The FBI informant story may be bigger than it first appears as Stefan Halper may not have been the only informant the FBI used.
That is, according to former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo.
The ex-aide now claims there were several informants used by the federal government to investigate the Trump campaign. If Halper is the first of many informants – or even just another one – the coordination would seem to suggest planning.
The can of worms is open: Who authorized the informant(s)? Who else was involved? Did Obama know?
“Let me tell you something that I know for a fact,” Caputo said, as Washington Examiner reports. “This informant, this person [who] they tried to plant into the campaign … he’s not the only person who came into the campaign. And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came into the campaign.”
“I know because they came at me,” Caputo also said. “And I’m looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public. This is just the beginning.”
Here’s more, per Washington Examiner:
The comments come as multiple media reports identified Stefan Halper, an American who worked at Cambridge University, as an FBI informant who met with multiple members of the Trump campaign, including campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, and campaign co-chair Sam Clovis.
Trump has accused the FBI of placing a “spy” in his campaign and urged the Justice Department on Sunday to launch a probe into whether the “FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders revealed earlier Monday the Justice Department “has asked the inspector general to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign.”
As Daily Wire reports, Trump’s call for the DOJ to investigate whether the use of an FBI informant was politically motivated is neither illegal nor does it constitute obstruction:
It’s Not Obstruction For Trump To Meet With His Own Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is not an independent branch. It works for the president. That means that the president has every right to meet with members of his DOJ to discuss ongoing matters. Obstruction only becomes an issue if Trump were to inform the DOJ to come to a particular conclusion in a case. It arguably would not even be obstruction for Trump to order the DOJ to shut down a particular investigation, though obstruction of justice charges were part of the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
It’s Not Obstruction For Trump To Order The DOJ To Investigate The FBI’s 2016 Conduct. This is a separate investigation from the Mueller investigation; it’s a separate investigation from the SDNY investigation into Michael Cohen. These investigations have nothing to do with Trump’s call for an investigation into the use of the FBI by the Obama administration to supposedly target the Trump campaign in 2016. At best, information gathered by any such investigation could be utilized as a public relations piece in a potential attempt to end the Mueller investigation.
Trump is charging that the FBI, under the auspices of the Obama DOJ, planted informants inside his campaign unjustifiably – that is, they had no real reason to suspect that any collusion was taking place between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, and thus had no grounds, either counterintelligence or criminal, to begin any investigation utilizing an informant. This seems like a stretch, given that we know that George Papadopoulos met with an alleged agent of the Kremlin in London, then bragged about it before an Australian ambassador; Carter Page had been on the intelligence community’s watch list for quite a while; so had Paul Manafort; Michael Flynn had taken money from Russia Today; and Donald Trump Jr. approved a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian cut-out regarding supposed dirt on Hillary Clinton.
It could be easily argued that the presence and use of another FBI informant would warrant further investigation. And, there aren’t any reports coming out about the FBI utilizing an informant in the Hillary Clinton campaign – so was this politically motivated?