00:16 GMT01 April 2020
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    The FBI, Lokhova alleges, “knowingly” used Halper’s lies “and the lies of others” as the foundation for its “special investigation” into potential “collusion” between Trump’s people and the Russian state. She is seeking damages totaling US$25.4 million from Halper and the various mainstream media outlets she accuses of conspiring with him.

    Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor and FBI informant, has asked for a lawsuit brought against him in May by historian Svetlana Lokhova to be dismissed, and his accuser sanctioned by the presiding judge.

    The Russian-born Lokhova claimed Halper, who provided information to Crossfire Hurricane, the Bureau’s controversial investigation into alleged links between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials, was a “ratf***er [slang term for political dirty tricks operator] and spy who embroiled an innocent woman in a conspiracy to undo the 2016 presidential election and topple the President of the United States of America”.

    Halper, known as ‘The Walrus’ due to his tremendous girth, had discussions with at least three Trump campaign members - foreign policy aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, and Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis. In his book Deep State Target, Papadopolous alleges Halper repeatedly tried to frame him in every sense as a ‘middleman’ between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign - in April, the Justice Department inspector general announced he was scrutinising Halper’s activities to see if the scope of his FBI assignment was exceeded.

    ​Both defendant and plaintiff are familiar with one another via Cambridge University and the Cambridge Intelligence Seminars, the brainchild of former-MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, which gather together academics and intelligence officials.

    At one such seminar in 2014, then-graduate student Lokhova and then-President Barack Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency Director Mike Flynn, who played a prominent role in Trump’s campaign were in attendance. She claims between January 2016 and May 2018 Halper colluded with “rogue” FBI agents, “political operatives at Cambridge University”, and Wall Street Journal, Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post journalists “to promote a narrative and publish statements” about her and Flynn which he and “his confederates” knew to be false.

    “Halper drew plaintiff into a web of lies. As part of the sophisticated counterintelligence operation, Halper manufactured and published numerous false and defamatory statements. Halper misrepresented plaintiff as a “Russian spy” and a traitor to her country and [claimed] plaintiff had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence. Halper tortiously interfered with and undermined plaintiff’s professional career and business by asserting plaintiff wasn’t a real academic and that her research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin,” Lokhova’s suit alleged.

    ​In his newly-published legal response, Halper calls the accusations “spurious”, and dismissed  her accusations about a coup against Trump as “implausible conspiracy theories”. He further referred to the lawsuit against him as “meritless and profane” and “bad faith litigation”, asking the court to punish Lokhova as a result.

    Intriguingly though, Halper argued in his motion that if he was a paid informant or working as a government contractor, he should be immune from legal action for his activities.

    Veteran Operative

    Whether Lokhova’s charges have any basis or not, Halper’s ‘rat***er’ reputation is arguably well-earned. He played a central role in a scandal in the 1980 US Presidential election, in which it is alleged he was in charge of a covert operation in which Central Intelligence Agency staff passed classified information about the then-President Jimmy Carter administration’s foreign policy to Ronald Reagan campaign officials, in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any major decisions Carter was considering behind the scenes in respect of the Iranian hostage crisis.

    Halper also worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig as part of the Richard Nixon administration, notorious for waging a concerted and elaborate dirty tricks campaign against all the President’s ‘enemies’, culminating in the Watergate scandal. He stepped down from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminars in 2016 on the basis of “unacceptable Russian influence on the group". He nonetheless remains a partner at the Cambridge Security Initiative, which “provides a unique link between the worlds of business, government, and academia with unrivalled expertise in security and intelligence issues" and is heavily connected to the Seminars initiative.

    When Halper’s role as an FBI informant on the Trump campaign was leaked by the media in May 2018, it led to accusations from Trump and Republicans lawmakers that the Obama administration had employed Halper as part of an illegal effort to spy on and undermine the Trump campaign. A Pentagon audit released in July revealed over US$1 million in Department of Defence contracts were awarded to Halper 2012 - 2018, and the Office of Net Assessment was unable to provide “sufficient” documentation of whether Halper had actually conducted the research work he’d been hired to do.

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    FBI, crossfire, defamation, Steele dossier, Christopher Steele, Russiagate
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