A conservative watchdog group says it has obtained and forced the release of the email that officially launched “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
The “electronic communication” (EC), drafted by disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, appears to show that the agency started its counter-intelligence probe based merely on a minimal suggestion of coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, according to Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.
Damning FBI memo released
The document’s release comes as speculation builds about Barack Obama’s possible involvement in efforts to spy on Donald Trump, a theory that has gained steam in the wake of damning disclosures in the case of Michael Flynn. According to Fitton, the Crossfire Hurricane memo shows that the entire Russia scandal was baseless from its inception in July 2016.
The official media narrative behind Crossfire Hurricane has long been that the probe launched after George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, told Australian diplomat Alexander Downer over drinks that he had received offers from Russia to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The July 31, 2016 communication referenced by Fitton shows that the probe was predicated only on vague suspicions that Russia “had been seeking prominent members of the Donald Trump campaign in which to engage to prepare for potential post-election relations should Trump be elected U.S. President.”
Papadopoulos spoke of “suggestions” that “they (the Russians) could assist the Trump campaign with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.”
As Just the News notes, the documentation shows that the FBI opened its probe despite doubts about the evidence, noting it was “unclear whether he or the Russians were referring to material acquired publicly of [sic] through other means” and that Trump’s cooperation could “have little bearing of what Russia decides to do.”
Former FBI official Kevin Brock told Just The News that the basis of the probe was spurious at best. “There is nothing in the EC that meets the traditional thresholds for opening up a [Foreign Agent Registration Act] or [counterintelligence] investigation,” he said. “It appears hastily constructed.”
That cavalier attitude toward facts carried on through a years-long hoax that is still dogging president Trump as he seeks a second term. None other than Strzok kept the FBI’s probe into Michael Flynn — Trump’s first national security adviser — open despite a failure to find “derogatory” information. The FBI sat down for a fateful interview with Flynn in January 2017 over benign phone calls he had with a Russian ambassador that attracted the alarmed attention of President Obama and his closest advisers, including former FBI Director James Comey.
Fitton argues that the recently-released document is further proof that Crossfire Hurricane, and the corrosive national scandal that grew out of it, was “based on absurd gossip and innuendo.”
“This document is Exhibit A to Obamagate, the worst corruption scandal in American history. This document shows how Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham are right to question the predicate of this spy operation,” he said.
Obamagate continues to unravel, but will Obama himself ever be held accountable?