Talk:Crossfire Hurricane (FBI investigation)

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We already have this article[edit]

See Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019). -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:14, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Ping User:Starship.paint -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:54, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
AFAICT Crossfire Hurricane refers to the FBI investigation led by Peter Strzok, and is independent from the Special Counsel's investigation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SK8RBOI (talkcontribs) 18:17, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
SK8RBOI, do you have any RS which state that? AFAIK, he started the investigation into Russian interference, which obviously included members of the Trump campaign because of their numerous secret meetings with Russians which they lied about. Crossfire Hurricane was the code-name for the Russia investigation in all its facets, and the original article is now part of the Special Counsel investigation article. The article has undergone many changes since it started. I have never before seen the idea that Crossfire Hurricane only applied to the Trump campaign. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:31, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't mean to imply it only applied to the Trump campaign, I don't think I said that. OCH preceded Trump taking office, as well as the Mueller investigation. It seems WikiVirusC is correct below, in that the information collected as a part of OCH was given to Bob Mueller as he began his investigation, but it's unclear to me whether individuals within the FBI or the FBI as an agency participated actively in the SC investigation. My understanding is derived from the transcript of Strzok and Page's testimonies before congress, where Crossfire Hurricane was only ever mentioned in conjunction with/contrast to the Midyear [Exam] Investigation (Clinton email scandal) and not Mueller's investigation, but that could be because of the ongoing nature of the SCI at the time. IMO this article also suffices as an RS that treats it as distinct.
It appears to me that the codename Operation Crossfire Hurricane refers only to the FBI investigation, which was terminated when the SCI began, at which time the findings and information collected in the former became the foundation of the latter. So while the SCI initially began because of the findings of OCH, the FBI investigation (OCH) was a distinct thing from and a predecessor to the OSC investigation.— Preceding unsigned comment added by SK8RBOI (talkcontribs) 06:05, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
SK8RBOI, I wasn't aware of the Midyear Exam thing. It's nice it actually had a name, but, duh, I should have realized that FBI investigations probably often have code-names. Thanks for that info.
Do you have any RS which say that "the FBI investigation, which was terminated when the SCI began,..."? I was under the impression that Mueller took over the investigation, which continued unabated. It's the "terminated" part that puzzles me. Maybe I missed that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:02, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
After the special counsel was formed, the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was absorbed into it. WikiVirusC(talk) 18:25, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
WikiVirusC, yes, that's basically correct, IOW the entire Russia investigation (code-name Crossfire Hurricane) was absorbed into the Mueller investigation. That's why the previous article is now part of the Special Counsel investigation article. The article has undergone many changes since it started. I have never before seen the idea that Crossfire Hurricane only applied to the Trump campaign. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:31, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

@BullRangifer: - I’m aware of the special counsel investigation article. But that clearly denotes 2017-2019, and the special counsel didn’t surveil Carter Page, for example. Trump didn’t complain about spying from the special counsel. starship.paint 23:40, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

See my replies above. Yes, it says 2017-2019, but the article includes the previous article which starts before that period. See the content and you'll see that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:31, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: - yeah I know. But it's always been confusing to me, and there's stuff about Crossfire Hurricane we wouldn't talk about in SCI17-19. This blonde bombshell whoever she is. starship.paint (edits | talk) 03:37, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Actually that content should be included in both the Spygate and SCI17-19 articles. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:42, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with starship paint, I think Crossfire Hurricane is notable in its own right and trying to fit it all under the SCI article would be unwieldy. But it's true there's a lot of overlap between these topics and summaries of each should appear in all of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SK8RBOI (talkcontribs) 06:14, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, we are only starting to learn about details of Crossfire Hurricane, and that was clearly a distinct activity from the later Mueller probe. Their scope and methods were very different. Covering both in a single article would only confuse readers. It's better to have two articles, and to mention how the first operation informed the second one. — JFG talk 10:08, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Also, parts of "Spygate" may be transferred here, and put in context. — JFG talk 10:10, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
This is the first time I've encountered the idea that Crossfire Hurricane was a different investigation than the Russia probe. Yes, we learned about the code-name of the Russia probe later, but Crossfire Hurricane was the code-name for the Russia probe. Does anyone have any RS which describe them as separate investigations? I have never seen them. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:20, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Just to play devil's advocate, I'll use a right-wing GOP propaganda source trusted by Trump supporters to prove my point that Crossfire Hurricane was the original code-name for the Russia investigation into Russian interference in the elections and any possible connections to the Trump campaign, not some separate investigation into only the Trump campaign:

Operation "Crossfire Hurricane" began approximately 100 days before the 2016 presidential election. To the public, the words were simply lyrics from a Rolling Stones jam — but to FBI officials, the phrase was a top secret codename used before the launch of the Russia investigation.

A bombshell report from The New York Times Wednesday revealed the nickname used by a select group of officials before the probe into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia went public.

In late July 2016, two FBI agents jetted off to London to uncover evidence that Australian ambassador Alexander Downer claimed to have on the Trump campaign, The New York Times reports. During the meeting, which was previously unknown, Downer discussed his interactions with then-campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Even Fox News says Crossfire Hurricane was the secret code-name for "the Russia investigation", and that it started at the same time as the Russia investigation. It was even launched by Peter Strzok, the agent who opened the Russia investigation. Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section, so he would also be the one authorized to start such an investigation. He had successfully been fighting off foreign espionage for many years. This was one more case. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:12, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Read it again. It says that the phrase ['Crossfire Hurricane'] was a top secret codename used before the launch of the Russia investigation. So they're using 'the Russia investigation' to mean the Mueller investigation, and they're using 'Crossfire Hurricane' as a codename for the Strzok investigation. Shinealittlelight (talk) 18:46, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Right. They are quite obviously two separate investigations. Related yes, same topic no. — JFG talk 19:25, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
So they started at the same time, but are different? That's odd. It also says it was used "before the probe into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia went public." (My underlining.)
Also, the Mueller investigation started MUCH later than the Russia investigation, which started because of the actions of Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign member, so it was actions from the Trump side that started the Russia investigation at the end of July 2016, the same time as Crossfire Hurricane. I think you're both reading too much into that.
If they really are separate investigations, then we'll need multiple RS which make that very clear. Where are those sources? -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:13, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I'm rather surprised by this new interpretation. AFAIK, we have always treated the Russia investigation and the investigation of Trump campaign involvement in that as one and the same investigation. So far, the only thing new coming from the revelation of the original code-name is that it was called (Operation) Crossfire Hurricane. Other than that, I haven't read anything in the reports of this revelation that say it was a different investigation.

If it was really separate, then there must have been differences from the Russia investigation. What would they be? Would it be the scope, or was it something else?

Right now all I'm seeing are similarities, not differences, so let's work this through. According to this "separate" theory, the Trump administration was apparently being investigated by

  1. both investigations at the same time
  2. both investigated the Trump campaign for the same things
  3. both investigations by the FBI that
  4. started at the same time (at the end of July 2016), and
  5. both were started by Peter Strzok.

There is so much overlap and exact same factors that I can't see them as actually separate investigations. Please find multiple RS which prove me wrong and I'll gladly change my mind. Right now this just confuses me. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:55, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't know where you're getting this, BullRangifer. We know that there's the Strozk investigation from July 31, 2016 until Mueller was appointed as special council. We then have the Mueller investigation. Obviously, these are two different things. The Strozk investigation was "absorbed" into the Mueller investigation. If you like, we can say that there's one big investigation that is the sum of the Strozk and Mueller investigations. None of this is controversial, though: we know all this from multiple sources. The only question is how we're going to cover it all at Wikipedia, and how we're going to talk about it. One way is to have two articles. Another is to have one article. I favor two articles for various reasons. But there should be no confusion that what we have here is not a substantive issue about the subject matter, but an editorial issue about how to divide things up. Shinealittlelight (talk) 13:04, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Shinealittlelight, yes, that about sums it up. It ended up as one big investigation, the main part of which is finished, but many smaller parts which are ongoing at the state attorneys general level. Russian interference and the Trump campaign were all investigated in the same investigation.
I also see your point about how we cover this. We cover the Russia investigation several places, and among them are:
So where does an article like Operation Crossfire Hurricane fit in? It may serve a valuable role if it isn't just a duplication of Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections (new title?), so keep explaining your plans. If it can make our coverage better, then we should all support it. -- BullRangifer (talk) 18:59, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
In my opinion, it most naturally fits in as an additional item on the list. Shinealittlelight (talk) 00:47, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Was this investigation on Russian interference, or only conspiracy?[edit]

@JFG and BullRangifer: The May 2018 NYT source is clear that the purpose of Crossfire Hurricane is regarding the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, with the main question: Was anyone in the Trump campaign tied to Russian efforts to undermine the election? But is Crossfire Hurricane the start of whether Russia interfered in the U.S. elections? Perhaps it wasn't the FBI's job to investigate that, but intelligence sources? This section seems to indicate that. starship.paint (talk) 01:06, 5 May 2019 (UTC) also ping Shinealittlelight. starship.paint (talk) 01:07, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

It's still unclear what the full scope of "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" was, and who ordered it. Certainly it involved several intelligence agencies, namely the FBI, the CIA and the NSA. Clapper, Brennan and Comey confirmed their close cooperation back in the day to create the ODNI report. Brennan was, and still is, the most vehemently anti-Trump (read his tweets about "moral turpitude" for fun). — JFG talk 01:36, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Don’t conflate the hacking/trolling, which would have been in the NSA purview, with efforts to penetrate the Trump campaign, which was the FBI purview, and later they all exchanged information to formulate the unified ODNI report. Crossfire was an FBI initiative. soibangla (talk) 01:50, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that's related to what I was asking. Was investigating Russian hacking/trolling done by Crossfire Hurricane? Comey's comments [1] the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election indicate the FBI did do it, but was that Crossfire Hurricane, or did that precede it? starship.paint (talk) 02:15, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
But to finish his sentence: and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts, with no allusion to hacking/trolling, which would fall to NSA. soibangla (talk) 03:37, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
It’s the job of FBI counterintelligence to investigate foreign meddling, as opposed to the FBI criminal division to investigate federal crimes like conspiracy. This distinction may be unknown (or willingly ignored) by some who want to accuse the FBI of misconduct. Many don’t know that the FBI tracks spies, they think they only go after ordinary crimes. soibangla (talk) 01:43, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

The Mueller Report, Vol I, Page 1 (Introduction to Vol I)[2] says info on George Papadopoulos led to the FBI on July 31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities.. It doesn't say the investigation on interference started in July...? starship.paint (talk) 02:49, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

