An Apology To Carter Page

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on what the recent Horowitz report says about the treatment of former Trump adviser Carter Page. While the media has been quick to call developments as “vindication” for figures like Comey, it is largely silent on the poor treatment shown Page and the lack of evidence against him (and supporting the Russian investigation as a whole). Page has emerged as the Richard Jewell of the Russian investigation.

Here is the column:

After he was acquitted in a major fraud trial, former Labor Secretary Ray Donovan asked, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?” The trial was ruinous for Donovan, personally and financially, and the question was a fair one. Donovan, however, at least received a trial. Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has never been given a fair hearing, let alone a trial, to clear his name. As the two political parties spin the results of a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, one matter remains unaddressed. Someone needs to apologize to Page.

I do not know Page and have had only one conversation with him that I can recall. Indeed, my only impression of him was shaped by the image, repeated in endless media segments, of a shady character who was at worst a Russian spy and at best a Russian stooge. Page became the face and focus for the justification of the Russia collusion investigation. His manifest guilt and sinister work in Moscow had to be accepted in order to combat those questioning the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians. In other words, his guilt had to be indisputable in order for the Russia collusion investigation to be, so to speak, unimpeachable.

Ultimately, special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion or conspiracy by Trump associates or the campaign with those Russians intervening in the election. However, Horowitz found that the FBI never had any real evidence against Page before beginning its investigation, codenamed Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Soon after the investigation was opened, it became clear that Page had been wrongly accused and was, in fact, working for the CIA, not the Russians. Page himself later said he was working with the CIA, yet the media not only dismissed his claim but was very openly dismissive while portraying him as a bumbling fool.

Horowitz found that FBI investigators and lawyers had determined that the allegations involving Page fell short of a case for probable cause to open a secret warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Those investigators were then told by the eventually fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to look at the Steele dossier, which was actually funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Clinton campaign denied repeatedly that it funded the dossier but finally admitted doing so after being confronted by media with new information.

Despite warnings about the credibility of Steele and red flags over the unreliability of the dossier, Horowitz found that “FBI leadership” used the dossier to justify its application for a FISA warrant. Democratic members of Congress and a wide array of media outlets have long told the public that the dossier was just one part of the FISA application. That is false. Horowitz states that the dossier played the “central and essential role” in securing the secret surveillance of the Trump campaign, including four investigations with both electronic surveillance and undercover assets.

Early on, Horowitz found that an unnamed government agency, widely acknowledged to be the CIA, told the FBI that it was making a mistake about Page and that he was working for the agency as an “operational contact” in Moscow. Indeed, he was working as an asset for the CIA for years. While it was falsely reported that Page met with three suspicious individuals there, he had no contact with two of those individuals. More importantly, Page did the right thing and told American officials about being contacted by the third person, because he felt they should know.

It gets even worse. Throughout Operation Crossfire Hurricane, evidence continued to flow into the FBI that Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the infamous dossier, was unreliable and working against the election of Trump. Not only was he known to be trying to get this false information to the press, but evidence mounted that he misrepresented sources and stated false information. While it took long, someone at the Justice Department finally decided to act on the FISA matter regarding Page. The official in charge of FISA applications, Kevin Clinesmith, was told to ask the CIA again about whether Page had been working for the agency. He was again told that Page in fact was, yet Clinesmith allegedly changed the CIA response to describe Page as not working for it. He is now being criminally referred by Horowitz for falsifying that information.

Investigators also found an array of messages against Trump on the social media accounts of Clinesmith, including one declaring “vive le resistance” after Trump won. Meanwhile, throughout this period, the FBI was leaking aplenty but no one leaked the Page was actually a CIA asset. Instead, he was left to twist slowly in the wind. Media reports all but convicted Page of being a Russian spy. Evan Hurst wrote about him last year asking, “Why the hell are Republicans dying on this hill to defend Carter Page,” whom Hurst described, in all caps, as “a literal actual Russian intelligence asset.”

Natasha Bertand later wondered why anyone would question the case against Page. After all, she wrote, Senator Mark Warner, who is ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had warned reporters to “be careful what you wish for” and one of his aides told her that is is “simply impossible to review the documents” on Page and conclude anything other than that the FBI “had ample reason” to investigate him. Her article was published long after the FBI had been told that Page was working with the CIA, but many other stories ran with similar comments from senators suggesting that anyone defending Page would be ridiculed after the release of some damning evidence. Mueller and Horowitz have now confirmed that there was never such evidence showing Page was a Russian asset. Indeed, the evidence showed he was an American asset.

