“In another contract, awarded in September 2015, Professor Halper lists former Deputy Foreign Minister for Russia, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, as a consultant and advisor to a paper delivered to ONA. Trubnikov is a known Russian intelligence officer, who was listed by Christopher Steele as a source in the now-debunked Steele dossier, which was used as a predicate to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump Campaign adviser Cater Page. It is unclear from the contracting officer file whether Professor Halper paid Trubnikov for his assistance in gathering information for this paper, or in what capacity Professor Halper interacted with Trubnikov during the course of performing work for this contract. Further, reports indicate that Halper offered George Papadopoulos $3,000 for assistance in completing an energy study and met Carter Page at a Cambridge conference. Given Professor Halper’s intelligence connections and government funding, it is reasonable to ask whether he used any taxpayer money in his attempt to recruit Trump campaign officials as sources.”
This paragraph raises several questions and concerns, but initially, one wonders what prompted Grassley to ask whether Halper used government funding “in his attempt to recruit Trump campaign officials as sources.” The IG report indicated that Halper served as a confidential human source for the FBI and that Halper was tasked with targeting Page and Papadopoulos, but also concluded that the Crossfire Hurricane team had not attempted to place a source within the Trump campaign.
But Grassley’s language suggests that Halper had sought to “recruit Trump campaign officials as sources.” Did he? Did Halper attempt to recruit Trump campaign officials as sources and if so, whom? And did he have the FBI (or another agency’s) green light to do so? Grassley’s letter raises these questions.