A Pentagon whistleblower was stripped of his security clearance and demoted after complaining about questionable government contracts with both FBI
informant spy Stefan Halper and a company headed by Chelsea Clinton’s “best friend” for whom then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings, reports the Washington Times.
Adam Lovinger, a Trump supporter and 12-year veteran of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department’s inspector general in May against ONA boss James Baker – who hired Halper, 73, to “conduct foreign relations” and kept the details of the spy’s contracts “close to the vest.” Baker was appointed chief of the ONA in 2015 by Obama Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter.
At that point, Lovinger wouldn’t have known was a spy working with the FBI/DOJ on operation “Crossfire Hurricane” – the code name for the Obama administration’s counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.
In an internal October 2016 email to higher-ups, Mr. Lovinger wrote of “the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper,” the complaint said. It said Mr. Baker hired Mr. Halper to “conduct foreign relations,” a job that should be confined to government officials.
In the fall of 2016, as the election loomed, Mr. Lovinger sent emails to Mr. Baker and other officials at the Office of Net Assessment complaining about the entire outside contracting process. He also said the office failed to write papers on long-term threats presented by radical Islam, China and Iran.
And in September 2016, Lovinger sent an email directly to Baker summing up the perceived problems, which reads in part:
“Some of our contractors distribute to others their ONA work for personal and professional self-promotion,” wrote Lovinger. “Another part is the growing narrative that ONA’s most high-profile contractors are known for getting paid a lot to do rather peripheral work.”
“On the issue of pay, our contractors boast about how much they get paid from ONA. Such boasting, of course, generates jealously among those outside the club, and particularly from those who have tried to secure ONA contracts unsuccessfully.”
“On the issue of quality, more than once I have heard our contractor studies labeled ‘derivative,’ ‘college-level’ and based heavily on secondary sources. One of our contractor studies was literally cut and pasted from a World Bank report that I just happened to have read the week before reading the contractor study itself. Even the font was the same.”
Halper – an Oxford University professor, former US government official and longtime FBI / CIA asset (who was married to the CIA deputy director’s daughter at one point), received over $400,000 for a 2016 contract which Lovinger complained about.
According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March. –Washington Times
In total, the American citizen teaching abroad received over $1 million from contracts dated between 2012 and 2016.
Lovinger’s attorney, Sean M. Bigley, filed the second of four complaints on July 18 with the Pentagon’s senior ethics official, claiming that Lovinger’s bosses punished him on May 1, 2017 by abusing the security clearance process to yank his credentials and relegate him to clerical chores. Lovinger’s complaint also names the Washington Headquarters Services, a support agency within the Pentagon that awarded the Halper contracts.
“As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper,” wrote Bigley in the ethics complaint, which referred to the contracts as “cronyism and corruption.”
“Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money,” said Bigley. “Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper’s contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman. That was very unusual.”
A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election, including Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
Halper’s $411,575 award came three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by “Steele dossier” creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the largely unverified dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.
The unassuming university professor approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails.
He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. –New York Times
And as the Daily Caller reported, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.
Page noted that in their first conversation at Cambridge, Halper said he was longtime friends with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A person close to Manafort told TheDCNF that Manafort has not seen Halper since the Gerald Ford administration. Manafort and Page are accused in the Steele dossier of having worked together on the campaign’s collusion conspiracy, but both men say they have never met. –Daily Caller
Halper would continue to spy on Page after the election. Two days after the second installment of Halper’s 2016 DoD contract, On July 28, he emailed Page with what the Trump campaign aide describes as a “cordial” communication, which did not seem suspicious to him at the time.
In the email to Page, Halper asks what his plans are post-election, possibly probing for more information. “It seems attention has shifted a bit from the ‘collusion’ investigation to the ‘ contretempts’ [sic] within the White House and, how–or if–Mr. Scaramucci will be accommodated there,” Halper wrote.
The other complaint lodged by Lovinger concerns a string of contracts totaling $11 million to Long Term Strategy Group – a D.C. consulting firm headed by self-described “best friend” of Chelseal Clinton, Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.
In October, the Washington Free Beacon reported that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings in 2009 between Deal and Pentagon officials to discuss contracts – to which Deal says no award “resulted directly or indirectly from the actions or influence of Secretary Clinton.”
According to one 2009 email, Clinton said she recommended Deal to Michele Flournoy, the newly installed undersecretary of defense for policy, who was seeking young women to mentor.
Deal, a specialist in China affairs who worked at the White House as a press aide for First Lady Clinton in the 1990s, wrote back to Clinton saying she would meet Flournoy on May 5, 2009, and stated “thank you very much for making this happen.”
Later that month, Deal thanked Clinton for “all your encouragement and help with DoD, ” shorthand for the Defense Department. –Free Beacon
In a statement, Deal said: “Jacqueline Deal and the Long Term Strategy Group (LTSG) are justifiably proud of their collaboration with the US Department of Defense across multiple administrations over the last two decades, beginning under the administration of President George W. Bush. LTSG’s work has consistently earned the highest respect and confidence of its clientele in government and has won LTSG a reputation for producing research and analysis of exceptional quality.”