There is growing speculation about the identity of a purported top-secret intelligence source who was part of the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign.
Leakers revealed such a source to the Washington Post last week. The leakers revealed to the Post that senior FBI and national intelligence officials tried to stop House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes from receiving information that they claimed could “endanger a top-secret intelligence source.”
The leakers also revealed the source is a “U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI.”
They also revealed that providing the information about the source could “damage relationships with other countries that serve as U.S. intelligence partners” — meaning that the source likely worked with other nations.
Their panic was reportedly set off by a recent request for the information from Nunes to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on April 24. The Justice Department initially rejected his request, but acquiesced, providing him with the information last Wednesday.
Despite claims that releasing the information would endanger lives, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters on Thursday that the request was “wholly appropriate” and overdue.
“I spent some time looking at the HPSCI request, at the HPSCI investigation. I think this request is wholly appropriate. It’s completely within the scope of the investigation that’s been ongoing for a while with respect to FISA. I actually think that this is something that probably should have been answered a while ago,” he said.
Although the leakers may have wanted to take aim at Nunes, the revelation of a top secret intelligence source has prompted new questions over whether the CIA and the FBI tried to ensnare members of the Trump campaign in order to launch an investigation of the campaign.
Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel, who believes she has identified the source based on leaks and her own reporting, told Fox News on Friday, “It does look as though indeed, there was an FBI attempt — a successful one, to basically go out and spy with a human asset on the Trump campaign.”
“When the FBI talks about a source, the talk about someone who is an average citizen who uses their credentials, their job as a way of spying for the agency,” she said. “We can take that to mean that there was somebody interacting with the Trump campaign and reporting back to the FBI, which means the FBI was using human intelligence to spy on a presidential campaign.”
“It is hugely disconcerting,”she wrote Thursday in a column, referring to Obama officials unmasking the names of Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations. “It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough.”
Information about the top secret intelligence source could answer lingering questions about how the FBI’s probe was started in the first place.
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