- The Pentagon is being sued for records related to Stefan Halper, the former Cambridge professor who worked as an FBI informant to spy on the Trump campaign.
- Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, is suing the Pentagon for documents related to more than $1 million in contracts granted to Halper since 2012.
- Halper, who was paid to author academic studies on geopolitical hotspots, paid Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos $3,000 to write an academic paper during the campaign.
Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Defense for records related to more than $1 million in contracts awarded to Stefan Halper, the former University of Cambridge professor who spied on the Trump campaign.
Halper was awarded more than $1 million by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) between 2012 and 2018 to author academic studies on countries like China, Russia and India.
Judicial Watch is representing Adam Lovinger, a former ONA analyst who claims he was fired because he raised questions about contracts awarded to Halper and to a friend of Chelsea Clinton’s. The conservative watchdog group is seeking ONA records related to Lovinger’s security clearance, which was revoked months after the 12-year ONA veteran began raising questions about the contracts.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton questioned whether the Pentagon was aware that Halper was spying on the Trump campaign.
“Americans want to know if the Defense Department was working with the corrupt FBI, DOJ and other Obama agencies to spy on Donald Trump in an attempt to destroy his reputation,” Fitton said in a statement. “Our new lawsuit against the Defense Department will help determine to what extent the it was helping to finance any Spygate targeting of President Trump.”
It is unclear if ONA funds were used to finance Halper’s efforts to meet Trump campaign officials. But as The Daily Caller News Foundation first reported in March, Halper used academic papers to approach at least one Trump campaign adviser.
On Sept. 2, 2016, Halper offered George Papadopoulos $3,000 and a trip to London to work on an academic paper related to energy issues in Turkey, Israel and Cyprus. Papadopoulos, an expert in the field, accepted the offer and flew to London to meet Halper. (RELATED: A London Meeting Before The Election Aroused George Papadopoulos’s Suspicions)
While there, Papadopoulos says that Halper began asking him about Russian efforts to hack Democrats’ emails. Papadopoulos wrote the paper, and Halper paid him the $3,000.
Halper, a longtime FBI and CIA source, also made contact with Carter Page, another Trump campaign adviser. The pair met at a campaign-themed event in Cambridge on July 11, 2016. Halper and Page remained in contact through September 2017, meeting several times in person.
In its lawsuit, Judicial Watch is asking for all records related to a contract granted to Halper on Sept. 26, 2016, including reports, analyses, abstracts, and summaries of the reports.
Halper was paid $411,575 for that contract, which ended on March 29. He was paid $244,960 for another study that lasted from Sept. 24, 2015 to Sept. 27, 2016.
Judicial Watch is also demanding all records of communications between Halper and Pentagon employees as well as between government employees discussing Halper’s work.
Halper appears to have embellished parts of at least one of his ONA reports.
The Washington Times reported on Monday that several advisers and consultants that Halper listed on a report about Chinese and Russian relations claim to have had no involvement in the project. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who was listed as a consultant for the report, claims to have “no memory of project or person.”
A Princeton professor with expertise in the Soviet Union, Jonathan Haslam, told The Times he was never asked to take part in the China-Russia study, “and I would not have agreed to do so anyway.”
“I find it troubling that I am listed in a study that I never participated in,” he said.
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