As Horowitz has now stressed, there is a difference between starting an investigation based on mere allegations and continuing the investigation based on known falsehoods. His report documents how direct exculpatory information was quickly shared with the FBI. I do not know anything about Page other than what I have read in these reports. All I know is that he is an American citizen put under a secret surveillance operation based on a dossier shown to be both unfounded and unreliable. He then remained under surveillance with three renewals of secret warrants, even though the FBI was told repeatedly that Page was working with the CIA and that the dossier used to obtain those warrants was considered unsupported. Finally, Page was the subject of an alleged falsification of a document presented to the FISA court to obscure that exculpatory information.

At what point does someone apologize to Page? He is, in fact, the victim of this criminal referral. He is the victim of what Horowitz describes as a “misleading” basis presented to the FISA court. He is a victim of media “groupthink” that portrayed him as the sinister link proving collusion with Russia, an allegation rejected by the FBI, by the inspector general, and by the special counsel. Of course, Washington does not work this way. Page served his purpose and the trashing of his reputation was a cost of doing business with the federal government for many members of Congress and the media. In recalling the question by Donovan, there is no such office. Page is simply supposed to disappear and leave his reputation behind.

Jonathan Turley is the chair of public interest law at George Washington University and served as the last lead counsel in a Senate impeachment trial. He testified as a Republican witness in House Judiciary Committee hearing in the Trump impeachment inquiry. Follow him @JonathanTurley.

75 thoughts on “An Apology To Carter Page”

  1. Prof. Turley: Does Carter Page have any recourse against the FBI or the DOJ? We just saw the decision a New York court regarding the Exxon matter filed by the NY AG’s office in which the judge determined the claims were politically motivated and no proof of wrongdoing was provided. Why cannot Exxon seek compensation from the State of New York for costs incurred, damage to reputation, frivolousness of the accusations, etc? Why cannot Carter Page seek compensation for his costs and damaged reputation? These are examples of Abuse of Power.

    1. DonEstif – a federal court just held that Elizabeth Warren had immunity for the tweets she made against the Covington kids because it fell under her official duties.

    2. I agree with your comments, Carter Page should be compensated from the DOJ and FBI and others, including the Coup Plotters, once Barr-Durham investigations are completed, for suspect what they find will be devastating.

      Anything coming out of NY G office is Political and also Soros has influence in NY AG’s office

    3. He said on TV a few days ago that he had lawyers going through the IG report presumably in preparation for a lawsuit.

  2. “At what point does someone apologize to Page?”
    The hate for Trump (TDS) is so bad, these people would rather die than admit they are wrong. Group think is Orwellian, and disastrous for anyone who is not a part of it.

    The good thing about all this light, these groups are getting smaller and smaller. The groups leaders are getting bolder because of it, exposing themselves for all to see.

    Drain the swamp of all corruption.

  3. https://www.justice.gov/storage/120919-examination.pdf

    [ Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation

    This report was originally issued on December 9, 2019. The report was updated on December 11, 2019.

    OIG Methodology

    “…
    Our role in this review was not to second-guess discretionary judgments by Department personnel about whether to open an investigation, or specific judgment calls made during the course of an investigation, where those decisions complied with or were authorized by Department rules, policies, or procedures.
    …” ]

    The O.I.G. Report documented a multitude of intentional misrepresentations of material facts ( to the common man: lies ) by the F.B.I. to deceive the F.I.S.A. court into finding that probable cause existed to determine Mr. Carter Page was a Kremlin agent.

    The first F.I.S.A. warrant to spy on Mr. Page was obtained during the 2016 election, after Mr. Page had left candidate Trump’s campaign, but weeks before the election was to be held.

    The warrant application submitted regarding Mr. Page, the O.I.G. Report, in its own words, “found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate.’” Specifically, “we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”

    It’s vital to reiterate this because of its gravity: we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.