That’s the argument Nunes now appears to make, that the investigation actually began earlier. The FBI may have passively received tips that gave them a hunch, then later more tips leading to reasonable suspicion, then later to probable cause to open an active investigation. Nothing unusual about that, very common in fact. The FBI can’t be faulted for receiving tips. They opened the investigation five days after the Papadopoulos tip, so other information must have come to them earlier and the Papa tip pushed them into probable cause, but that doesn’t mean they were “investigating” earlier. soibangla (talk) 03:33, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
It was both. RS say that it was actions from the Trump side, ergo Papadopoulos, which started the investigation into Russian interference in the election, and obviously, seeing who it started with (Papadopoulos), this involved investigating any possible involvement by members of the Trump campaign. (As noted above, the FBI and CIA had been receiving troubling news since 2015, but now that had a piece of evidence to confirm it. It was now seen as part of Trump's presidential campaign strategy, which "brought it home" in a radical way. Previous suspicious reports couldn't be acted upon, but this could. They had to act on any information, and this piece of actual evidence of an improper action (and he lied about it) was the last straw. It was no longer a theory.
The Russia investigation was opened as a counterintelligence "enterprise" (RICO) investigation, likely because it combined elements of foreign espionage/interference and suspected domestic involvement of members of the Trump organization and campaign (the "enterprise"). RICO investigations are reserved for extremely serious matters. Later, some elements were farmed out to state attorneys general, thus placing them beyond the reach of presidential pardons. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:14, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: It was both. RS say that it was actions from the Trump side, ergo Papadopoulos, which started the investigation into Russian interference in the election - if you have such sources, please provide them. This article very much needs this piece of information. starship.paint (talk) 05:47, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
That is abundantly documented in several of our articles. It's not news. The Russia investigation was not started because of the Steele dossier, but because of information from Papadopoulos which revealed that the Trump campaign knew about the stolen Clinton emails long before anyone else did. (The dossier describes how they knew.) When the FBI learned this, Peter Strzok opened the Russia Investigation at the end of July 2016. We now know they code-named the investigation Crossfire Hurricane. Here are a bunch of references that were used in the lead of the Trump–Russia dossier article, but since removed as too much info in the lead:

Contrary to repeated assertions by President Donald Trump and many of his supporters, the dossier was not the impetus for the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

You will have to go to the article to read most of those references. If you use this diff and read the second sentence of the lead, you'll find all the references.
Note especially the first reference, from the Mueller Report: "On July 31, 2016, based on the foreign government reporting, the FBI opened an investigation into potential coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign."
That's why I wrote above "It was both". The investigation was of Russian interference and also "potential coordination", ergo conspiracy. The investigation has always included both those elements, plus any possible crimes discovered, some of which may be totally unrelated to the interference. Many or most of those investigations have been farmed out to state attorneys general. Trump cannot use a pardon for those cases.
Also read the references in these sections
This is also from the Russian interference article:

In March 2016 Donald Trump named George Papadopoulos, an oil, gas, and policy consultant, as an unpaid foreign policy advisor to his campaign. Shortly thereafter Papadopoulos was approached by Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor with connections to high-ranking Russian officials.[9] Mifsud told him the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails"[10] "apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign".[11] The two met several times in March 2016.[10] In May 2016 at a London wine bar, Papadopoulos told the top Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, that Russia "had a dirt file on rival candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of hacked Democratic Party emails".[12] After the DNC emails were published by WikiLeaks in July, the Australian government told the FBI about Papadopoulos' revelation, leading the FBI to launch a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, known by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane,[11][13] which has been criticized by Trump as a "witch hunt."[13]

I hope that helps. -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:38, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Sources

  1. ^ Mueller, III, Robert S. (March 2019). "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved April 20, 2019. "And within a week of the release [of DNC documents by WikiLeaks], a foreign government informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos and his statement that the Russian government could assist the Trump Campaign. On July 31, 2016, based on the foreign government reporting, the FBI opened an investigation into potential coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign." Volume 1, p.6
  2. ^ Robertson, Lori (March 27, 2019). "Dossier Not What 'Started All of This'". FactCheck.org. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  3. ^ Kruzel, John (July 23, 2018). "Trump falsely says Steele dossier triggered Russia probe". PolitiFact. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference LaFraniere_Mazzetti_Apuzzo_12/30/2017 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dilanian_7/23/2018 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference Levine_9/18/2018 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Lucas_2/2/2018 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Rupar_03/22/2019 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Kutner, Max (October 31, 2017). "Who is Joseph Mifsud, the professor in the George Papadopoulos investigation?". Newsweek. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Herb, Jeremy; Cohen, Marshall. "Who is George Papadopoulos?". CNN. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  11. ^ a b LaFraniere, Sharon; Mazzetti, Mark; Apuzzo, Matt (December 30, 2017). "How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  12. ^ Wroe, David (January 2, 2018). "Joe Hockey discussed Alexander Downer's Russia revelations with FBI". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Apuzzo, Matt; Goldman, Adam; Fandos, Nicholas (May 16, 2018). "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2018.

─────────────────────────BullRangifer - thanks. Actually, most (I think all of those you mentioned except this one [3]) secondary sources focus on the investigation being on the Trump campaign. As for official sources...

  • Nunes memo: FBI counterintelligence investigation (no elaboration)
  • Democratic counter-memo [4] the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference and links to the Trump campaign
  • House Intelligence report: (1) FBI enterprise counterintelligence investigation into [REDACTED] Trump campaign associates (2) The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an enterprise counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign after receiving information (3) FBl's opening of a counterintelligence investigation into "the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts"
  • Mueller Report: (1) That information prompted the FBI on July 31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities. (2) . On July 31, 2016, based on the foreign government reporting, the FBI opened an investigation into potential coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.

So it seems that the focus of this investigation was the Trump campaign (less on the Russia interference), as such we have to word it differently in this article, like the lede, more akin to the Mueller Report. starship.paint (talk) 13:47, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

  • @JFG, BullRangifer, Shinealittlelight, and Soibangla: - I have updated the lede and the origins section. [5] What do you think? starship.paint (talk) 14:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    Note: As I am busy off-wiki, and for the time being, I do not intend to respond on-wiki unless someone pings me or alerts me via my talk page. starship.paint (talk) 15:28, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
    That is accurate, and looks much clearer, thanks. — JFG talk 16:52, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Comey confirmed in the linked source that the campaign itself was under investigation, contrary to what some have maintained. The wording I used, which was a bit more awkward but stayed very close to Comey's own statement, reflected this. The current wording does not. I'll try again. Shinealittlelight (talk) 18:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
@Soibangla: your last edit of the lead is definitely more concise, but it seems that you are ignoring my concern. Do you think I'm mistaken or something? Comey did in fact say that the campaign was under investigation for alleged coordination with Russian government efforts to interfere in the election. This is an important point. How can we include it? Shinealittlelight (talk) 19:01, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Comey did not say the campaign was under investigation for alleged coordination, he said links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign. IOW, the Trump campaign may have been oblivious to what Page, Papa et al. were doing, as obviously they were not well-vetted, they were simply props in a photo op when Trump slapped together a "foreign policy team" in March. soibangla (talk) 19:09, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
OK here is the Comey Quote (you can read it yourself, I've quoted only the relevant part). ...the FBI...is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating...whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. So they were investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Shinealittlelight (talk) 19:25, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Right, but the campaign wasn't under investigation. As Gowdy said after he reviewed the classified investigation docs:

I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump...President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did. I think when the President finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard.... The FBI is doing what he told them to do

It was well known by then that Trump was no longer a hands-on manager, he delegated to people, so at that point the FBI did not know if there was any knowing coordination, only that people like Page and Papa, whom Trump didn't really know, may have been compromised without his knowledge and allowed Russians to infiltrate the campaign. Page, in particular, had been FISA tapped since 2013/14 over fears the SVR was trying to recruit him, and may have succeeded, and Manafort was also tapped by 2014 because of his association with Kilimnik, who was connected to Russian intel. soibangla (talk) 21:59, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
I repeat: Comey stated that the Trump campaign was under investigation, and specifically that they were investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government. I don't know what Senator Gowdy meant in that quote, but obviously Comey--the director of the FBI at the time--is an authoritative and conclusive source for whether or not the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. He stated that they were, and he stated this under oath, and it was reported in the NYT, which I cited. This information is important for the reasons I have indicated, and it needs to be in the article. Shinealittlelight (talk) 00:04, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
OK, I think I understand the source of the confusion here. I’m talking about how the investigation began, which has become a recent point of contention, rather than what it evolved into upon further investigation. Comey’s quote is from March 2017. Sorry if I led us down a rabbit hole. soibangla (talk) 02:27, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Back to this thread's topic..."Was this investigation on Russian interference, or only conspiracy?" It was both. No one is questioning that the Trump administration was also being investigated at the same time as other aspects of Russian interference were being investigated, but initially it was actions by a Trump campaign member that started it all, so there was clearly much focus on the campaign's possible involvement in the interference.

Above is wording which may not be quite accurate: "So it seems that the focus of this investigation was the Trump campaign (less on the Russia interference),..." Maybe it seems that way from those few sources, but one can easily find a group of sources (and some of those, or maybe all, don't even mention Crossfire Hurricane) to back up opinions that put more weight on one or the other. We just know that the Russia investigation involved both Russians and Trump campaign members. -- BullRangifer (talk) 23:51, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

Do we have sources calling it Operation Crossfire Hurricane, both NYT articles just say Crossfire Hurricane, I know we were using Operation on the Spygate talkpage, but now that we have article I'm trying to find one of the sources that say Operation for the title, rather then it just being the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. WikiVirusC(talk) 18:25, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Plenty of news sources use the full "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" moniker. See below the outcome of my search, including NPR, Newsweek, The Australian, Fox News, The Federalist, and USA Today. — JFG talk 10:25, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Requested move 4 May 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Moved per consensus — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:20, 11 May 2019 (UTC)


Operation Crossfire HurricaneCrossfire Hurricane investigation – Its code name was Crossfire Hurricane, not Operation. [6] [7] Sources. starship.paint ~ KO 00:09, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Note to future commenters and closer: as of the time of this post, all who have commented below have also supported either Crossfire Hurricane (FBI investigation) or Crossfire Hurricane FBI investigation. starship.paint (talk) 02:13, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

