We’ve always said there would be a few previously-obscure names suddenly providing a whole new avenue of investigation and insight into "Crossfire Hurricane." As of Sunday, the name “Steven Schrage” is one of those. And, yes, he HAS talked with U.S. Attorney John Durham, and says he told Durham a couple of weeks ago that he now feels he must go public.
He has put together a first installment, called “The spies who hijacked America,” intended as a “preview” of what he’ll tell over the next several weeks. For when you have time later --- it’s extremely long but undoubtedly a MUST-READ --- here’s the link.
Schrage’s Ph.D. supervisor was Stefan Halper, whom we know was also an FBI confidential human source (SPY) known as “the Walrus.” Schrage decided to come forward ahead of the full Michael Flynn hearing because he felt the various investigations into Flynn's case had not progressed as they should have. In other words, he’s concerned about how long it’s taking.
"So, I think there’s a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing,” he told Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, and I think that’s why it’s so critical that we get to the bottom of it.” Sad to say, he includes "quite a few Republicans” in that group.
"This shouldn’t be political, about Democrats and Republicans,” he said he told Durham. “This is about officials undermining our democracy, and it needs to be known long before the election.”
Schrage is in a position to shed light on the targeting of Carter Page, which ignited the FBI’s “Trump/Russia” investigation. Page first met Stefan Halper at an overseas conference at Cambridge University in July, 2016. It was three months later that the FBI, after accusing Page in its FISA application of being a Russian agent, got a warrant to spy on him. (As we've noted, this warrant gave them a window into Trump's campaign and even to Trump himself, as it allowed them to go BACK IN TIME through Page’s communications to pick up other people connected to him.)
Schrage is the person who introduced Page to Halper while Page was at Cambridge for the conference
He was then working for Halper as part of his Ph.D. candidacy at Cambridge; he told Maria he had “a long background working on crime and terrorism with the White House and Congress” and had started work on this Ph.D. years earlier at Harvard. He was looking at presidential campaigns from the standpoint of the risks to national security but “had no idea that it would blow up into this.”
Looks to me as though he found a whole new risk to national security --- not one posed by a foreign country infiltrating a campaign, but by our own FBI. He might have a whole new topic for his dissertation now!
Anyway, he said it was when Halper and Christopher Steele’s former MI-6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove (you know that name if you’ve read Lee Smith’s book THE PLOT AGAINST THE PRESIDENT) crossed paths with Page that Halper zeroed in. “At that point,” Schrage said, Halper “seemed to really focus on Page...isolate him, and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign, in ways that seemed like a real turning point.” To Schrage’s “surprise,” the Trump campaign started being characterized as a national security threat, and that narrative “took off.”
Schrage described the way Page ended up at Cambridge talking to Halper as “a comedy of errors rivaling ‘Dumb and Dumber.’” Ironically, because Schrage had “a Republican background,” he'd wanted the conference to be “balanced,” he said. If they were going to include, say, Madeleine Albright, they should also have a Trump representative.
(Not to inject any confusion here, but in 2019, Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, included Schrage in the suspicious group of individuals who should be investigated for their roles in getting Page to Cambridge Don't know if that has changed, but here's the story.)
Here’s another example of suspicion being cast onto Schrage.
Anyway, Schrage told Bartiromo they were looking for someone specifically to represent the Trump campaign, and that role sort of “fell into his [Page’s] lap," adding he didn’t think Halper even knew Page was coming “until I emailed him.”
To put this into a timeline, a few weeks previously, Christopher Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS.
Maria asked Schrage about Halper’s work in 2016 for the Office of Net Assessments (ONA), which paid him six-figure sums ostensibly for four reports on Russia and China, and how the timing of one big payment seemed to correspond with the start of wiretapping Page. Schrage said he’d never heard of such massive payments for that type of work “in an academic setting.”
He also thought it odd that after Page was smeared as a Russian agent, Halper thanked him profusely for introducing them. Then, in 2018, Schrage heard about the massive payments Halper got while Page was being surveilled, and it made sense.
"All these tentacles” lead back to the same little group, he said: Steele, Halper, Halper’s handler at the FBI. Significantly, no one at the Senate has subpoenaed these people, in four years.
This apparently is one reason why he feels REPUBLICANS have a role in protecting them. “How are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn’s hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of this?”
Schrage, who recorded his conversations with Halper routinely as part of his studies, has a recording from January 10, 2017, five days after the infamous Oval Office meeting about Flynn and two days before the WASHINGTON POST leak about Flynn being investigated for Logan Act violations. (Halper and one of his students both had WAPO connections.) Schrage had previously told Halper that Flynn was extremely close with President-elect Trump. Even so, Halper seemed to know...somehow...that Flynn would be gone soon.
Halper: “If you go to the NSC, you have to consider very carefully if you feel it’s appropriate for you to work for Flynn. I don’t think Flynn’s going to be around long. That’s just my guess. The way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with someone...probably lots of people. And...when people [who] oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you’re at odds with. And that’s how it builds and then eventually you get squeezed pretty hard.”
He continues: “But Flynn’s reaction to that is to blow up and get angry...I mean, I don’t know where he goes from there. But that is his reaction. That’s why he’s so unsuitable.”
It seems to me that one reason Schrage might go public now is that he knows the Durham report is bad and wants to make sure he's not implicated by anyone in the scheme to use Page. But even if he did come forward out of self-interest, he has a detailed story to tell, with more coming soon.