    The specifics cited by the O.I. G. Report are even more damning. Specifically, “based upon the information known to the FBI in October 2016, the first application contained seven significant inaccuracies and omissions.” Among those “significant inaccuracies and omissions”: the F.B.I. intentional failed to state that Mr. Page had been working with the C.I.A. in connection with his dealings with Russia and had notified C.I.A. case managers of at least some of those contacts after he was “approved as an ‘operational contact’” with Russia; the F.B.I. intentionally misrepresented material facts ( to the common man: lied ) about both the timing and substance of Mr. Page’s relationship with the C.I.A.; completely, intentionally misrepresented the value and corroboration of Mr. Steele’s prior work for the U.S. Government to make him appear more credible than he was; and intentional failed to inform ( to the common man: lied ) the court of serious reasons to doubt the reliability of Mr. Steele’s key source.
    Moreover, the F.B.I.’s heavy reliance on the Steele Dossier to obtain the FISA warrant – a fact that many leading national security reporters spent two years denying occurred – was particularly concerning because, as the O.I.G. Report put it, “we found that the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or subsequent renewal applications.”

    To spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of an election, one who had just been working with one of the two major presidential campaigns, the F.B.I. trumpeted ( no pun intended ) a gossipy, fabricated, rumored, imagined, completely unverified and totally unreliable rag, which it had no reason to trust and every reason to distrust.

    Rather, it intentionally, consciously chose not to advise the F.IS.A. court of the known, verified material, relevant facts.

    Why? Why lie?

    Because the F.B.I. desired, needed the F.I.S.A. Court to conclude the Steele Dossier was something it was not, if the court were to issue to the F.B.I. a warrant authorizing the F.B.I. to spy on a private citizen, Mr. Carter Page.

    But, was it only on one private citizen? How does a F.I.S.A. warrant work? Does a F.I.S.A. warrant issued as to the U. S. citizen permit the F.B.I. to tap the telephones of people with whom the private citizen communicates?

    In 2017, the F.B.I. decided to seek reauthorization of the FISA warrant to continue to spy on Mr. Page, and sought and obtained it three times: in January, April and June, 2017. Not only, according to the O.I.G. Report, did the F.B.I. repeat all of those “seven significant inaccuracies and omission,” ( again, to the common man: lies ), but added “ten additional major inaccuracies.” ( again, to the common man: lies )

    As the O.I.G. Report put it: “In addition to repeating the seven significant errors contained in the first FISA application and outlined above, we identified 10 additional significant errors in the three renewal applications, based upon information known to the FBI after the first application and before one or more of the renewals.”

    Among the most significant new unlawful acts of deceit was that the F.B.I. “omitted the fact that Steele’s Primary Subsource, who the FBI found credible, had made statements in January 2017 raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications, including, for example, that he/she did not recall any discussion with Person 1 concerning Wikileaks and there was ‘nothing bad’ about the communications between the Kremlin and the Trump team, and that he/she did not report to Steele in July 2016 that Page had met with Sechin.”

    In other words, Steele’s own key source told the F.B.I. that Steele was lying about what the source said: an obviously critical fact that the F.B.I. simply concealed from the FISA court because it knew how devastating that would be to being able to continue to spy on Page. As the Report put it, “among the most serious of the 10 additional errors we found in the renewal applications was the FBI’s failure to advise [DOJ] or the court of the inconsistences, described in detail in Chapter Six, between Steele and his Primary Sub-source on the reporting relied upon in the FISA applications.”

    The O.I.G. Report also found that the F.B.I. intentionally, deliberately and willfully failed to disclose to the F.I.S.A. court relevant, material facts, information about Steele’s motives: for instance, it “omitted information obtained from [Bruce] Ohr about Steele and his election reporting, including that (1) Steele’s reporting was going to Clinton’s presidential campaign and others, (2) [Fusion GPS’s Glenn] Simpson was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media, and (3) Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

    If it were not to disturb and disgust you to understand the F.B.I. repeatedly, knowingly, deliberately, willfully and intentionally failed to disclosed to the F.I.S.A. court issuing warrants to spy on a private U. S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign … or anytime …, then with reasonable certainty one must conclude you do not possess or hold to the rule of law or to the principles and values liberty, freedom and fairness.

    Any citizen who bears true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States must necessarily conclude this is yet another example in a long, ugly and illegal history of the F.B.I., it’s Director(s), management and its staff to subvert the rule of law, pervert the U. S. Constitution and destroy the Ideal, Justice is blind.

    O.I.G. Report reveals more than the illegal actions of the F.B.I. The Report reveals Freedom of the Press works and functions with bias, prejudice and a total lack of integrity and character, certainly the so-called mainstream Press, the corporate Press. In other words, the press are Pressitutes.

    In sum, the O.I.G. Report was and is a “Human Resources” Report.

