“FISA declassification will assure all the actors who tried to harm America are finally exposed,” George Papadopoulos wrote on Twitter last week. “Alexander Downer, the Australian government, UK, and GCHQ (British intelligence). If FISA is not declassified, these foreign governments will try to interfere again in 2020 to hurt Trump and the movement.”
Meanwhile, the British spies who tripped up Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and others are demanding that Trump stop the release of any Obamagate docs. “UK spy chiefs in fight to stop Trump exposing their sources,” ran the headline on a Sydney Morning Herald story last week.
“MI6 chiefs are secretly battling Donald Trump to stop him publishing classified information linked to the Russian election meddling investigation,” according to the story. “The UK is warning he will undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.”
“British spy chiefs have ‘genuine concern’ about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request are made public, according to figures familiar with the discussions,” continued the story. “‘It boils down to the exposure of people,’ said one US intelligence official, adding: ‘We don’t want to reveal sources and methods.’”
Fortune headlined its story, “Spy Games: Britain’s MI6 Horrified at Trump’s Plan to Declassify Details of FBI’s Carter Page Wiretap.” A lot of heavy weather is made about the threat declassification poses to “precedent.” But what do they mean by precedent? The precedent of a foreign government serving as an opposition research arm of the Democratic Party during a presidential election?
All of the British spy chiefs’ ostensibly high-minded anxieties are designed to distract attention from an enormous transatlantic scandal, one that has yet to be fully plumbed: that the only real collusion during the 2016 election took place between London and Langley. It took place under the hyper-partisan CIA director John Brennan, with Britty dual-asset oafs like Stefan Halper and British spies, both present and past (the Hillary-financed hatchet man Christopher Steele chief among them), putting in critical cameos — a spy ring that nearly catapulted Hillary into the White House.
British spies were in on the ground floor of Obamagate. Long before even the first Republican primary, they had been passing conjecture disguised as “intelligence” to John Brennan about the Trump campaign. In fact, Brennan was spying on Michael Flynn before he joined the campaign, as reported by the UK Guardian: “[British intelligence] first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.” (The key Trump figure to whom the Guardian refers is Michael Flynn.)
Flynn hadn’t joined the campaign yet. He joined it in February 2016. But Brennan and British intelligence started in on him anyways. They largely drew upon the ham-fisted reports of Stefan Halper, a bumptious, swampy, long-in-the-tooth academic attached to both the British and American Deep State, whom Brennan and Jim Comey would later send to brush up against the Trump campaign to no effect.
What the British spy chiefs fear from Trump’s declassification, among other potential embarrassments, is that they were trafficking in the idiotic “intelligence” of Halper who had won Brennan’s affection with gossip about Flynn in 2014 — a reported sighting of Flynn at Cambridge University allegedly talking too cozily with a Russian historian. As even the New York Times has noted, Halper had passed this absurdly simpleminded tattle to a British spy who in turn gave it to Brennan.
Another bumptious, entrapping internationalist caught up in the anti-Trump frenzy of 2016 who stands to be exposed by Trump’s declassification is the Aussie diplomat Alexander Downer. His yarn after a wine bar outing with Papadopoulos served as the pretext for a CIA-FBI espionage operation against Trump that had in fact started long before the late summer of 2016. Declassification would show all the mischief before and after that pub crawl and how Downer had ladled up the thin gruel of his entrapment to Hillary supporters at the U.S. embassy and Trump-hating British spy chiefs who were eager to ingratiate themselves with the presumed next president by telling her biggest fan at Langley exactly what he wanted to hear about the Trump campaign.
To their whining about how declassification could shatter transatlantic “precedent,” Americans should shrug and say: Let’s hope it does.