  • @WikiVirusC: - you may wish to merge your talk page section above into here. starship.paint ~ KO 00:10, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Indeed, no reason to ignore RS and make this sound like a John le Carré novel. O3000 (talk) 00:13, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support probably could have done it it without a discussion, as don't think it would be contested. No rush either way though. WikiVirusC(talk) 01:40, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. This makes total sense, but Crossfire Hurricane FBI investigation is even better. Yes, it was an operation, and thus that gets thrown into the mix, often as the capitalized word at the beginning of a sentence, hence leading to confusion. -- BullRangifer (talk) 06:08, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I recall some primary sources including the word "Operation" but I could be mistaken. Either way, the 2ndary sources appear to exclusively use Crossfire Hurricane and "investigation" is an appropriate disambiguation, so I approve. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SK8RBOI (talkcontribs) 06:23, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Plenty of news sources support the full "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" moniker,[8][9][10][11][12][13] and I actually get fewer results when searching for "Crossfire Hurricane investigation" (5300 results)[14] than "Operation Crossfire Hurricane" (22,300 results).[15]JFG talk 10:21, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • That's odd. When I search for the full phrase (and add Russia so we don't get the Rollings Stones song), I get 15,300 hits. When I exclude Operation, I get 27,500 hits. I didn't use "investigation" in either search. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:22, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
  • BTW, if Operation really was part of the name, I'll change my vote. We just need some kind of definitive comfirmation. I'm not familiar with the FBI's naming procedures. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:19, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Support but we can do better. JFG is correct that there are sources that call this "Operation Crossfire Hurricane"; however, most sources just call it "Crossfire Hurricane." Therefore, per WP:COMMONNAME, the article should be moved to "Crossfire Hurricane (X)" where X is something like "investigation," "FBI investigation," or "U.S. investigation." Crossfire Hurricane investigation is incorrect. I !vote support only because it's a step in the right direction. R2 (bleep) 19:31, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
BullRangifer, sorry if I wasn't clear. My point is that the title should be Crossfire Hurricane, with any additional verbiage enclosed in parentheses for disambiguation. R2 (bleep) 21:00, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Sure thing. I agreed below. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I would support Crossfire Hurricane (FBI investigation). Indeed "Crossfire Hurricane" was the operation's code name, just like "Midyear Exam" was the code name for the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. We must of course disambiguate from the Rolling Stones movie, and "(FBI investigation)" is an appropriately precise dab term. — JFG talk 01:17, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I concur with JFG's analysis and also prefer a title with a parenthetical.— Preceding unsigned comment added by SK8RBOI (talkcontribs) 01:30, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • That sounds good to me. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:06, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm also okay with this. starship.paint (talk) 04:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  • @Objective3000 and WikiVirusC: any input on this suggestion? starship.paint (talk) 04:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Also works for me WikiVirusC(talk) 12:39, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Looks good to me. O3000 (talk) 10:47, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
My very best wishes, how about Crossfire Hurricane (FBI investigation)? So far that alternative appears to be preferred, with no !votes against. R2 (bleep) 17:12, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Who authorized which warrant?[edit]

The text currently reads: There were a total of four 90-day warrants approved to eavesdrop on Page. ... The warrants were approved by four federal District Court judges (Rosemary M. Collyer, Michael W. Mosman, Anne C. Conway and Raymond J. Dearie), all of whom were nominated by Republican presidents; as well as certified by then-FBI Director James Comey, then-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, Acting Attorney General of the Trump administration Dana Boente, and Deputy Attorney General of the Trump administration Rod Rosenstein... This text is fairly unclear, in that it makes it sound as if four judges (etc.) authorized each warrant. What I gather from reading around is that each warrant was authorized by one judge, one person in charge at the FBI, and one person in charge of the investigation in the DOJ. So I gather that we have something like this (I'm not sure about the order of the judges):

Warrant 1: Collyer, Comey, Yates
Warrant 2: Mosman, Comey, Boente
Warrant 3: Conway, Comey, Rosenstein
Warrant 4: Dearie, McCabe, Rosenstein

Does this seem correct? If so, it would be good if we could clarify this. However, I can't find good sources that state all this in a concise fashion. I could pile a ton of sources in, one for every detail, but that seems ugly. Any ideas? Shinealittlelight (talk) 01:15, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Agree, I got confused when reading this sentence as well. Clearly there was one judge per warrant, and they happened to be all different. If we're going to list the approvers for each warrant, then probably the FBI person should come first, then DOJ supervisor, then the judge. That's the process each application had to go through. I see no problem listing a source for each piece of information if we can't find one that says it all in one place. — JFG talk 01:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Also, it seems POV to insist that each judge had been appointed by a Republican president; I'd leave that out, and place links to their individual biographies. Same thing for Boente and Rosenstein "of the Trump administration". — JFG talk 01:23, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Agree. Another way to deal with that is to just state who appointed each person. Again, it will multiply sources if we're going to provide sources for each claim. Here is some language I came up with just now:

There were a total of four 90-day warrants approved to eavesdrop on Page. Each of the warrants was approved by a different federal District Court judge (Rosemary M. Collyer, Michael W. Mosman, Anne C. Conway and Raymond J. Dearie), each of whom was nominated by a Republican president prior to the Trump administration. The first three warrants were also approved by FBI Director James Comey, who was appointed by President Obama and was later fired by President Trump. After Comey was fired, the fourth warrant was approved by Comey-appointee Andrew McCabe--the acting FBI director at the time. In addition, each warrant was approved by either Acting Attorney General Sally Yates (an Obama appointee), Acting Attorney General Dana Boente (an Obama appointee), or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (also an Obama appointee).

Shinealittlelight (talk) 01:32, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
JFG, I disagree that it's POV to mention their party affiliation, because this has been a huge point of contention, and RS have often pointed out that Trump's accusations (blaming Obama) ignore the fact that these were nearly all Republicans and some appointed by himself, so including this information adds information of value. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Then maybe add those "points of contention" in a separate sentence, with attributed opinions, but don't pollute the main sentence describing facts. — JFG talk 15:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Also, could we add dates to each of those four FISA applications? -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Let me suggest perhaps a simpler version:

The FBI requested four consecutive 90-day warrants to intercept Page's communications; all were approved. The first three requests were signed off by James Comey, and the last one by his deputy Andrew McCabe after Comey was fired. The next stage of approval was conducted by the Department of Justice, successively by Sally Yates for the first warrant, Dana Boente for the second, and Rod Rosenstein for the last two. Finally, each warrant was granted issued by a different FISA judge: Rosemary M. Collyer, Michael W. Mosman, Anne C. Conway and Raymond J. Dearie.

To be sourced, of course. What do you think? Again, I don't think we need to add which president had appointed which signatory (especially as FISA court members are hand-picked by the Chief Justice much later after their initial nomination to a Federal District Judgeship). — JFG talk 03:20, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Will work on sourcing when I get a chance. Shinealittlelight (talk) 10:49, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Question: Were there four FISA warrants in 2016, or just three and the first being the previous one in 2014? -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:14, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
  • There are a whole bunch of problems with that paragraph. For starters, I am firmly opposed to including which presidents appointed these judges. Related to that, which president appointed a judge is not the same thing as the judge's party affiliation. Next, judges don't authorize or approve warrants, they issue them. Next, the issuance or extension of a warrant by a judge isn't the same thing as the reauthorization of the warrant (or, technically, the warrant application) by one or more DOJ officials. They shouldn't be lumped together as they currently are. R2 (bleep) 16:17, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
    Agree about judges; I have replaced "granted" by "issued" in my version. I don't name presidents in there. What else should I change? — JFG talk 12:13, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
JFG, what do you think of the current version in the article now? I incorporated some of your language. Shinealittlelight (talk) 12:19, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
That looks good, thanks. I have made some copyedit to the first sentence. Why do you use the term "certified" by Comey et al.? Isn't it simpler and more appropriate to say "requested" or "signed off" by the FBI chiefs? — JFG talk 16:24, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with you. I believe that language came from the NPR source. Not sure why they put it that way. Another issue is that I think that because the documents that have been released are so heavily redacted, we cannot tell who all the signatories were. I find it weird that Yates signed off on the first one; why didn't Lynch sign it? Or did she? Is it known whether she did? In any case, the current language gives the (I think false) impression that these were all the signatories. Should we fix that, or leave it as is? Shinealittlelight (talk) 16:33, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I feel we should include as much info as possible. We are documenting history in detail. With time, these sources may not be available, and Wikipedia will be the only place which answers the questions of who signed and authorized what, and exactly when it happened. We are not a paper encyclopedia. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:52, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
This goes back to the question of dates. Was Lynch still in office when the first warrant was issued? Or perhaps she delegated this to her deputy Yates as a routine matter? Do we have any sources stating who signed what and when? We should take care not to assume who signed the warrants only based on dates when this or that person was in the FBI or DOJ seat. — JFG talk 17:19, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Good points. If we can't be certain, it's best to not touch it. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:21, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

"Investigations" section ignores Russian interference investigation[edit]

This is a serious lack. We can't depend on just one NYT source.

All RS describe OCH as the code-name for the investigation into Russian interference (RI). OCH and RI are synonymous. Since that is an established fact, all known RS which discuss that subject should be used here. When one uses one synonym, one is allowed to use sources which mention other synonyms, and the source need not use the term OCH. That is not a SYNTH violation.

We have information and sources about the RI spread around in several articles. All of that should be copied here, with attribution. It should be possible to make this a full and comprehensive article fairly fast that way. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:43, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Regarding your premise: All RS describe OCH as the code-name for the investigation into Russian interference (RI). Isn't this contradicted by the sub-thread titled "Was this investigation on Russian interference, or only conspiracy?" above? R2 (bleep) 20:56, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any type of consensus conclusion in that thread, but if that consensus were to be contrary to what all RS say, then it would be wrong and should be ignored/abandoned. The proper answer to the question posed in that thread is "both". The Mueller investigation inherited one Trump Russia investigation with both elements, and Mueller has pursued it relentlessly.
The Russian interference investigation is often called the Trump Russia investigation because it includes both elements. It started as an investigation to protect Trump from inept aides who cooperated with Russia's attempts to compromise the Trump campaign, and then it morphed into an investigation into whether, and how much, Trump might be compromised himself and acting as a witting or unwitting asset, because either way, his actions were identical to those of a Russian asset.[16][17][18] -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:19, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
If there's no consensus in that thread, then I think this thread is premature. The question posed by starship.paint seems pretty critical to the scope of this article. R2 (bleep) 21:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, it is critical. I'm waiting for people to post RS which show that OCH was different than the RI. All RS that mention CFH seem to treat them as one and the same investigation since both investigated Russia and the Trump campaign. CFH was just the code-name for the RI.
I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't some form of conspiracy theory background for the idea that it was separate and only targeted the Trump campaign. Where did this idea even come from here at Wikipedia? Since they started this article, I'll ping User:Starship.paint. Maybe they can shed light on this.
I get dozens of Google alerts on these subjects every day, and the searches include many unreliable sources, so I see the conspiracy theories too, but I don't usually go in depth with them, as reading such websites isn't productive, wastes one's time, and can twist one's thinking. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:58, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── New idea.... Since the Mueller investigation took over the Russia investigation and continued it, the Mueller Report documents its findings, and it happens to be divided into two parts, Volume I is for the Russian interference, which included suspected conspiracy by Trump campaign members, and Volume II for Trump campaign obstruction of justice issues. The Russia investigation, code-named CFH, dealt with interference and conspiracy (Vol. I), and also obstruction (Vol. II). We could divide this article into two main sections dealing with each group of issues. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:14, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @BullRangifer, Ahrtoodeetoo, and Soibangla: I didn't set out to restrict the article to the investigation of individuals of the Trump campaign. That said, what I've seen of media coverage seems to indicate that the focus on Crossfire Hurricane was on individuals in the Trump campaign (especially Carter Page). On exactly how they investigated Russian interference, I haven't seen. If I have, I would have added it to the article. As such, the lede of the article needs to focus on conspiracy first and foremost, rather than Russian interference, unless we can find the sources that actually talk about how Crossfire Hurricane investigated Russian interference. Plenty of sources refer to Crossfire Hurricane as the investigation into (members of) the Trump campaign. This is why I wrote the lede like this. [19] starship.paint (talk) 08:41, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