    The Office of Inspector General of the Justice Department had and always will have an inherent and irrevocable conflict of interest, which should ( must!? ) disqualify the position of Inspector General and the Office.

    Whether Assistant Attorney General Durham faithfully fulfills his charge of a criminal investigation will be known in the fulfillment of time.

    dennis hanna

  4. America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

    President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

    President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

  5. The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann, Comey,

    Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr,

    Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,

    Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry,

    Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

    Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Obama et al.

  6. There are such people as double-agents, and Carter Page could be one. Or is that too conspiratorial even for you Birthers?

    1. Jeffrey Silberman said, “there are such people as double-agents, and Carter Page could be one. Or is that too conspiratorial even for you Birchers?”

      Then why would the FBI agent alter the email from the CIA confirming that Carter Page was working with them, and had promptly reported his contact with the Russians?

      That agent has been charged with a crime.

      If they suspected Carter Page was a double agent, then the FBI would not, itself, have committed a crime and committed fraud regarding his relationship with the CIA.

      If Carter Page was a double agent, he would not have reported his contact with the Russians to the CIA. A double agent doesn’t report his handlers to either country.

      Why did the FBI lie to the FISA court, and tell them Carter Page had no relationship with the CIA? Why did the FBI hide from the FISA that the dossier was opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton? Why did the FBI hide from the court that the sub source said it was all bar talk, and not to be presented as fact? Why did the FBI hide from FISA that MI6 had warned them that Steele had bad judgement, and was politically motivated?

      Why is Comey still lying?

      A lot of questions need to be answered.

      None of this is some wild conspiracy theory. All of the above were facts discussed in the Horowitz report.

      I understand how difficult it is to see Carter Page exonerated. He’s been ruined by the media for years. The problem is that what we’ve been told was a lie. It’s just hard to get rid of the lie when it’s been repeated so many times it’s in the psyche.

  7. Ultimately, special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion or conspiracy by Trump associates or the campaign with those Russians intervening in the election.

    How can any person continue to regurgitate the same tired and tissue paper thin trope of Russians intervening in the election?

    The US government, it’s agents and spokespersons who have lied and spread disinformation these past 3-1/2 years are some how found to be credible in repeating the Russians meddled in the 2016 US election?

    These people have less than zero credibility.

    It is amazing people take Mueller’s indictment – untested under adversarial examination in a court of law – as gospel. The indictment makes for good reading like a spy novel thriller but none of the persons indicted will ever see the inside of a courtroom to dispute it even though Putin offered Mueller’s team the opportunity to question the indicted persons in Russia.

    Italicized/bold text was excerpted from cnbc a report titled:

    Trump praises Putin’s ‘incredible’ offer for special counsel investigators to ‘come and work’ with Russia on probe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin floated an offer for members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to “come and work” with Russian investigators, President Donald Trump said during a joint press conference Monday.

    In the joint presser that followed that meeting, Putin said that his country would allow the special counsel to “send an official request” to the Kremlin to question the 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with crimes related to election meddling just three days earlier by Mueller.

    According to a translation of Putin’s remarks, the Russian leader specified that “we would interrogate” and “hold the questioning of these individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes” if Mueller made such a request.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/16/putin-asked-special-counsel-to-come-and-work-with-russia-trump-says.html

    As for the Internet Research Agency (IRA) it has been conclusively shown that it’s bait and click operations on Facebook were akin to comparing a grain of sand to Mt Everest.

    Italicized/bold text was excerpted from consortiumnews a report titled:

    33 Trillion More Reasons Why The New York Times Gets it Wrong on Russia-gate

    The newspaper failed to tell their readers that Facebook account holders in the United States had been “served” 33 trillion Facebook posts during that same period — 413 million times more than the 80,000 posts from the Russian company.

    And now, according to the further research, the odds that Americans saw any of these IRA ads—let alone were influenced by them—are even more astronomical. In his Oct. 2017 testimony, Stretch said that from 2015 to 2017, “Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or ‘served,’ a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds.”

    To put the 33 trillion figure over two years in perspective, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just .0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2018/11/02/33-trillion-more-reasons-why-the-new-york-times-gets-it-wrong-on-russia-gate/

    Please name another US national security investigation where FBI never sought to seize pertinent evidence (ie DNC’s server) and deferred to a third party (ie CrowdStrike) with clear conflicts of interest.

    Anyone?

    1. Allow me to formulate a response for the liberal progressives: “Because Donald Trump is mean, and calls people names, and, and he beat Hillary unfairly, and he’s rich. So there!” And that also happens to be the foundation of the two articles of impeachment.

