Who Launched An Investigation Into Trump’s Campaign Before Crossfire Hurricane? By Margot Cleveland for The Federalist
If Crossfire Hurricane was the only investigation launched by FBI headquarters, who initiated the earlier investigation using informant Stefan Halper?
While special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has concluded without any criminal charges related to collusion with Russia leveled against anyone connected to the Trump campaign, evidence of the real scandal—that the entire Trump-Russia investigation was a witch hunt—continues to dribble out. The investigation into that scandal and Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct remains ongoing, and there is still much to learn.
One key area not yet fully considered concerns the strong likelihood that the FBI initiated an investigation into the Trump campaign, or individuals connected to the Trump campaign, prior to the July 31, 2016, launch of Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into the Trump team. A few stray statements from former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s House Judiciary Committee testimony suggest that scenario.
Page, who testified over a two-day period last July, answered an array of questions, from the handling of the Midterm Exam investigation into Hillary Clinton, to the investigation of potential collusion with Russia. On the latter investigation, Page revealed that former FBI agent Peter Strzok had both initiated Crossfire Hurricane and approved the launch of the investigation. Page explained Strzok had served in these dual roles because “it was a Sunday, and so there’s nobody around.”
Page later said she believed Crossfire Hurricane had been launched as a “full investigation” and not a “preliminary investigation.” She also confirmed that there are three basic types of investigations: an assessment, a preliminary investigation, and a full investigation.
Page added that, because there are multiple types of assessments, without the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) in front of her, she was hesitant to explain the various investigations in detail. However, she did note that when a preliminary or full investigation is opened, agents may use more investigative tools than those available at the assessment stage.