February 25 2021 — The sudden announcement of Robert Hannigan’s resignation in January 2017 surprised many and the news fueled suspicions that GCHQ had been spying on Trump’s team. At the time, the true reason behind his departure was kept secret but it was finally revealed in February 2019. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
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UPDATE (December 18 2021) — The intelligence and security committee (ISC) was misled by the government when it failed to reveal that a former GCHQ boss had been allowed to resign quietly after it emerged he had helped a paedophile priest to avoid jail.
Parliament’s intelligence watchdog now claims it had been assured that Robert Hannigan had quit for “family reasons” in 2017, only to discover from a media report two years later that the truth had been covered up with the approval of the then prime minister, Theresa May.
The ISC complained in its annual report that it had been “misled on the issue” and added that when “the head of an intelligence agency steps down unexpectedly … this committee must be fully informed of the circumstances.”
It accused the former national security adviser Mark Sedwill of giving unsatisfactory answers after committee members read about why Hannigan had quit in a report in the Mail on Sunday, which accused May of “presiding over a cover-up”.
“Given the investigative powers with which we trust our intelligence community, it is imperative that they are above all suspicion,” the ISC said.
The national security adviser — Mark Sedwill — told the ISC that the intelligence watchdog had not been told about the real reason for Hannigan’s departure because the police inquiry was ongoing and the information needed to be held within a restricted group.
“It would not have been appropriate to share information outside this group, including with the ISC, during the investigation,” Sedwill wrote.
If you believe that…
Allow me to remind you some old facts.
This Russiagate operation was launched between July and September of 2016, around the time that Trump won the Republican Party nomination, and shortly after Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan had set up an inter-agency task force, with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, to investigate alleged Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election.
Brennan was initially steered in this direction by Robert Hannigan, then head of Britain’s electronic warfare division, GCHQ. He and Clapper convinced FBI Director James Comey and other top FBI officials — including the FBI’s liaison with Brennan, Peter Strzok — to open an FBI investigation. Strzok was directed to meet with “ex”-MI6 agent Christopher Steele in London on July 5, to be briefed on the “memos” Steele was drafting, alleging multiple channels of Russian influence on Trump, including fictitious sexual blackmail tapes.
By July 31, 2016, the FBI “investigation” was launched, which was used to justify the deployments of the “spies,” who were, in fact, in motion before then. [No More Doubt: It’s the U.K., not Russia, that Meddled in the U.S. Elections]
And then Trump was elected. Soon afterwards, Robert Hannigan resigned for a personal family matter…
END of UPDATE
Hannigan, then 51, suggested that he wanted to prioritize his family. Obviously, Hannigan was lying and many suspected a serious scandal.
Then, on February 24 2019, The Mail on Sunday reported that the real reason was his involvement in the case of Father Edmund Higgins, a Catholic priest and family friend.
Hannigan gave a character reference to Father Higgins who went on to re offend.
The court heard that the former priest would watch and share child abuse videos, including one that involved a baby.
Hannigan told the newspaper that Higgins had been a close family friend for 20 years.
“After he pleaded guilty to child sexual imagery offences in 2013, we submitted a character reference on our knowledge of him to the court in good faith.
His subsequent criminal actions appalled us and have shown that our judgment was completely wrong.
When I later became director of GCHQ, all the correct steps were taken in relation to my involvement in this case and this was verified by government lawyers.
This is a personal family matter. We will not be making further comment.”
Hannigan offered to resign to avoid dragging GCHQ into a scandal and did so with Theresa May’s blessing.
Today, GCHQ announced that the agency intends to use artificial intelligence to tackle several issues including child sexual abuse, human trafficking and disinformation.
Foreign Secretary appoints new Director GCHQ — Official website
Two Years Ago — GCHQ boss reveals real reason behind his resignation (February 25 2019)