  8. Kudos to Jonathon Turley for his honesty and integrity in analyzing the FISA fiasco and the impeachment debate. Carter Page is the first of many who are nothing more than collateral damage to the Democratic Party. The end justifies the means to them.

  9. As an average American citizen who has never paid enough attention to the workings of our government, I find myself waking up to an alarming condition of widespread corruption. Although I always knew politicians were potentially liars by nature, I never stopped to think what could happen if those with the power of the CIA and FBI targeted Americans based on their hatred of a Presidential candidate and eventually their President. It is appalling.

    1. “I find myself waking up to an alarming condition of widespread corruption.”
      *********************
      A good rule of thumb, Phyllis, is that if the Dims are charging something insidious, it’s a likely bet they are guilty of it themselves.

  10. “…my only impression of him was shaped by the image, repeated in endless media segments, of a shady character..” is exactly the reason to admit that the Democrats/liberals are only a smear machine and will lie to create fake news. So sad that Comey actually tried to ignore the fact that HIS attorneys LIED on FISA. He earlier claimed that he “wouldn’t have gotten away with this” in a different administration which shows that he purposely and intentionnally helped create the false allegation against the campaign and Trump. I guess it’s time for Republlicans to start playing dirty games too by buying FAKE info from foreign agents, unmasking all Democrats, and lying at will. Play the same rules….

  11. James Freeman at WSJ…always insightful

    Obama’s FBI and the Press: The media establishment congratulated itself for getting duped into supporting an abuse of power.

    Thanks to a report from the Obama-appointed inspector general of the Justice Department, now everyone knows the truth about 2016. The Obama administration misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and wiretapped an American who supported the presidential campaign of the party out of power. One of the many sad lessons is that no American can count on even the most celebrated members of the establishment press to shine a light on such abuses.

    By concealing exculpatory evidence, the Obama FBI, directed by James Comey, obtained a warrant from a court intended to counter foreign enemies and managed to turn the surveillance powers of the federal government against a U.S. citizen participating in our domestic politics, Carter Page.

    Some of us have been concerned for a while about the abuses of the Obama FBI and their foundational challenge to free elections and a free society. Now it’s nice to see that even one of the New York Times columnists who enjoys tossing casual treason references at President Donald Trump is beginning to see the light.

    “The inspector general’s report about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation offered a hideous Dorian Gray portrait of the once-vaunted law enforcement agency,” admits Maureen Dowd in the 11th paragraph of her umpteenth column attacking Mr. Trump. She adds: “The F.B.I. run by Comey and [Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe ] was sloppy, deceitful and cherry-picking — relying on nonsense spread by Christopher Steele. ”

    She’s referring to the British author of the now discredited “dossier” of smears paid for by Mr. Trump’s opponents. The FBI never told the court that Mr. Steele’s own sources debunked his report.

    Beyond Ms. Dowd, will the Times newsroom and that of the Washington Post now consider how they got this story so wrong for so long?

    In 2018, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger presented Pultizer Prizes in national reporting to the staffs of the Times and the Post. The prize citation reads:

    “For deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

    After special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his nearly two-year investigation and reported in March that he found no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, the prize citation seemed to be in need of a rewrite. Now Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report undercuts more details in the reporting.
    Among the prize-winning submissions was a report published on Feb. 28, 2017. The Washington Post wrote:

    “While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that the bureau considered him credible and found his information, while unproved, to be worthy of further investigation… Steele was known for the quality of his past work and for the knowledge he had developed over nearly 20 years working on Russia-related issues for British intelligence.”

    Oops. The Post story elaborated that in 2016, “Steele became concerned that the U.S. government was not taking the information he had uncovered seriously enough, according to two people familiar with the situation.” According to anyone familiar with the Horowitz report, the government should not have taken his information seriously at all.
    Another Post classic that helped win the prize was the report published on May 22, 2017 that said Mr. Trump had asked intelligence officials “to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.”
    Of course everyone knows now that Mr. Trump was asking them to state the plain fact that there was no collusion evidence. But according to the Post at the time:

    “Current and former senior intelligence officials viewed Trump’s requests as an attempt by the president to tarnish the credibility of the agency leading the Russia investigation.”

    With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that the FBI deserved to have its credibility tarnished. Continued the Post:

    “Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U.S. spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.”

