Two new reports released less than an hour apart from each other on Friday night appear to have identified the secret FBI informant that the bureau allegedly used to gather information about the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
The first report, published by The New York Times, reveals the following key details about the alleged informant:
- The informant is an American academic that teaches in Britain.
- The informant sent a "curious message" to Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos, offering to pay him $3,000 to write a research paper on "a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea"; the informant also offered a paid trip to London so they could meet.
- The informant sent Papadopoulos an email on September 2, 2016, writing: "I understand that this is rather sudden but thought that given your expertise it might be of interest to you."
Those details align with information about contact between a University of Cambridge professor and Papadopoulos reported on March 25, 2018 by The Daily Caller News Foundation:
[Stefan] Halper first contacted Papadopoulos by email. In a Sept. 2, 2016, message sent to Papadopoulos’s personal email account, he offered the Trump aide $3,000 to write a policy paper on issues related to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and the Leviathan natural gas field. Halper also offered to pay for Papadopoulos’s flight and a three-night stay in London.
Halper, an American who is a professor at the University of Cambridge, also reportedly met with Trump campaign official Carter Page. The New York Times reports the following key details:
- Carter Page says that he first encountered the informant at a conference in mid-July 2016.
- Page said that the two "later met several times in the Washington area."
That information aligns with details about contact between Page and Halper reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation on May 17, 2018:
[Page and Halper's] relationship included a number of in-person meetings, including at Halper’s farm in Virginia...
...Page’s visit to Moscow, where he spoke at the New Economic School on July 8, 2016, is said to have piqued the FBI’s interest even further. Page and Halper spoke on the sidelines of an election-themed symposium held at Cambridge days later.
Less than an hour after The New York Times released their report, The Washington Post published a similar report, referring to the informant as "a retired American professor" who approached a Trump campaign official at a "British university." The Post notes:
In September, [the informant] reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign-policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper...
...The professor’s interactions with Trump advisers began a few weeks before [July 31, 2016] when [Carter] Page met the professor at the British symposium.
The reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post both match reports from The Daily Caller News Foundation, which would appear to identify Stefan Halper as the FBI's secret informant that the bureau allegedly used to gather information about the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
The most important story to come from The New York Times and The Washington Post's reports is not necessarily the identity of the informant, but the undeniable revelation that someone is leaking the information about the informant to the two newspapers.
A source familiar with the matter told The Daily Wire late on Friday night that leaks are most likely coming from the Department of Justice and the FBI.
"It appears that the DOJ and the FBI are burning their own sources by leaking information, that they have been refusing to give to Congress, to The Washington Post and The New York Times all for the purpose of spinning an embarrassing story," the source told The Daily Wire.
The source noted that if this is true, the officials are leaking key information about the alleged identity of the informant that they themselves claim would endanger the informant and the informant's contacts if their identity was ever revealed.