By J.B. Shurk
Mark Hemingway wrote a fascinating exposé chronicling the enigmatic life of Stefan Halper, the Cambridge University professor and FBI informant who attempted to entrap low-level Trump campaign associates with promises that “his friendship with Russian spies” could aid Trump’s efforts to win the presidency. Hemingway notes that although most Americans were unfamiliar with Halper until details of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation against the Republican presidential nominee came to light, he has been a stubbornly recurring fixture near the intersection of American politics and espionage for fifty years.
The man who failed to ensnare George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, and Sam Clovis in the FBI’s efforts to seek and find Trump-Russia “collusion” in the run-up to the 2016 election not only achieved professional success in the ’70s and ’80s after marrying the daughter of the former director of the Directorate of Intelligence (the second-highest ranking intelligence officer at the CIA) but was also peripherally connected to both an alleged spying operation against Jimmy Carter and bank accounts linked to the Iran-Contra Affair. Tracking Halper from his employment in the Nixon administration to his mysteriously lucrative remuneration from the Department of Defense just last decade, Hemingway catalogs the professor’s résumé discrepancies, uncertain roles in numerous political scandals, and timely professional pivots. Ultimately, he concludes that the more we learn about Stefan Halper, the less we really know.
Although Hemingway succeeds in providing substantially richer detail regarding the professional exploits of Stefan Halper, one interesting story worth noting is left out. In the 1980 presidential contest between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, Halper allegedly played an instrumental role in belatedly securing for George H.W. Bush a spot on the Republican ticket. MORE