    Is there anything more threatening than a powerful spy agency refusing to be accountable even to the duly-elected President of the United States? The Post saw things differently:

    “The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.”

    No, it’s now clear that there truly was a lack of collusion evidence. The false statements were being made by former senior intelligence officials.

    Among the Times prize-winners was a report on April 22, 2017:

    “Days after Mr. Comey’s news conference, Carter Page, an American businessman, gave a speech in Moscow criticizing American foreign policy. Such a trip would typically be unremarkable, but Mr. Page had previously been under F.B.I. scrutiny years earlier, as he was believed to have been marked for recruitment by Russian spies. And he was now a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Page has not said whom he met during his July visit to Moscow, describing them as “mostly scholars.” But the F.B.I. took notice. Mr. Page later traveled to Moscow again, raising new concerns among counterintelligence agents. A former senior American intelligence official said that Mr. Page met with a suspected intelligence officer on one of those trips and there was information that the Russians were still very interested in recruiting him.”

    The FBI shared all of their alleged concerns about Mr. Page’s Russian connections with the FISA court but did not share key information—including the fact that Mr. Page was working with the CIA. Is there any chance a FISA judge would have approved the FBI’s surveillance request on Mr. Page if his assistance to another arm of the federal government had been fully disclosed?
    The full details on the Obama-Comey FBI’s abuse of power in 2016 are taking years to come to light, and not just because too many prize-winning media outlets failed to recognize them.

    Where were the whistleblowers when America really needed them?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-fbi-and-the-press-11576534979

    1. Obama certainly deserves his fair share of the blame, but many of the problems pre-date his administration.

      One of our biggest problems is the Patriot Act.

    2. Here’s another article that you could post in its entirety, Estovir:

      “Republicans Condemn FBI’s Use of Surveillance Powers They Long Supported”

      “Self-described security hawks now say they see major problems in surveillance law”

      By Dustin Volz

      Updated Dec. 11, 2019 8:05 pm ET

      “WASHINGTON—One by one, Republican senators expressed outrage Wednesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had committed errors in how it sought and obtained surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser, describing the findings contained in a new inspector general report as evidence of alarming privacy violations that could be wielded against any American.”

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-condemn-fbis-use-of-surveillance-powers-they-long-supported-11576105389

      1. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

        President Ronald Reagan

      2. “ Republicans Condemn FBI’s Use of Surveillance Powers They Long Supported”

        Please post the entire article since what you posted failed to include the part where Republicans supported abusing FISA to investigate opposition party presidential candidates, FBI to coordinate a coup against a duly elected President and a sitting president working with Ukraine and foreign powers to undermine presidential elections

        #growsomeballz

  12. The persecution of Carter Page was to the House Democrats as Brett Kavanaugh was to the Senate Democrats. No apologies will be forthcoming. They will simply follow Comey’s narcissism and declare they had a higher loyalty.

  13. This case of the FBI interfering in an election has tarnished more reputations than anything since the Red Scare hearings of Congressman McCarthy in the 1950’s. Carter Page definitely got the worst treatment of all, since he was vilified by almost everyone who rendered an opinion on the case. But many other reputations were dragged through the mud based upon a pile of lies.

    Based upon the fact that government can do (almost) anything it wants with impunity, there need to be better guardrails on acceptable behavior, especially when the targets are United States citizens. A reform of the entire FISA process seems to be in order also, since this program does not allow for either notification of the subject nor having the subject’s interests represented in court by his own attorney, where over 99% of all applications are approved without opposition. While I represent the most extreme anti-FISA views you would probably encounter, I think some sort of moderation of the current rules needs addressing. Now would seem an appropriate time.

  14. The case of Carter Page is far from the first time that the Deep State has violated the law to achieve their objectives and gotten away with it. The case of Edwin Paul Wilson is instructive for anyone who doubts that highly placed individuals in the U.S.Government lie, deliberately violate the law, and get away with it. In Wilson’s case, they knowingly use false evidence to obtain a conviction and then persuaded the Court of Appeals to affirm his conviction based on those lies.

    To summarize Wilson’s case, Wilson was a CIA operative whom the CIA used in 1977 to sell then Libyan dictator Quadaffy some 20 tons of the plastic explosive C-4 and to provide US experts to train the Libyans to conceal the explosives as such things as lamps, radios, and ashtrays. To put 20 tons of C-4 into perspective, that amount could be used to bring down at least 20,000 jumbo jets. Unfortunately for Wilson, he got caught in these US Government sponsored illegal acts and his case went to trial. Wilson’s defense was that he was only carrying out the orders of the CIA.

