How the Crossfire Hurricane All Started: The Secret Origins of the Trump Probe

Kirsters Baish| It was only mere hours after the probe into alleged ties between Trump and Russia during the Summer of 2016 that the FBI sent two agents to London. Their mission was such a huge secret that only a few officials knew the details. The assignment of the two agents, which has not been reported on until now, was to meet with the Australian Ambassador. The New York Times writes that the Ambassador “had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.”

Two days after the investigation began, the pair of agents wrote about their interview and sent it to Washington. This report helped set the foundation for the case. At the time, the case was only known by a few officials who called it “Crossfire Hurricane.”

The name was a reference to the lyrics from a Rolling Stones song that reads, “I was born in a crossfire hurricane.”

The Justice Department’s Inspector General should be releasing the findings of their long review this month. a review on the way the FBI conducted the Clinton email investigation.

The New York Times writes of the findings:

 The results are certain to renew debate over decisions by the F.B.I. director at the time, James B. Comey, to publicly chastise Mrs. Clinton in a news conference, and then announce the reopening of the investigation days before Election Day. Mrs. Clinton has said those actions buried her presidential hopes.

Those decisions stand in contrast to the F.B.I.’s handling of Crossfire Hurricane. Not only did agents in that case fall back to their typical policy of silence, but interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the F.B.I. was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known. Many of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

The agents briefly considered interviewing specific Trump associates. This might have moved the investigation along, but the FBI claims that it would have risked the entire case.

They were weary that with leaks being a very real threat, so they concealed details from the political appointees in the Justice Department. It is reported that only five officials in the Justice Department knew about the entirety of the case.

As the Hill reported:

Five agents embarked to London in the summer of 2016 for a rare interview with the diplomat after deliberations between American and Australian officials, where they gathered information that would provide the basis for the Russia probe that is still ongoing.

The Times previously reported that a young foreign policy aide on the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, revealed he knew of hacked Democratic Party emails to Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer over late-night drinks in London.

It was reported that Downer explained to United States Intelligence officials about his personal situation with Papadopoulos following the emails. These emails had damaging information involving Hillary Clinton.

It seems that the official probe into the Trump campaign started just a few days after the FBI closed their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server… how interesting.