While the Department of Justice is investigating what triggered the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign that commenced at the end of July 2016, a new piece of information has been thrown into the mix: Andrew McCabe, who was FBI deputy director during the 2016 campaign, was exchanging messages with his counterpart in Britain's MI5, Jeremy Fleming, at the time.
As The Guardian reported on Tuesday, after the successful Brexit vote, FBI officials surmised that Russia might have influenced the outcome of the vote, and McCabe and Fleming were surprised by the results as well. The Guardian noted:
In one exchange in August 2016, Fleming noted that members of the FBI and MI5 had “met on our strange situation,” a veiled reference to discussions about Russian activities, according to the source. The text messages between the two men were infrequent and cryptic and did not contain specific or sensitive materials, but occurred with some regularity after the referendum in June 2016.
The Guardian added, “Their exchanges offer new insights into the start of the FBI’s Russia investigation, and how British intelligence appears to have played a key role in the early stages.”
The current DOJ investigation is focusing in part on the activities of senior British M16 official Christopher Steele, who created the dossier in 2017 which alleged there was potential collusion between Russia and Trump's campaign.
The Daily Mail noted that in August 2016, “Senior FBI official Peter Strzok had traveled to London that same month to meet with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer agreed to speak with the FBI about Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.” The Daily Mail added of the text messages between Fleming and McCabe, “U.S. and UK intelligence agencies typically share information, but using texts as a mode of communication is atypical.”
In April 2017, The Guardian reported that Great Britain’s spy agencies “played a crucial role” in informing American intelligence about members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives making contact. The Guardian added, “GCHQ 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.”
As The Daily Wire noted, roughly two weeks ago, interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo, McCabe adamantly stated that it was time to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Cuomo asked, “Do you believe that an impeachment inquiry is warranted based on what you understand and what has come out of the Mueller report?" McCabe answered, “Absolutely … I think we are clearly there with the results of the special counsel team. There are so many witnesses who could provide important, essential testimony to Congress that can only be done in the scope of an impeachment inquiry." He added, “Action should be taken immediately.”
The Daily Wire noted that McCabe was fired from his position at the FBI when the inspector general found he had leaked information to the media regarding the special counsel investigation and then lied repeatedly to investigators about doing so.