    But the CIA sought to conceal its criminal activities. So, the CIA manufactured evidence to seal Wilson’s fate. A critical part of the trial was that the prosecution obtained and introduced an affidavit signed by CIA Director Briggs and certified by CIA chief counsel Stanley Sporkin, who would go on to become a US district court judge. That affidavit effectively stated that Wilson was not directly or indirectly connected to the CIA at the time the crimes were committed. But the affidavit was a lie, and the jury specifically relied on that affidavit to find Wilson guilty. Wilson was convicted in 1983 and was sentenced to prison. Wilson appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but Wilson’s conviction was affirmed even though the Court knew that the defendant presented evidence indicating that the affidavit was false. And the U.S. Government refused to provide evidence confirming the truth of the defendant’s pleas.

    About 20 years after Wilson’s conviction, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas overturned his conviction in 2003, based on additional evidence that Wilson’s legal team managed to obtain. Judge Lynn Hughes’ opinion is worth reading if only to gain some insight into the CIA’s operations and how the U.S. Government can and does lie. Judge Hughes puts it more mildly: “This opinion refers only to the part of the record that the government has reluctantly agreed may be made public. It does not attempt to recount even that limited range of data in its entirety; the governmental deceit mentioned here is illustrative — not exhaustive.”

    https://www.fas.org/sgp/jud/wilson102703.pdf

    As a final note to Wilson’s case, after he successfully overturned his conviction, he filed a civil lawsuit against Charles Briggs and seven former prosecutors, two of whom were then district court judges. As you might guess, Wilson’s civil lawsuit was dismissed — on the grounds that all eight defendants had immunity governing their otherwise illegal actions.

    Incidentally, former CIA director Charles Briggs was the liaison to the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which largely promulgates the official lies about the JFK assassination. (However, in more recent years, the Sixth Floor Museum maintains a library of books related to or concerning the assassination that contradict or expose those official lies. I don’t know whether or not the Museum’s gift shop now also offers such books for sale, or whether only materials espousing the official lies are made available.)

    1. While I am not familiar with this case, it does show that being asked to perform the federal government’s dirty tricks often proves to be dangerous to one’s life and liberty. People will assume much danger in protecting their country but the U.S. government has betrayed so many of its citizens, often veterans who were injured in the line of duty, it doesn’t deserve the loyalty it demands. If we must fight, we should fight for the American people, not our government and especially not for politicians.

    2. Incidentally, former CIA director Charles Briggs was the liaison to the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which largely promulgates the official lies about the JFK assassination.

      Neither the Office of Strategic Services nor the Central Intelligence Agency ever had a director named ‘Charles Briggs’. You need to consult better rubbish sites, who, betwixt and between their low-watt historical fiction, at least make reference to characters which actually existed.

        1. CHARLES A. BRIGGS Sr.:

          https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?fhid=17018&n=charles-a-briggs&pid=176359949

          “BRIGGS Charles A. Briggs, Sr. Charles Ackerly Briggs, Sr. of Brookside Lane in Vienna, VA passed away in his home while surrounded by loving family on November 4, 2015. He was born on August 1, 1926 in Erie, PA to Robert and Edith (Ackerly) Briggs. He served as a Corporal for two years in the US Army during WWII. He attended Wesleyan University and was an active member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. He married Catherine (Murphy) on April 22, 1950. In September of 1952 he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and over the course of the following 34 years he climbed the governmental service ladder from a Junior Officer Trainee to the top position of the CIA Executive Director. He served his country in administrative roles in all four divisions within the Agency, including postings as Inspector General, Comptroller, Director of Services Staff, Congressional Liaison and Executive Director. His participation in the US Government’s Senior Seminar in 1970 was a highlight of his life. He holds the unique distinction (in June of 1983) while serving as the Executive Director, of being briefly designated as the Acting Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Acting Deputy Director (DDCI), serving in all 3 positions simultaneously. He was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal in honor of his service and accomplishments. After retiring in 1986, he was called back in to serve the intelligence community as a private contractor with a combined total of 60 years. A notable contribution was serving as liaison for the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, TX dedicated to the JFK Assassination. He served five years as Chairman of the Board for the Central Intelligence Retirement Association (CIRA) and also four years as Chairman of the Board for the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). In 1999 he was awarded the distinguished David Atlee Philips Founder’s Award by AFIO for sustained and exceptional contributions. He also served the local Vienna community as PTA President at Madison High School and was active with his children in numerous local sports leagues and organizations. He was preceded in death by his wife Caty in 2008 and is survived by three brothers: Bob Briggs, David Briggs and Larry Briggs, all of Erie, PA. He was the loving father of nine children who survive him: Cath, Carrie, Steve, Deb, Pam, Mike Charley, Sarah and Martha. He was the beloved Bompa of 20 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and Uncle Chuck to 11 nieces and nephews with an additional 29 grand nieces and nephews. He was a true “leader of the band,” bringing music into the lives of his family and inspiring all to appreciate the printed word. He will be missed. Visitation and viewing services will be held at Money and King Funeral Home in Vienna, VA on Sunday, November 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Memorial Service and Life Celebration will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 9. In lieu of flowers, donations and/or memorial contributions can be made to Capitol Caring Hospice, 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042. Reference: IMO Charles A. Briggs (In Memory Of).In lieu of flowers, donations and/or memorial contributions can be made to Capitol Caring Hospice, 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042. Reference: IMO Charles A. Briggs (In Memory Of).

