The FBI is conducting an internal probe into its own Trump-Russia ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ investigation

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The FBI is conducting an internal investigation into the bureau’s Trump-Russia investigation, also known as the Crossfire Hurricane.

News of the internal review came during FBI Special Agent Curtis Heide’s testimony on Tuesday at the trial of Michael Sussmann – the first trial in Special Counsel John Durham’s years-long investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Heide confirmed in his testimony that he was being investigated for withholding potentially exculpatory information in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Heide said Tuesday that the exculpatory information in question was a “recording of one of the subjects.”

SPECIAL COUNSEL JOHN DURHAM’S LAWSUIT AGAINST MICHAEL SUSSMANN: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in the trial of attorney Michael Sussmann
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Special Counsel John Durham leaves the US Federal Courthouse after opening arguments in the trial of attorney Michael Sussmann
(REUTERS/Julia Nikhinson)

Fox News first reported in 2019 that Durham’s review focused on transcripts of tapes made by at least one confidential FBI human source who met with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos at the Stranger in 2016, specifically examining why certain “exculpatory” material on their part was not presented in subsequent applications for FISA warrants against Page.

A source, in 2019, told Fox News that the “exculpatory evidence” that could be included in these transcripts, which were declassified and released in April 2020, was Papadopoulos denying having had contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed “dirt” on Clinton.

Fox News obtained the declassified transcript of the secretly taped April 2020 meeting. The transcript revealed that the confidential human source pressed Papadopoulos about whether the Trump campaign was involved in Russian election interference — which, according to the transcript, Papadopoulos categorically denied.

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It is unclear if this is the “exculpatory” information that Heide is being investigated for omitting FISA warrant applications.

The transcript, however, is of a conversation lasting more than 4 hours between Papadopoulos and a confidential FBI source on October 31, 2016. According to the transcripts obtained, the Confidential Human Source (CHS) met with Papadopoulos and asked him if he thought the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before the Democratic National Convention.

General view of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

General view of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
(REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert)

“No,” Papadopoulos replied.

When asked if he thought the Russians had “special interests” in the election, Papadopoulos replied, “That’s bullshit –. No one knows who’s hacking them,” and added that “it Could be the Chinese, it could be the Iranians, it could be Bernie supporters, uh. Could be anonymous.”

Papadopoulos was then asked if he thought the Russians were “interested in Trump”.

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“They, man, nobody knows how a president is going to rule anyway. You don’t just say, oh I like—” he said before being cut off. “I don’t know. Even Putin said it himself. That’s all, it’s like conspiracy theories.”

The source went on to press Papadopoulous, saying, “I feel like there’s some big Trump supporters out there who want to somehow rig this fucking election in Trump’s favor and at the same time, I don’t know.”

Papadopoulos joked, “Man, you, you… there’s no rigging in his favor.”

The source pushed him, once again, on whether he thought the Trump campaign had anything to do with the DNC hack.

“No, I know that for a fact,” he said. “I’ve been working with them for nine months. This is and all this has been, what, the last four months?”

Papadopoulos’ comments were notable because, according to officials, they were never provided or included in evidence at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when seeking warrants and warrant renewals to monitor the Trump campaign aide Carter Page suspected of ties to the Trump campaign. Russia.

George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who sparked the Russia probe, arrives for his first appearance before congressional investigators, on Capitol Hill in Washington

George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who sparked the Russia probe, arrives for his first appearance before congressional investigators, on Capitol Hill in Washington
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A Department of Justice official confirmed in April 2020 the authenticity of the transcripts. The official, at the time, told Fox News that the transcript was just part of a series of productions the Department of Justice made following DOJ Inspector General Michael’s report. Horowitz on his review of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) misconduct.

Horowitz wrote in his report, published in December 2019, that “the FBI did not inform of these conversations at the time they took place” and that “the FISA renewal applications on Carter Page did not include these statements”.

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The transcripts had been classified, but were declassified as part of former President Trump’s May 2019 decision to approve the declassification of documents related to his campaign surveillance during the 2016 election.

The FBI has obtained FISA warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

The now discredited anti-Trump dossier, which contained alleged links between Donald Trump and Russia, served as the basis for FISA warrants against him.

Carter Page, former adviser to Trump.

Carter Page, former adviser to Trump.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The dossier was commissioned by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias to conduct research against Trump. It was written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie – where Elias and Sussmann were employed.

Sussmann was accused of making a false statement to the FBI when he told Baker in September 2016, less than two months before the presidential election, that he was not working “for any client” when he asked and attended a meeting where he presented “purported data and ‘white papers’ that allegedly demonstrated a secret communication channel” between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which has ties to the Kremlin.

Durham’s team alleges that Sussmann actually worked for two clients: Hillary Clinton’s campaign and a technology manager, Rodney Joffe. Following the meeting with Baker, Sussmann billed the Hillary Clinton campaign for her work.

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Sussmann pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Meanwhile, Heide also testified on Tuesday that he was sent to Washington DC in 2016 to join the team investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server and handling of classified information. The FBI code name for this probe was “Midyear Exam”.

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