In that version of the lead, you wrote: "The investigation included inquiry into Russian interference,...", IOW what is covered in the first part of Volume I of the Mueller Report (Russian interference). What about that part? The Russians did a lot of things in their interference, and that was also part of Crossfire Hurricane's investigation. It seems to me you're ignoring that part and are focusing on the second part of Volume I (Conspiracy or coordination), and maybe part of what's in Volume II (Obstruction of justice).
What I'm still trying to figure out is what you believe is the real difference between the Russia investigation and CFH, because it seems you're implying they are not one and the same thing. I contend they are the same, with absolutely no difference in any manner. That's what RS also imply. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:19, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Let me illustrate the situation. Let's say you're in the market to buy a new car, and on July 31, 2016, the first day it was available to the public, you bought a completely new model car named the Ford Russia Investigation sedan. Lots of information about the car and its development is written in car magazines and you devour all of it because you're a real car aficionado.
After you've been driving that car for nearly two years, an article in Car and Driver magazine, written on May 16, 2018, tells you that during Ford's top secret development phase of that exact same car, Ford employees referred to it as the Ford Crossfire Hurricane. You really think that's a pretty cool name and you start referring to your Ford Russia Investigation sedan as "my Ford Crossfire Hurricane" and imply that they are two different cars. That leaves your friends scratching their heads because it's the same car you've been driving for some time. The only difference is that you now know the code-name Ford used during its development phase. That information did not change the car in any manner. It's still the same car.
To convince your friends, you'll need to provide evidence from RS that your "Ford Crossfire Hurricane" is a different car than the Ford Russia Investigation sedan you bought on July 31, 2016. Where are the RS showing there is ANY difference at all? What evidence exists to show that they are different cars? -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:20, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the Russia investigation didn't have different aspects. Of course, it did. Some parts focused on foreign nationals, mostly Russians, and some parts focused on Trump campaign members and associates. Are you implying that the Russia investigation was mostly focused on Russians, and Operation Crossfire Hurricane was the part mostly focused on the Trump angle? Again, where's the evidence? Where are the RS which make that distinction? -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:21, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that anybody disputes that Crossfire Hurricane examined the actions of both Russian agents and Trump campaign members. The extent to which it focused more on one or the other aspect are still largely unknown. I expect we will learn more from the pending IG report. Regarding your car analogy, well, I would amend it by saying that Ford recalled your car in May 2017 to fix a potential obstruction of the carburetor, and sent it back to you while explaining that all further service would be performed by the newly-created Ford Mueller division, who inherited all prior documentation and service manuals from the disbanded Ford Comey division. Pretty lousy analogy, but I hope it helps…JFG talk 16:32, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I love it! It is rarely possible to create analogies that can stand "on all four legs."
My point is that no one has supplied multiple refs to show there was ANY difference between the Russia investigation and CFH. Whether the investigation had more emphasis on one aspect or another, they were the same investigation, even in that emphasis. There is no difference even on that point. CFH was just the original secret code-name. The Mueller investigation has no bearing on this. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:43, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I understand your point, and I think the simple answer is we don't know either way. Could be the exact same file, the same file with an expanded mandate (as looks to be the case from the Rosenstein letter appointing Mueller), parts of the same file only with a totally new team, or even a totally new file with only underlying raw evidence passed to the new team. Again, the IG report should clarify what happened. — JFG talk 17:24, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
  • BullRangifer, I think you're jumping to conclusions that we can't jump to. Just because (1) Crossfire Hurricane investigated Trump links, (2) Trump links and Russian interference were closely related in ways X, Y, and Z, and (3) no source says Crossfire Hurricane did NOT investigate Russian interference, doesn't mean (4) Crossfire Hurricane DID investigate Russian interference. 1 + 2 + 3 != 4. You can personally believe that Crossfire Hurricane investigated Russian interference, but we can't include that in our article. The usual verifiabilty/OR rule applies: we can only say something if it's expressly supported by the cited source. R2 (bleep) 22:02, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @BullRangifer, Ahrtoodeetoo, and JFG: - [20] - the Democrat counter-memo to the Nunes memo does say the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference and links to the Trump campaign. My point is not that the investigations are separate (perhaps invalidated by the below), but that it seems like now, the reliable source coverage is heavily tilted towards the investigation of the Trump campaign, and as such, our article's lede should focus on the Trump campaign first and foremost. If there are sources on how exactly they investigated Russian interference, I haven't come across them yet, and I'm busy, so I don't have time to find them. Please ping for a response. starship.paint (talk) 00:42, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Starship.paint, yes, according to that RS, it's both. It may be that "now, the reliable source coverage is heavily tilted towards the investigation of the Trump campaign," but that is not the totality of the RS. Before May 2018, the investigation was discussed only as the investigation into Russian interference, and it was also clearly about the involvement of the Trump campaign even then. As time has gone by, the Russian hacking and social media attacks have been pretty much covered to exhaustion, while the Trump campaign's involvement has been investigated even more deeply because there is so much to investigate. You need to keep using all the RS, right from 2016 until now.
If you're only suggesting we should put more emphasis on the Trump campaign part, but will still cover all aspects of the investigation, including the investigation of Russian interference (hacking, social media campaigns, etc.), I don't immediately see any great problem with that.
In a sense that is logical. In the very beginning, the Russians' goal was just to disrupt the American election and democracy. When they discovered they were getting a positive reception from the Trump campaign, and Trump had pushed out all other GOP contenders, the Russian interference was then aimed at helping Trump win, largely by smearing Clinton.
The whole thing got pushed to the forefront of the FBI's consciousness when Trump campaign members did and said things with Russians which showed they were receptive of the Russian's efforts. That is also what first worried foreign intelligence agencies in 2015. They overheard (electronic eavesdropping) Russians talking together about their meetings and discussions with Trump campaign members to disrupt the election to help Trump win. This shows that long before Trump had pushed his competitors aside, the Russians were working on plans to help Trump if he ended up with a chance to win. That happened in the summer of 2016. Our allies knew this was highly illegal and contrary to all democratic rules for elections. So they contacted the FBI and CIA and told them what they had heard.
So back in 2015 the FBI knew that something was afoot, but couldn't really do anything until they could put a name and specific illegal action on it. That happened when Papadopoulos revealed that the Trump campaign had advance knowledge of the DNC hack and theft of Clinton emails before anyone else knew. Then the FBI officially started the investigation on July 31, 2016. So yes, it makes total sense to start with the Trump campaign's involvement.
The body should still give significant coverage to the Russian aspect, and it should also be covered in the lead. It's not as if the Russia investigation was more about the investigation of Russian interference and CFH was more about the investigation of possible Trump campaign involvement in that interference.
CFH was just the code-name for the Russia investigation, so this article is still about the Russia investigation but is being called by the code-name which was revealed a very long time after we had articles and sources discussing the Russia investigation. Do you see my point? It makes no sense to use the code-name for the article title. We never do that, unless they are literally two different investigations. That has not been demonstrated yet. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:57, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: - Before May 2018, the investigation was discussed only as the investigation into Russian interference ... You need to keep using all the RS, right from 2016 until now ... The body should still give significant coverage to the Russian aspect - I've got no problem with these being added to the article, but someone's (anyone) got to do it, and it's not going to be me, because I'll be logging out promptly after responding to you. starship.paint (talk) 03:28, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Russian interference was investigated by a combination of agencies[edit]

