reported to the FBI after meeting with two men affiliated with the Trump campaign who were invited to events at Cambridge: George Papadopoulos, whose supposed knowledge of Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton was cited as the cause for initiating the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, and Carter Page, whose Russian business dealings led the Department of Justice to surveil him even though he had assisted the FBI in an earlier investigation. 

It’s been widely speculated the ONA was being used as a cutout for intelligence services to pay informants, as well as for other dubious services.

Adam Lovinger: Couldn't find a valid reason for Halper's large contracts with his Pentagon agency, the Office of Net Assessment. LinkedIn  

In 2016, an ONA employee, Adam Lovinger, complained internally that he couldn’t find a valid reason for the agency’s contracts with Halper, as well as an $11 million ONA contract given to a company owned by a close friend of Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the former president and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. What Lovinger did not know at that time was that Halper was also working as a confidential source for the FBI trying to find Trump campaign ties to Russia in the final weeks of the campaign against Clinton. In January of 2017, just as Lovinger was poised to start a new job working at the Trump administration’s National Security Council under National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was a target of the FBI’s Russia investigation, Lovinger’s supervisors at ONA filed a series of charges against him involving mishandling of classified information. In May of 2017, Lovinger’s security clearance was revoked. Lovinger claims that the charges against him are politically motivated he has been at the center numerous legal actions disputing them since then..  

Also ongoing are congressional attempts to get to the bottom of ONA’s payments to Halper. On February 7 of this year, Iowa Republican Senator Grassley gave a floor speech titled “The Office Of Net Assessment Is A Failure.”

“Since 2019, I’ve repeatedly asked for a full accounting of Stefan Halper’s contracts,” said Grassley. “Either they never had one or they’ve decided to obstruct Congress.”

British-Russian scholar Svetlana Lokhova alleged Halper spread rumors of an affair with Michael Flynn. Twitter/@RealSLokhova   The Matter of Michael Flynn
and Svetlana Lokhova

Halper is currently listed as a trustee of the Cambridge Security Initiative, a consultancy chaired by Richard Dearlove, the former chief of the British intelligence service MI6 who, the Washington Post reported, advised former British spy Christopher Steele regarding his now discredited “dossier” alleging Trump colluded with Russia.

Michael Flynn: An encounter with Lokhova at a Cambridge dinner in 2014 resurfaced years later in the heat of the Russiagate furor.  AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez  

Notably, Dearlove also hosted a dinner in 2014 that resurfaced years later in the heat of the Russiagate furor. Two who attended and conversed at the dinner, Flynn and Russian-British scholar Svetlana Lokhova, were now linked in widely leaked innuendo about an illicit affair. In 2019, Lokhova sued Dearlove's colleague Halper and various news outlets for defamation, asserting that that Halper intentionally misrepresented her as a "Russian spy" who "had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence" and "compromised General Flynn."

A federal judge threw out the case against the publications because the one-year statute of limitations had expired. And the suit against Halper was dismissed because there was no evidence he was the anonymous source for the article – the news outlets never revealed who the source was. An FBI agent who later worked with special counsel Robert Mueller wrote a memo in which he concluded the bureau’s original tip about Flynn and Lokhova was unreliable.

Unable to reach Halper by email, RCI went to his northern Virginia home on Feb. 23 to ask about the Flynn-Lokhova episode and other questions surrounding his long career. As he remained silent, the woman beside him ordered the reporter to leave. A few hours later, his lawyer sent a threatening letter, to which RCI responded by asking Halper to clarify the discrepancies reported in this article. Instead of providing answers, Halper’s counsel threatened legal action.

Like the fictional Zelig, Halper remains ubiquitous, in plain sight, yet hard to pin down.

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