          “Published in The Washington Post from Nov. 6 to Nov. 8, 2015”

  15. I don’t get it. Devin Nunes brought the information about improper Page surveillance to Trump (and the rest of the world) soon after the inauguration and yet the Trump administration continued the surveillance for 6 more months.
    Something is fishy

      1. “Trump did not have control of his own FBI and DOJ.”

        That is the narrative that Trump is pushing, but the evidence suggests that Trump fired Comey with the help of Rosenstein and then Rosenstein appointed Mueller and at the same time ordered the FBI to end all Russia/Trump investigations and turn everything they had over to Mueller. That looks to me like Trump taking tight control of the FBI and DOJ.

        But the point I was making is that we are asked to believe that the Carter Page surveillance was part of an attack on the Trump campaign and yet 90% of the surveillance took place after Trump was elected. The reason given for the surveillance makes no sense. Did somebody forget to inform the FBI that the campaign was long over?

        And while on the subject of things that make no sense – why is it a big deal that somebody who left the Trump campaign was being spied on but it is no big deal that the CIA had planted a spy inside the Trump campaign?

        Many innocent civilians are spied on by the FBI and Intelligence Community everyday without sufficient probable cause, but I am supposed to be upset because it happened to CIA agent? That is like we are supposed to ignore the millions of innocent civilians that die in US foreign wars but are supposed to get all upset when one of the US soldiers that is participating in those atrocities is killed.

        1. jinn – I am not fond of the Patriot Act and I think it needs to judges to come to the Senate and House and defend themselves. This includes Justice Roberts. I also thing the standard to start an investigation must be raised.

        2. “Many innocent civilians are spied on by the FBI and Intelligence Community everyday without sufficient probable cause,…”

          Yep.

  16. Apology to Carter Page is just beginning. There needs to many Apologies for many people who were smeared and caught up in this Democrat Frame Up and the Anti – Trump Frame Up. In fact I believe after the Barr-Durham investigation all those who spent $$$$$$$$$ on Lawyers due to the Frame Up by the Anti Trump and the Dem’s should be fully reimbursed by the Dem’s and those who are truly guilty for this Frame Up.

  17. Here’s the thing that never gets discussed; why was the FBI spying on Carter Page?

    The others, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Flynn, and probably more, all seemed to have ‘confidential human sources’ tailing them, wearing wires it now seems, checking for evidence of Russian contact. But Page was surveilled, physically and electronically AFTER he left the Trump campaign. The reason? The intelligence community’s ‘two hop’ spying authorization. Warranted by FISA, the spooks could spy on Page, first hop to anyone Page interacted with and for the second hop could spy on with whom the ‘first hop individuals’ interacted. Thus Page —> campaign managers —> Trump. Trump as candidate and later, after the three FISA warrant renewals, Trump as president. So yes, Obama did have Trump Tower’s wires tapped.

    So what did the spooks learn and what did they do with the information and who did they share it with? Did they share it with the DNC, the Clinton campaign? And what did they do with information they found out during the period they were surveilling the president and administration?Did they share that too?

    There is much more than just Carter Page’s civil liberties being trampled on. Some big names like Rosenstein, Comey, Lynch, Mueller and perhaps even former AG Jeff Sessions, need to be asked big questions.

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