Devin Nunes has been fighting with the FBI for some time in an effort to get them to reveal the name of the informant they used in 2016 to gather information about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. On Friday, the New York Times wrote this:
The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia….The informant is well known in Washington circles, having served in previous Republican administrations and as a source of information for the C.I.A. in past years, according to one person familiar with the source’s work.
This was enough information to identify the informant almost instantly, but the Times didn’t do that. “The New York Times has learned the source’s identity,” the article explained, “but typically does not name informants to preserve their safety.” A few minutes later, one of the authors of the Times piece tweeted this:
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) May 19, 2018
This is just bizarre. They obviously wanted his name to become public, but also wanted to pretend that they weren’t the ones who had done it. Why? In any case, not to keep you in suspense any longer, the FBI’s informant was Stefan Halper, a guy who worked in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations and is now Director of American Studies at Cambridge University. He’s the son-in-law of a former CIA executive, and as a member of the Reagan campaign in 1980 he was instrumental in stealing classified documents from the Carter White House and handing them off to the Reagan team, which was paranoid about the possibility that Carter might announce an end to the Iran hostage crisis and thus gain in the polls. He’s such an obvious candidate to be the FBI’s informant that the connection was being publicly bandied about more than a week ago.
So anyway, that’s Stefan Halper. Glenn Greenwald has much, much, much more here,¹ and he is unsurprisingly skeptical about complaints that revealing Halper’s name endangered a longtime intelligence asset. After all, Halper’s connections to both the CIA and to high-ranking mucky-mucks in