@BullRangifer, Ahrtoodeetoo, and JFG: - found something new that contradicts with the above. [21] the House Intelligence Committee report does not say that the FBI investigation was on Russian interference. What it does say (page 48/253) is that [REDACTED - probably the date], the CIA created a fusion cell on Russian election interference, which was comprised of analysts from the CIA, FBI, and NSA. This fusion cell produced a series of papers for the White House, directors or each of the three agencies, and the DNI. The cell operated through the election, standing down in mid-November Then later (page 54/253) By summer 2016, CIA Director Brennan had become aware of information about "specific Russian efforts to influence the election," and the National Security Council (NSC) Principals Committee began discussing actions to take in response to what the Russians had been doing. as Director Brennan continued to brief the Principals Committee on Russia, the CIA - as discussed previously in this report- "pulled together experts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), NSA, and FB [REDACTED] to focus on the issue, drawing in multiple perspectives and subject matter experts with broad expertise to assess Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. Presidential election." [REDACTED] While DHS was providing assistance to states to conduct cyber reviews of their electoral mechanisms, the Principals Committee was awaiting "with urgency whatever the Intelligence Community could provide" that "would illuminate [their] understanding of [Russian interest in the election]. If there was a combined effort to investigate Russian interference, then it couldn't have been an FBI-exclusive investigation in Crossfire Hurricane right? starship.paint (talk) 02:26, 8 May 2019 (UTC) @Soibangla and Shinealittlelight: for participating in the section further up the page. starship.paint (talk) 02:34, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Quite correct. It was an interagency effort. We have been writing "FBI" to keep it simple. We don't really know who was doing what at all times. We know that Peter Strzok, head of FBI counterespionage, started the investigation, but it morphed from there with the help of other agencies. This has no bearing on the CFH aspect, as that was just the code-name for the investigation in the beginning. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:02, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: - it's not apparent to me that Crossfire Hurricane was an interagency effort. NYT - FBI only. The following are covered in Operation Crossfire Hurricane#Origins. Nunes memo - FBI only. Democratic counter-memo: FBI only. House Intelligence Report - FBI only. Mueller Report - FBI only. starship.paint (talk) 03:33, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
In fact, bingo. Something useful: NYT: The F.B.I.’s thinking crystallized by mid-August, after the C.I.A. director at the time, John O. Brennan, shared intelligence with Mr. Comey showing that the Russian government was behind an attack on the 2016 presidential election. Intelligence agencies began collaborating to investigate that operation. The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently, three officials said. Crossfire Hurricane itself was not an inter-agency effort, but part of an inter-agency effort. starship.paint (talk) 03:39, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
You're right. What I wrote above was clumsy. The super secret Russia investigation was indeed carried on by the FBI, even though it started with an interagency sharing of information. Then an FBI team formed and pushed forward with that investigation. That team investigated Russian interference and any possible involvement by the Trump campaign, in the beginning focusing on four members. -- BullRangifer (talk) 04:14, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: I don't agree with what you just said. Here's my view. Crossfire Hurricane looked into coordination between the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government's interference in the 2016 United States elections. Thus, Russian interference is already a subtopic. We have lots of evidence that they did a lot of investigation into some members of the Trump campaign. An inter-agency effort investigated Russian interference (per House Intelligence Committee). The FBI's Crossfire Hurricane was part of that inter-agency effort (per NYT source). starship.paint (talk) 04:20, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any disagreement. I thought we were saying the same thing, just in different ways. Say more. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:42, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
@BullRangifer: - so given that various agencies, including the FBI, investigated Russian interference, and that the FBI exclusively investigated members of the Trump campaign - perhaps, the Russian interference part wasn't the key part of Crossfire Hurricane? I mean, the special counsel took over the investigation of Russian interference as well, but we don't know in this early period, who found what on Russian interference. Did the FBI find ______, or was it the CIA, or the NSA? starship.paint (talk) 07:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Starship.paint, the wording here is tricky, so we need to be sure we mean what we say, and say what we mean, and it's easy to not notice imprecision in wordings. It's a type of error I often make. I want to make sure you are cognizant of what might be at stake here, so I'll try to plumb your thinking, because I really appreciate how you work.
I want to parse this accurately. You just wrote "that the FBI exclusively investigated members of the Trump campaign..." I'm not sure that is true. I believe the FBI was involved in all phases of the investigation until it ended. Maybe you mean "that the team investigating the Trump campaign's possible involvement was composed of an (exclusively) FBI team," the same team which had investigated the Clinton email scandal. Does any of that make sense to you? -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:00, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
BullRangifer - I’ll try to be more clear: “the team investigating the Trump campaign's possible involvement was composed of an (exclusively) FBI team”, yes. The overall team investigating the Russian interference was composed of a combined team from FBI, CIA, and NSA. Per NYT, FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane was part of that combined team. starship.paint (talk) 23:50, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
A reminder: FBI's job is to investigate suspected criminal activity on U.S. soil. Intelligence and counter-intelligence is the CIA's job, including spying on adversaries (HUMINT). The NSA feeds information and hints to sister agencies by intercepting communications, foreign and domestic, legally and illegally (as Snowden demonstrated). Consequently, the collective effort we are talking about would logically be divided along those lines, whereby FBI would look at suspicious activities of the Trump campaign, and the CIA would lead the way to understand what Russia was doing, with the help of the NSA and allied intelligence agencies. — JFG talk 10:04, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Actually, the FBI has extensive counterintelligence responsibilities. FBI Counterintelligence Division. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 14:48, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Correct. It was an FBI agent, Peter Strzok, head of the FBI's counterintelligence operations, who started the investigation. Yes, outside the USA it is primarily the CIA at work, but the FBI does investigate crimes and espionage involving Americans and foreigners, even going outside the USA when necessary. The FBI also has field offices in foreign countries. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:49, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
  • BullRangifer, I see that you continue to state in a variety of contexts that Crossfire Hurricane was an investigation into Russian interference, when as best as I can tell (and as has already been pointed out to you), reliable sources say Crossfire Hurricane was actually an investigation specifically into Trump campaign ties to Russian interference, and not into the broader issue of Russian interference. This is spelled out pretty clearly in the New York Times source. If there are sources that contradict that source, can you please identify them? Otherwise you're arguing against the sources, something we generally try to discourage. R2 (bleep) 18:48, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  • There is no contradiction. For nearly two years, all sources have been describing the Russia investigation as an investigation into Russian interference AND the Trump campaign's role in that. In fact, the Trump campaign role is probably the biggest factor in that investigation. The fact that we know that exactly that whole investigation was originally code-named Operation Crossfire Hurricane does not change the nature of the investigation.
I have repeatedly asked for multiple RS which state clearly that they were in some way different. I have also stated the numerous ways in which every detail of the Russia investigation was identical to OCH. No one has provided those RS, but they keep pointing to that ONE NY Times source, which does not at all clearly make a difference. The Russia investigation and OCH were focused largely on the Trump campaign's role as part of the Russia interference. That is not news. I think I'm making the argument that is inline with all the RS we have used for two years. Depending on ONE source is not a viable way to go forward.
The code-named investigation is identical to the investigation for which it has a code-name. To illustrate the proper way to name an article like this, we would never name an article after the code-name used during the secret developmental phase of a product. We'd name it after the product. If Ford's creative team for the Mustang had code-named their secretive work (operation) Pony Car, we would certainly mention that fact in the article named Ford Mustang, and then we'd make Pony Car a redirect, as Operation Crossfire Hurricane used to be. Our current non-standard practice here is just confusing matters.
Now I'll repeat, but using the proper terms: The code-named Pony Car is identical to the Ford Mustang. Now that we know the code-name for the Russia investigation, that does not change the nature or scope of the investigation we've known about for two years, or all the RS which described it before we learned the code-name. It's still the Russia investigation, and should be named Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, or something like that. It's rather strange we don't already have that article. Instead, we have that information spread around in (at least) these lists and articles:
The needed article could be created quite quickly with information copied from those articles, using proper attribution. Much of the work has been done, so just bring it right here.
Currently, this effort is beginning here at Operation Crossfire Hurricane, which seems to be a good faith effort, but with the wrong title. The title should be something along the lines of what I suggest above. We have always referred to the topic by what RS call it, which is nearly always the Russia investigation, or some variation on that theme. We cannot suddenly decide to ignore all those sources and focus on one NY Times source. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:54, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
The fact that we know that exactly that whole investigation was originally code-named Operation Crossfire Hurricane I don't know that. It seems to be contradicted by the NYT source I cited. Can you point to a reliable source for it? R2 (bleep) 20:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
 ??? I'm trying to figure this out, so bear with me. This is news to me. I have checked myriad RS which mention Crossfire Hurricane, and they all define it as the code-name for the investigation into Russian interference, which included investigating how the Trump campaign might be involved. What am I missing here? Are there multiple RS which contradict all those RS which define Crossfire Hurricane? Have I really missed them? I want to see them!
I have asked for multiple RS which do that, but no one has provided them. We seem to literally be in disagreement about the very definition of OCH. I find this dependence on one source to overturn how all other RS define OCH to be questionable. When confronted with multiple RS which say one thing, and one RS which is interpreted in such a way as to contradict all of them, I find it more logical to recognize that this dependence on one source is an untenable overdependence on an interpretation at odds with myriad other RS. That's where I'm coming from. I need RS to change my mind and then I'll gladly do it. I could be entirely wrong, but no one has found the logical and/or RS key to demonstrating how I'm wrong. Please keep trying. I want this article to succeed because it will fill a gap. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:37, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I think if you answered my question it would go a lot way toward closing the gap between us. The question being, identify the source(s) that define(s) Crossfire Hurricane as being the investigation into Russian interference. R2 (bleep) 20:48, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
This interpretation is news to me. I have never seen this interpretation before the creation of this article. Before that, I had read most of the sources dealing with this subject, and after its creation I have checked most of the sources which mention CFH, including the NY Times source, and not found anything which does more than just to explain that it was the code-word they used.
I have asked for multiple RS which document this new POV. What you're asking me to do isn't exactly the same as to prove a negative, but you're shifting the burden of proof by asking me to do all the work to disprove a new and fringe position. We don't ask a scientist to disprove the unusual claim that the sun revolves around the earth. Instead, the scientist demands that the one making the unusual claim prove their position. The burden of proof is on the one making the unusual claim, so extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which is why that single NY Times source isn't enough. That's why I have asked for RS to prove that there is a distinction. No one has provided such sources. I don't know of a Russia investigation which didn't involve investigating the Trump campaign. It seems to have started there. -- BullRangifer (talk) 21:45, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't know why you're having such a hard time understanding my request. You keep referring to a whole bunch of sources that refer to Crossfire Hurricane as an investigation into Russian interference efforts. I'm simply asking you to provide one or more examples of those. That has nothing to do with proving anything or shifting any burdens. It's simply you referring to sources, and me asking you to identify them. R2 (bleep) 22:19, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to put this another way in the hope that one of these comments will get through to you. I don't claim to have tracked this issue as closely as you have. I recently read the NY Times article, which says pretty clearly that Hurricane Crossfire was an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and was distinguished from a broader, interagency investigation into Russian interference. If I understand correctly, your response is that the NY Times source is contradicted by a whole bunch of other sources. Fine. All I'm asking is for you to back that up by identifying some of those sources. It seems like a pretty basic ask. R2 (bleep) 22:26, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

"Extreme care" to avoid leaks?[edit]

The article currently states, on the basis of the NYT source, that the FBI took extreme care to keep the investigation secret. But we have other reports like this which seem to suggest that there may have been leaking going on that the FBI was aware of. I thought this was sticky enough to talk about it before trying an edit. My view is that the current language based on NYT is POV, and the article should state that the NYT reported that the FBI was careful, but that subsequent reports, based on the Strozk-Page texts, have suggested otherwise. Thoughts? Shinealittlelight (talk) 15:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Maybe Fox News is POV? It has a strong agenda to exaggerate anything into a negative and discredit the investigation. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:27, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Taking "extreme care to keep the investigation secret" does not mean that there were zero leaks. It simply means that the FBI and Obama did all they could to prevent the investigation from influencing the election. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:29, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
FN is normally regarded as a reliable source; certainly they could be POV in this case. But then so could NYT. But the main point is not the FN report but the texts themselves, which have been reported elsewhere. It certainly seems to me misleading for us to say, following NYT, that the FBI was taking extreme care if it turns out that there's some evidence (these texts) that they were aware of leaks in other agencies. Shinealittlelight (talk) 15:34, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Because of FN's extreme GOP/Trump bias, it is generally a good idea to be careful with its use for controversial political content. It is not generally accepted as trustworthy for such matters. Even its own real journalists (Shep Smith and Wallace) regularly call out the other hosts for putting out false and misleading propaganda, which is the normal mode for Fox News. It is not a normal news agency in any sense, and it was never created to serve that function. This is well-documented history. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:38, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Another relevant report. Shinealittlelight (talk) 16:08, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Key phrase: "were aware of leaks in other agencies." The FBI is not responsible for such things and the existence of leaks in other agencies does not change the fact that the FBI took "extreme care to keep the investigation secret". The Mueller investigation has been even more leakproof. -- BullRangifer (talk) 16:38, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with what you're saying here. I just think that a reader would be reasonable in taking from the current wording that there is no evidence of any leaking. But there is evidence, and not only evidence, but evidence that Strzok knew of them. In that sense, the current wording tends to mislead. What about just adding the abc report together with some statement like "though later reports suggest that the FBI may have been aware of leaks from other agencies."Shinealittlelight (talk) 16:50, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Some modification may be in order. Strzok was very concerned about the leaks possibly emanating from the White House and Trump supporters in Congress, a strategy Trump has been known to use during his whole career. That strategy also includes a component, which, when understood, will serve as a red flag for you in the future. Trump will immediately accuse others of doing what he is himself guilty, a technique taught to him by Roy Cohn. It's classic Trump/Cohn 101. Fortunately Trump's biographers have documented this, and Trump has even admitted to using some of these strategies. We document it here at Wikipedia. Remember, these leaks were nearly always accompanied by accusations from Trump that the FBI was doing it. Red flag lesson: He's signaling that he knew that the leaks were coming from his own side and is deflecting attention to his opponents, therefore, don't believe him. A number of his provenly false statements fall in this category.
This type of leaking was concerning to the FBI because, no matter how much they sought to take "extreme care to keep the investigation secret," they were dealing with other actors whom they could not control. These leaks were designed to disrupt the investigation and lessen the public's trust in any type of investigation into Trump's and his campaign's activities. It's an authoritarian tactic. -- BullRangifer (talk) 17:18, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
From the ABC report: "Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad,” he wrote Page in December 2016. “Scorned and worried and political, they’re into overdrive." Are you suggesting that 'our sisters' refers to Trump or his people? That seems far-fetched to me. I don't see that we have sufficient evidence to suggest that Trump or his people were leaking. I guess I'd suggest that you should think twice about alleging that even here on the talk page, at least if I understand the BLP policy correctly. Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:40, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Shinealittlelight, no, those are two different things. The mention of the WH is right there in [the ABC source. Many other RS have also discussed the way the WH leaks information and blames others as a political tactic:
Then a week later, when discussing internal investigators looking into the source of leaks, Strzok wrote Page: “I hope they understand the primary likelies are the [political appointees] at WH and DoJ, not the poor” agents and analysts at the FBI.

