A secret source for the FBI provided investigators working on the Trump-Russia probe with unverified allegations regarding Michael Flynn and a Russian-British academic at the University of Cambridge, according to documents made public on Thursday.
According to a Jan. 4, 2017 memo, investigators on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team asked an “established” confidential human source, or CHS, for any information about Flynn to potentially use for a counterintelligence investigation against the retired lieutenant general.
The source told investigators about an “incident” during Flynn’s visit to an event when he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the memo, which was unsealed Thursday in legal proceedings in Flynn’s case.
The FBI at the time was investigating several Trump associates for possible ties to the Russian government. The memo cited evidence that had been collected on Flynn, including from the CHS, but said that there was not enough evidence to continue a counterintelligence investigation against him.
The information from the CHS appears to center on a visit that Flynn made to the University of Cambridge in February 2014, when he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The memo does not specify the location of the event, or with whom Flynn interacted. But multiple news reports in recent years have said that U.S. intelligence officials had some interest in Flynn’s visit to the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, an event hosted at the storied British university for high-profile intelligence officials from around the world.
The memo says that the CHS was “somewhat suspicious” of a person who interacted with Flynn at the event. The source believed that Flynn’s interlocutor “has been affiliated with several prominent members” of an organization that is not identified in the memo.
It was not previously known that the FBI relied on information from informants as part of the investigation of Flynn.
Investigators used at least two confidential sources to secretly record Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. One of the CHSs has been identified as Stefan Halper, a former Republican political operative who taught at Cambridge.
The FBI contacted Halper in August 2016 to seek his help on the Crossfire Hurricane probe, according to a Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report.
Halper agreed, and met Page and Papadopoulos. The IG report said that Halper — referred to as “Source 2” in the report — “had been previously acquainted with Michael Flynn.”
Halper was a co-convener of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar that Flynn attended. He ran the seminar alongside Cambridge professor Christopher Andrew and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former chief of MI6.
Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British historian who studied at Cambridge, says she is the person referenced in the memo who allegedly interacted with Flynn.
She also says she believes that Halper is the CHS described in the FBI’s Flynn memo. The Daily Caller News Foundation could not independently verify that Halper is the CHS. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
More than three years ago, several news outlets reported vaguely sourced stories implying that Lokhova and Flynn had suspicious contact during the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar event.
“I have been very clear since these lies first appeared in the press in 2017 that my good name was abused in a plot to set up General Flynn,” Lokhova told the DCNF.
The Wall Street Journal and Guardian reported in March 2017 that U.S. intelligence officials were suspicious of Flynn’s interactions at a Cambridge event in February 2014 with Lokhova, who studied Soviet-era espionage at Cambridge.
The Journal reported on March 17, 2017 that the contact between Lokhova and Flynn “came to the notice of U.S. intelligence.” The Guardian reported on March 31, 2017 that “US intelligence officials had serious concerns” about Flynn because of his interaction with Lokhova.
Lokhova, who has sued both news outlets and Halper, said the FBI’s informant “fabricated this story” regarding her and Flynn.
Lokhova attended the event along with other students and Cambridge faculty, but has vehemently denied any impropriety with Flynn.
She has said that she was never alone with Flynn at the Cambridge event and did not leave with him. She has told the DCNF that her husband, David North, picked her up from the event. North has also told the DCNF that he picked Lokhova up from the seminar.
Lokhova has provided the DCNF with photos of Flynn with Andrew and Dearlove, the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar co-conveners.
There are several indications besides Lokhova’s denials that nothing improper transpired at the Cambridge event.
Dan O’Brien, a DIA official who attended the Cambridge event with Flynn, told the Journal for its March 2017 article that he did not witness any improper interactions between Flynn and Lokhova.
The FBI memo also suggests that investigators were not able to verify the CHS’s claims about the Cambridge event.
“While a CHS provided some information on [Flynn’s] interaction with [redacted] the absence of derogatory information on [redacted] limited the investigative value of the information,” reads the memo, which was drafted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
The office recommended that the FBI close the counterintelligence investigation of Flynn, citing a lack of evidence that he was working wittingly or unwittingly with the Russian government.
“Following the compilation of the above information, the CH team determined that CROSSFIRE RAZOR was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger CROSSFIRE HURRICANE umbrella case,” the memo says.
It goes on to say that a review of intelligence databases “did not yield any information on which to predicate further investigative efforts.”