Months earlier, when the New York Times began working on a story about previous cyber attacks targeting Republicans, Strzok seemed to speculate that other U.S. agencies were behind the story.

“Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad,” he wrote Page in December 2016. “Scorned and worried and political, they’re into overdrive.”
Below is mention of "our sisters" (see box above), which was about something else "months earlier". -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:12, 8 May 2019 (UTC)


"Our sisters" most likely refers to the FBI's "sister agencies": NSA, CIA and assorted spooks. Brennan is key. — JFG talk 19:34, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree. It clearly doesn't refer to Trump or his associates. This CNN report quotes a former FBI agent explaining that 'sisters' probably means 'sister agencies'. I'm in favor of including this information as CNN presents it, with the CNN piece as a source. Shinealittlelight (talk) 19:57, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that's common parlance in those circles. Go ahead. — JFG talk 00:19, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Brennan is key? You sure it wasn't Soros? C'mon, that's just pure speculation. soibangla (talk) 01:56, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
It's not pure speculation--Strzok himself thought CIA was leaking, or at least he said so in his texts. Shinealittlelight (talk) 02:18, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Brennan has been harshly critical of Trump, he is their new boogeyman. Let's not get carried away with this. soibangla (talk) 02:39, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
You said JFG was engaging in pure speculation, and that is just not true. Now you're apparently changing the subject. Back to the article, ok? We've had a good vibe so far, let's not start mashing on each others toes. Shinealittlelight (talk) 02:54, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
It's not speculation: Brennan was instrumental in whipping up the Russian menace, starting in Spring 2016 after he got hints from GCHQ and other European intel agencies.[1] He created an interagency working group in July 2016. From our timeline:

* April: The intelligence agency of a Baltic state shares a piece of intelligence with the director of the CIA regarding the Trump campaign. The intelligence is allegedly a recording of a conversation about Russian government money going to the Trump campaign.[2]
* End July: CIA Director John Brennan, alarmed at intelligence that Russia is trying to "hack" the election, forms a working group of officials from the CIA, FBI, and NSA.[3]

In his May 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan stated plainly that he pushed the FBI to start the probe, now known as Crossfire Hurricane:

“I wanted to make sure that every information and bit of intelligence that we had was shared with the bureau [FBI] so that they could take it. It was well beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau. […] I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.”[4]]

Brennan wrote to his staff in December 2016 that FBI/Comey and DNI/Clapper "all agreed" with the CIA's view of Russian efforts,[5] which led to the joint ODNI report in January (bizarrely "declassified", i.e. massaged for public consumption). That much has been established. Brennan's personal disgust with Trump (which he liberally airs on Twitter and on TV) just adds to the focus on him. — JFG talk 11:29, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
None of those quotes from Strzok say anything about Brennan, so invoking him here as "key" seems to be completely unsupported speculation. What he says on Twitter now can have literally nothing to do with anything. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 14:53, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I did not mention Strzok, and I just explained how Brennan is relevant to the start of Crossfire Hurricane. He testified himself that he pushed the FBI to investigate. — JFG talk 16:22, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of any mention of Strzok, Brennan got the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started. He "collected the threads", so to speak. -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:10, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Congratulations, we have consensus that Brennan is key. Of course that can't be stated in the article, so... Can we please move on? R2 (bleep) 20:27, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
No, you were suggesting Brennan was leaker soibangla (talk) 20:45, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
I was not suggesting that. — JFG talk 21:06, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
“our sisters have begun leaking like mad” leads to you: “‘Our sisters’ most likely refers to the FBI's "sister agencies": NSA, CIA and assorted spooks. Brennan is key.” Maybe some “sisters” leaked, but why rope Brennan into it without evidence? Because he’s the new bogeyman, that’s why. soibangla (talk) 21:20, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
You keep thinking what you wish. I stand by my word. All I wanted to point out is that Brennan was key to getting the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started, and he said that himself under oath. — JFG talk 21:57, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
You clearly made the connection, and it’s consistent with the narrative I’ve seen in conservative media to smear Brennan. Yes, he testified that he was the “key” to the investigation, but the NYT edit I corrected (yours?) says his input “crystallized” the FBI thinking, not triggered it. There is an effort afoot to implicate Brennan as having started the investigation because he’s a partisan Trump hater, to discredit the origin of the investigation. I’m on to this strategy. soibangla (talk) 22:19, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
The NYT edit you corrected was not mine, and I urge you to stop assuming bad faith. — JFG talk 03:09, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Soibangla - please. Brennan himself said that he provided information on Americans to the FBI as the basis for their investigation (Crossfire Hurricane). That’s all. Let’s not go into the leaking part. Nobody says Brennan did the leaking. starship.paint (talk) 00:04, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Harding, Luke; Kirchgaessner, Stephanie; Hopkins, Nick (April 13, 2017). "British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ Wood, Paul (January 12, 2017). "Trump 'compromising' claims: How and why did we get here?". BBC News. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Eileen; Riechmann, Deb (May 23, 2017). "Brennan warned Russia against election meddling". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  4. ^ Scarborough, Rowan (May 29, 2017). "Obama loyalist Brennan drove FBI to begin investigating Trump associates last summer". The Washington Times. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  5. ^ Entous, Adam; Nakashima, Ellen (December 16, 2016). "FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2019.


Did you knowDYK comment symbol nomination

Operation Crossfire Hurricane

  • ... that individuals associated with the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign were targeted by a Crossfire Hurricane? Source: Washington Post That information prompted the FBI on July 31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities New York Times Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016 [...] at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

Converted from a redirect by Starship.paint (talk) and Shinealittlelight (talk). Nominated by Starship.paint (talk) at 01:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC).

Otherwise, this is a really bad idea as the focus is not on the late discovery of the code-name "Crossfire Hurricane", but on common knowledge about the Russia investigation (which is the common name for what was originally referred to by agents as Crossfire Hurricane). This can end up confusing people into thinking that they were two different investigations, and thus Wikipedia would be engaged in creating/furthering a fringe conspiracy theory. We shouldn't do that.
Create a new hook which focuses on the code-name, without getting into anything about the relation of the code-name to the investigation, as that is an unresolved discussion on the article's talk page.
This makes me think the article is now only two steps away from an AfD. Before it was three steps. I haven't done that yet because I'm hoping it can turn into a good article which collects into one place all the information about the Russia investigation which is spread around in different articles. If that doesn't happen, then the article has no right to exist. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:27, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Please ping me for any response. Also, note: Page has been moved to Crossfire Hurricane (FBI investigation). starship.paint (talk) 13:09, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

sniff sniff...I smell an effort to smear Brennan in here[edit]

just sayin’ soibangla (talk) 20:58, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Origin in lead[edit]

@Starship.paint: Regarding this edit,[22] I agree that several sources describe the Papadopoulos information as the trigger to open the investigation, but several other sources state that the investigation was opened following a number of leads, notably intercepts of Russian communications, which were reported several months before July. Actually the Papadopoulos lead was also available as early as May, so I believe we should not emphasize his role in the lead section as if he were the only reason this investigation started. Let's work on a more accurate wording. — JFG talk 04:32, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

@JFG: - at present the Origins section only has one source on Brennan saying he provided intelligence as the basis for Crossfire Hurricane. If you add your “several other sources” in the body then we can evaluate them for how to add the other leads to the lede. I’m not sure George’s lead was available to the Americans in May, I think the media reports said the Australians didn’t act on it until July, after the publishing of the emails, and I don’t think there are official reports on when the FBI got that info. starship.paint (talk) 04:36, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Here's BBC reporting on a recording from a Baltic country (probably Estonia) that describes "a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign", that got Brennan "worried".[23] Here's McClatchy outing the joint effort by CIA, FBI, NSA, DoJ and FinCEN to track "how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win".[24] Quote: "The informal, inter-agency working group began to explore possible Russian interference last spring, long before the FBI received information from a former British spy hired to develop politically damaging and unverified research about Trump." (emphasis mine) This is neither Steele nor Papadopoulos, another lead entirely, and it predates both of them. — JFG talk 04:53, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
@JFG: - just go ahead and add these to the article first, then you can write how to change the lede either here, or just edit the lede yourself and I (and others) will look into it later. starship.paint (talk) 04:57, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Steele Dossier[edit]

I tried to include info about the Steele dossier, and R2 removed it. It's not surprising that this is difficult to write about in a NPOV way. But surely it should be in the article that the warrant request relied in part on a dossier financed by Trump's direct political opponents, and that the warrant request did not disclose that the DNC and Hillary campaigns paid for the dossier. I used an NPR piece that says just this. Rather than just removing the material altogether, can we try to include it in a way that is collaborative? Thanks. Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:38, 9 May 2019 (UTC) Also: It should be included that the dossier is largely a bunch of rumors (per the WaPo Kessler source I cited). Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:41, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

It's relevant to mention the Steele dossier when we describe the history of warrants. That would fit between the first rejected warrant in the summer, and the first accepted one in October. But we shouldn't make any allegations about its partisan origins; there's an article for details. Steele has testified that he didn't know his research was ultimately funded by the DNC. — JFG talk 17:44, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Allegations? These aren't allegations, they are facts. I cannot imagine why we would exclude this information, which is of central interest to almost any reader who wants to understand not only what happened in this investigation but also how it became such a source of political controversy. Again, I don't think it's easy to present this information in a NPOV way. But the basic content of the NPR article I cited is surely due here. Unless you think that readers are not interested in why this investigation has received so much attention? Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Shinealittlelight, I commend you for being bold and I support adding something about this. I just don't know how to do that in a neutral and relatively concise manner. Hence the revert. R2 (bleep) 17:51, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Man, I know that we're not supposed to focus on other editors on the talk page, but maybe I'll be forgiven for saying: you're a really solid editor, R2, and I appreciate your collegial style. It's a real breath of fresh air, especially on a topic like this. Well, I've had my crack at it, so if someone else wants to try, I'd like to see what others can come up with. I thought the NPR piece was the best source I found for the info I think should be included. Shinealittlelight (talk) 17:55, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Please focus on content, not conduct.[Humor] R2 (bleep) 18:10, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
  • I have a number of concerns about the language you added, Shinealittlelight, but the primary one is that you added 6 sentences on one piece of evidence that was used to support the FISA warrant application, and nothing about the other evidence. Including the phrase "in part" doesn't come close to curing this problem. R2 (bleep) 18:29, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe we know what other evidence was used, do we? We have McCabe telling CNN that it was "not the majority" of the evidence here. But I don't believe that the rest of the evidence has been disclosed publicly. Shinealittlelight (talk) 18:45, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
We know a lot more than that. Sorry I don't have the sources at my fingertips, but at a minimum we know that Page had been previously surveilled under warrant for his extensive contact with Russian intelligence operatives. This is detailed at some level of detail in the Mueller Report. I think there was also reporting about this around when the Nunes memo came out. R2 (bleep) 19:01, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
This is the sort of source that isn't adequately reflected in your version. R2 (bleep) 19:25, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
So we don't know what the other evidence was, and we don't know how important any particular piece of evidence was, but we do know that there was other evidence. The source you provided says that the Steele dossier was a "smart part" (I assume it means "small part") of the total evidence, contrary to what other reliable sources say. For example, compare Bump's discussion here: [25]. Key quote: It’s clear that the information uncovered by Steele does play a prominent role. It’s impossible to say how critical it was to the warrant, though, because so much of the document is redacted. Bump's analysis seems to me to fit better with what the other sources say about it. I think it should be noted that it was a prominent part of the evidence, but that McCabe has said that it did not constitute the majority of the evidence, most of which has not been made public. Shinealittlelight (talk) 21:13, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
No, when there's a conflict among reliable sources, as there is here, we're required to describe the conflict with appropriate weight. That's the heart of WP:NPV. So that's the problem; there's just too much important nuance in the dossier dispute. My concern isn't so much about whether we can write something neutral about the dossier, but about how we can do so in a small amount of space without turning this article into a coatrack about the dossier. My tentative inclination is to keep the content about the dossier at a minimum, and let readers click to the dossier's article if they want to learn more about it. R2 (bleep) 21:24, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Understood. Do you really have the impression that there is significant weight among the reliable sources that aligns with that NBC article? It seems like an outlier to me. Moreoever, it is difficult to see how the NBC reporter could possibly know that the Steele dossier was a "small part" of the total evidence, given the heavy redactions and the fact that the other evidence, whatever it is, remains classified (per NPR and WaPo). If you disagree, it would help convince me if either it could be explained how NBC could possibly know that the Steele evidence was a "small part" of the evidence (when nobody else seems to know that), or if you could provide other RSs that corroborate that claim. Because lots of sources report that it was important evidence, and that we don't know what the other evidence was. McCabe himself said it was an important part of the package to CNN. Shinealittlelight (talk) 21:39, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
If you're going to say that the NBC source is an outlier, then you're going to have to point to a bunch of sources that conflict with it, not just one. And regardless, the NBC source is most definitely not a fringe source; therefore it must be reflected in the analysis. It's more than just a single sentence saying that the dossier was a small (or "smart") part of the evidence. But this discussion about the NBC source misses the point. The main point is that we have two sides here. One side says the warrant was based on a politically motivated hitjob. The other side says it wasn't. There are facts that support both sides, there are facts that are in dispute among the sources, and there's also a lot we don't know (due to redactions, etc.). I don't think the summary you inserted neutrally describes much of that. R2 (bleep) 22:00, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @Ahrtoodeetoo and Shinealittlelight: Thanks to both of you for collaborating in good faith; that is indeed a breath of fresh air when dealing with those sensitive topics. I share R2's concern's about presenting this information neutrally, and that entails separating facts from opinion, actions from motives. I believe that Shine's proposed text goes too far into the supposed motives of Steele or the investigators, and I also believe that NBC does too much mind-reading the opposite way, and kind of "protests too much", for example by giving a bold heading to the oft-repeated talking point that the four FISA judges had been appointed by Republican presidents -- well, so what, have we stoped trusting the neutrality of judges now? We just had a discussion where we agreed to leave the judges' nomination backgrounds out of the article, because that would be POV, so we shouldn't rely on a source that insists on this. Let me suggest a slightly shorter text that sticks to the facts:

The rationale advanced for granting this warrant relied in part on Page's prior activities, in part on redacted intercepts of Russian communications or human intelligence sources, and in part on the Steele dossier that the FBI had received in September. The dossier contained unverified allegations that the Russians had compromising material about Trump that could be used to blackmail him, and included specific claims about Page acting as a middleman for corrupt dealings between Rosneft and Donald Trump. The application disclosed that the dossier had been compiled by someone "likely looking for information that could be used to discredit" the Trump campaign, but failed to disclose that it was indirectly funded as opposition research by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Christopher Steele, the dossier's author and a former MI6 agent, was considered trustworthy by the FBI and the DOJ.

What do you think? I let you think do the sourcing. — JFG talk 23:14, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

Wait! This ABC source[26] states that the FBI received the dossier in July, but in prior discussions we found sources that said they only got it in September (hence my text above). Which is it?? — JFG talk 23:23, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
They didn't get the whole dossier. They were just told about what's in the first (June 20) and possibly second (July 26) memos. Steele "approached an FBI associate with a worrisome tale" about "shocking" and "salacious" matters which made Trump vulnerable to blackmail. Therefore it was a "national security" matter. At most he might have handed them what he had found at that time, but later the rest of the memos were written as he got more information. There was a lot more of the dossier which was not written at that time. I know you know this, but for the sake of other readers I'm just spelling it out to avoid any confusion. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:00, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
An interesting question, but I don't think it's necessary to figure out. Nice job JFG at putting something together that's concise but keeps the key points. I'd whittle it down further as follows:

The rationale advanced in support of this warrant relied in part on Page's prior activities, in part on redacted intercepts of Russian communications or human intelligence sources, and in part on the a dossier of raw intelligence findings gathered by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. The application disclosed that the dossier had been compiled by someone "likely looking for information that could be used to discredit" the Trump campaign, but did not disclose that it was indirectly funded as opposition research in part by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Steele had previously worked with the FBI and was considered trustworthy.

R2 (bleep) 23:35, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I like that it's even shorter and it calls the dossier "raw intelligence". However I believe we should mention what in the dossier was about Page, hence the Rosneft bit. We can do without the Trump blackmail part. — JFG talk 23:53, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Proposed version:

The rationale advanced in support of this warrant relied in part on Page's prior activities, in part on intercepts of Russian communications or confidential human intelligence sources, and in part on a "dossier" of raw intelligence findings gathered by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele.[1] The Steele dossier alleged that Page had originated the idea of stealing and leaking the DNC emails,[2] and that he was negotiating a share of Rosneft in exchange for Trump lifting sanctions against Russia if elected.[3] The application disclosed that the dossier had been compiled by someone "likely looking for information that could be used to discredit" the Trump campaign, but did not disclose that it was indirectly funded as opposition research by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.[4] Steele had previously worked with the FBI and was considered trustworthy.[1]

I've used BullRangifer's excellent research of the dossier allegations, as documented in our article about it. We can use citations from there. I removed "in part" for the funding because it has been established that prior work by Fusion GPS, funded by the GOP, did not involve Steele. — JFG talk 00:08, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
This is way better that what I wrote. Well done. Shinealittlelight (talk) 00:13, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I just added the sourcing, and will insert this text into the article. — JFG talk 05:29, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Sources

  1. ^ a b Apuzzo, Matt; Goldman, Adam; Fandos, Nicholas (May 16, 2018). "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Yglesias, Matthew; Prokop, Andrew (February 2, 2018). "The Steele dossier on Trump and Russia, explained". Vox. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (January 27, 2017). "Memos: CEO of Russia's state oil company offered Trump adviser, allies a cut of huge deal if sanctions were lifted". Business Insider. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "At Best, The FBI Misled The Court To Wiretap Trump Campaign, FISA Application Shows". Investor's Business Daily. July 23, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2019.

@JFG: - on your question above I remember reading a source that said that the Steele dossier was passed to an FBI unit in July. However, this was some random office, not the Crossfire Hurricane unit (plus Crossfire Hurricane was highly secret), and the dossier was left stuck there for months. Crossfire Hurricane only got the dossier in September and interviewed Steele in October. [27] plus the Schiff memo in the Origins section. starship.paint (talk) 00:06, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Some sources say that (unnamed) parts of the dossier were independently corroborated by other evidence already in the FBI's possession, and that gave them more confidence in the dossier and so they kept trying to verify all they could. They even tried to contact all the sources, ultimately only interviewing two of them. So the evidence they depended on to justify starting the FISA surveillance of Page may have been evidence they had, which was also found by Steele.
While still a small part of their total evidence, that could still have been important. The rest of (the majority) their evidence is not named, AFAIK. We do know quite a bit about Page's activities, what he lied about, and the sworn testimony they had to drag out of him bit by bit. He was not exactly a cooperating witness. Much of that was enough evidence to justify surveillance, especially when he lied about it, which is evidence of consciousness of guilt.
Neither did he hide his pro-Russian and anti-American sentiments (just as with Trump), his Russian business ties, his attempts to make deals with Russians, and his other numerous ties to Russia. All of that, combined with his contacts with known Russian agents, even after being warned, made him a prime suspect worthy of surveillance. -- BullRangifer (talk) 05:05, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  • JFG, I'm against including anything about what the dossier said about Page. I agree with the concept, but the problem is that we don't know what the DOJ pointed to in the FISA warrant application, since it was redacted. I'd suspect that they weren't focused on dealings with Rosneft, but that's pure speculation. I don't think we should emphasize or highlight one Page allegation over another without reliable sourcing to back that up. R2 (bleep) 16:00, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
    I understand your point, but we are not making any claims about what the FBI said in redacted parts. We are only explaining to readers what the dossier said about Page. After we say that initial warrant requests covered four unnamed people in the Trump entourage and was rebuffed for being too broad, the reader will rightly wonder what it was about Page that made the FBI single him out for a "more focused" warrant. I picked the top two allegations from the dossier that may have raised serious concerns, but of course that's guesswork. However, it's all perfectly sourced to ample coverage of the dossier, and I haven't seen any other substantial allegations about him. Maybe the FBI had other sources of concern about Page, but we don't know anything about those, if any. We do know that the allegations from the dossier were taken seriously, hence it's useful to briefly describe them here. Perhaps we could clarify the wording, but I believe that it would leave a gap for readers to not explain what was potentially alarming about Page. — JFG talk 19:16, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I think you missed at least one of the serious accusations against Page. What I suspect would have been the most alarming accusation is that Page acted as an intermediary in the "well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership." Maybe that was another way to describe the Rosneft contacts, or maybe it wasn't. R2 (bleep) 19:39, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Right, but the "conspiracy of co-operation" was alleged to be masterminded by Manafort, who used Page and others as executants. See Steele dossier#Key roles of Manafort, Cohen, and Page and sources there. — JFG talk 22:37, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't change its significance with respect to Page. This is pure speculation, but if Manafort was the mastermind then he might have been communicating directly with the Russians, whereas Page was supposedly the intermediary with the Russians so the DOJ might have seen him as a better target for a FISA warrant. Or heck, for all we know Manafort might have been subject to FISA surveillance as well. Who knows. R2 (bleep) 22:44, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Brennan quote[edit]

JFG, by insisting on using the WashTimes article you are inserting an Easter egg that users will read and get biased editorializing. The AP article has the same quote without the bias, so what possible objection could you have to use it? soibangla (talk) 17:52, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

There is consensus at RSN that the Washington Times is marginally reliable and that other sources should be used when possible. If the AP source indeed verifies the same content then we should use that instead. R2 (bleep) 17:54, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
The AP does indeed fully support the edit. The WashTimes should be pulled, but I won’t be baited into an edit war over it soibangla (talk) 18:18, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood. No one has tried to bait you into an edit war. JFG appears to support your change. R2 (bleep) 18:35, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Does he? https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Operation_Crossfire_Hurricane&diff=896316905&oldid=896314739 soibangla (talk) 18:39, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
All they did was clean up the parameters. The link didn't change. Btw, JFG, is it really accurate to say the newspaper is the Washington Times? Yes, the author is a Washington Times reporter, but this was published on the AP's website. R2 (bleep) 18:57, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
This article was published on the AP feed but did originate from the Washington Times; it's bylined this way on AP's own site. That's common practice. Here's the original same article on the paper's own site.[28] The reverse also happens: a piece by AP staff is shared on the AP wire and republished in various newspapers with an "(AP)" notice. In the latter case, we would use the newspaper name as source and add the |agency=Associated Press parameter to document the wire source. Back to the discussion at hand: both articles were written by the Washington Times, and per usual practice at Wikipedia, when a source is echoed on a news wire, we prefer quoting the original source, so even if we change which WT article we quote, it should be attributed and linked to WT in both cases, not linked to AP. — JFG talk 22:26, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Now, the only information we need here is actually the verbatim quote from Brennan who explains his thinking when he passed along his intelligence leads to the FBI in July 2016. We could use the official transcript of his House testimony instead, but that would be a primary source, and the usual Wikipedian practice is to quote secondary sources that report on primary sources. so that's what I did. I wish I had found a more "palatable" source than the Washington Times, which is admittedly partisan, but I couldn't find the same quotes from less-partisan or partisan-on-the-other-side sources. I don't think there is any problem of reliability with this particular report. That leaves us with a choice between two articles from the WT both quoting Brennan. I picked the one that was contemporary to Brennan's testimony in May 2017, and I ignored the journalist's editorializing. The second article, put forward by soibangla, is dated September 2018, and quotes the 2017 Brennan testimony as a reminder, while talking about something else: the release of Bob Woodward's book Fear: Trump in the White House. I believe that when reporting on an event such as a congressional hearing, it's best to pick an article that was "fresh" immediately after the event. I would welcome other opinions on the most appropriate source to use in this particular case. — JFG talk 22:42, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Now, the only information we need here is actually the verbatim quote from Brennan Thank you for making my precise point. In addition to the quote, the WT article is laced with insinuations about Brennan's motives, attempting to link it to Obama (wink-wink) while the AP story has the very same quote but is devoid of the insinuations. soibangla (talk) 22:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of the source either, whether we link to the AP or the WT. Here's the same quote from ABC News. How about we use that? R2 (bleep) 22:58, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Fine by me soibangla (talk) 23:04, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Looks good, although that piece talks about much later events, and has a puzzling title about FBI veterans. It would be best to find a mainstream source commenting on the Brennan testimony contemporarily. — JFG talk 23:26, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Breaking News: I found an impeccable source (of the partisan-on-the-other-side category), Mother Jones, that quoted Brennan at the time he testified, and whose title fits what we need to convey here: "Ex-CIA Chief: There Was Intel About Trump Campaign-Russia Contacts That FBI Needed to Probe".[29] Will update the article. — JFG talk 00:25, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:CONDUCTDISPUTE R2 (bleep) 00:01, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
No, that's not what JFG did. WT was the original ref, I changed it to AP last night, and he later changed it back to WT. Oh the drama. soibangla (talk) 23:13, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
I just corrected the attribution of the second WT article that you introduced as if it had been written by AP staff. If you dislike drama, don't stir it up by assuming bad faith like your "sniff sniff I smell a smear" thread. — JFG talk 23:19, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
you introduced as if it had been written by AP staff Show me where I did that. Your insistence on using the WT story lends credence to my suspicions of a smear effort. soibangla (talk) 23:25, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
This is your edit:[30] <ref>{{cite web|url=https://apnews.com/0333c261f09f616b218dc4ed7e6fabc1|title=John Brennan endorsed anti-Trump Steele dossier: Bob Woodward|first=Rowan Scarborough The Washington|last=Times|date=11 September 2018|website=AP NEWS}}</ref>
You did not even realize you were using another Washington Times article, reprinted by AP, and you messed up the citation parameters. — JFG talk 23:30, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
At no time did I represent it as written by AP staff, as you falsely assert. It was from the AP feed, that's all. As far as the citations parameters, I added the link and reFilled as I virtually always do, and maybe the parameters somehow got messed up and I didn't notice it, so OMG, shoot me. Are you really gonna stoop to this level of pettiness? soibangla (talk) 23:42, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Hey, you're the one who opened this thread and accused me of god-knows-what insinuations. I only corrected your citation format. Shoot me. Somebody please hat this trainwreck of a thread. — JFG talk 23:49, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
"I only corrected your citation format" Done. soibangla (talk) 23:54, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

CFH vs. joint task force[edit]

Apologies if this has been discussed/resolved elsewhere, but does From late July to November 2016, a joint effort between the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) examined evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election belong as the second sentence of the lede, when that joint task force appears to have been created before CFH, based on a different thread of evidence the CIA got? It should be mentioned in the article, but as the second sentence of the lede? It seems to muddle things up. soibangla (talk) 22:06, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

In chronological order, there were various hints of Russian activity tracked by the CIA and FBI since at least Spring 2015. When rumors of involvement of Trump campaign members grew, Brennan was concerned and set up the interagency task force in late July. FBI decided to not just monitor the situation, but dedicate resources to dig deeper into the various leads they had (from their own staff, from intercepts and from the CIA), launching "Crossfire Hurricane" on 31 July. Brennan and Comey testimonies agree on this sequence of events. From a later source, we learn that this particular enquiry was active until mid-November and the interagency task force was kind of disbanded after the election. But the FBI was still pulling threads on various Russian and Trumpian leads. After Comey was fired, the prior investigation scope was passed to the newly appointed Mueller team. McCabe and Comey both said they wanted to make sure that no further "Saturday Massacre" kind of action would be able to bury the ongoing investigation. From all the coverage and testimonies we have seen so far, OCH lasted from July to November, perhaps a few months after that at reduced intensity, and Mueller got a head start in May thanks to prior OCH results. Obama had asked for a report on Russian meddling before he would leave office, and the ODNI delivered a confidential one in December and a public one in January. After the December report, the Obama administration applied new sanctions on Russia, expelled 35 "diplomats", and closed down two Russian diplomatic compounds that the U.S. had in their sights for a long time.
What is still unclear, unless I missed some key sources, is what happened between November and May. There was extreme worry in many agencies about the arrival of Trump, and often denial that he was actually President. We heard of a "scramble to save data" for fear that the incoming administration would destroy records (of Russian intelligence, of climate change, of environmental studies, whatever). I hope we will soon learn what role the FBI played or did not play in this collective hysteria, and whether it was still considered a followup of Crossfire Hurricane. Clearly the FBI did not stand still, because they noted issues with Flynn during the transition period, i.e. December. We still don't know who listened to his communications; probably NSA spying on Kislyak, passing data to CIA, noting that he talked to Flynn, thew this info to DoJ and FBI, who then interviewed Flynn and discovered that he didn't disclose the full contents of his conversation to them, then he got fired for this and the rest followed as everybody was scrutinized: Sessions recusal, Veselnitskaya meeting, Seychelles meeting, etc. All that with the Russian menace still in the background, and the "collusion delusion" in overdrive. — JFG talk 23:06, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
A good summary, aside from some non-neutral bits. Anyhow... the critical question here is what part of all of that was called Crossfire Hurricane. We need to get some consensus on whether CH was just the FBI investigation into Trump ties or whether it was the broader investigation into Russian information before we can answer soibangla's question. R2 (bleep) 23:23, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
We'll probably learn the scope in the upcoming IG report. Let's just wait. — JFG talk 14:10, 11 May 2019 (UTC)
Is that from a Hannity script? soibangla (talk) 23:24, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

@JFG: - the history you wrote is wrong. It was the joint task force that ended in November 2016 (House Intelligence Committee report), while the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane never ended - the Mueller probe took over an existing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign, which surely is Crossfire Hurricane. starship.paint (talk) 11:45, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

@Starship.paint: That's essentially what I understood; perhaps I did not express it properly above. It's also unclear yet what the initial scope of Crossfire Hurricane was, and whether that scope was extended or reduced after the election. Clearly it was expanded to cover obstruction after Comey was fired, and forked out to Mueller. — JFG talk 06:53, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
@JFG: - you wrote OCH lasted from July to November, perhaps a few months after that at reduced intensity - implying it ended at some point. starship.paint (talk) 06:57, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Right. We don't really know yet whether it continued all the way through May. — JFG talk 21:27, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
According to the Times, Crossfire Hurricane "became" the the special counsel investigation, so doesn't that mean CH had to have lasted into May? R2 (bleep) 22:01, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm wondering where the idea of "reduced intensity" comes from. Please explain that. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:22, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

"What happened to the Trump counterintelligence investigation? House investigators don't know."[edit]

This may be of relevance here:

  • What happened to the Trump counterintelligence investigation? House investigators don't know.[1]

BullRangifer (talk) 02:43, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Well, skipping what Schiff is peddling or the implicit promo for his subpeonas as being legitimate, it would have had to be Rosenstein who was the "DOJ" that authorized Comey to tell Congress that, but there was no statement that Trump was then investigated - Comey said his campaign, notably not speaking of the President. Contemporaneous we have reports the President was frustrated Comey did not say he wass not under investigation, and in the available dismissla letter mentions that he had been assured three times -- but would not say that publicly. (Perhaps he'd learned from the Hillary investigations.) There are reports that both a CounterIntel group was rolled under Mueller and that an Obstruction of Justice investigation on Trump (after Comey's firing) was rolled under Mueller -- and one hopes the proper paperwork was done under Comey & just after -- but all we have seems to be the Rosenstein letter initial creation of Muellers group, nothing about increases in scope of the effort. Questions could also be answered by ODNI - maybe what the FBI gave for their intelligence report is the involvement. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:38, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
WP:NOTFORUM O3000 (talk) 00:44, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Sources

2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts[edit]

This has dates for the start of several investigations and a nice timeline:

BullRangifer (talk) 16:29, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Less-redacted report[edit]

User:Ahrtoodeetoo - per your delete comment on not RS, I have a replacement cite about the less-redacted report from Politico, a larger publication at least. Is that satisfactory for RS now ? Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:23, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't understand the point of that paragraph in the first place, so I'm going to delete it outright. The release and redaction history of the Mueller Report aren't sufficiently relevant to Crossfire Hurricane. R2 (bleep) 00:28, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Markbassett, it would help if you provided that Politico source, your proposed addition, and then which wordings in the source justify your addition. -- BullRangifer (talk) 01:26, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
User:BullRangifer ok, though it is OBE now Ahrtoodeetoo wiped that section. It was “The following week, a version without redactions other than Grand Jury material was made available to Congressional leaders to view in a secure setting.” And cite to here. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 00:26, 25 May 2019 (UTC)