Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer who resigned in the midst of the Russian investigation scandal, has been hired a NBC and MSNBC as a legal analyst. The move continues a trend started by CNN in hiring Trump critics, including officials terminated for misconduct, to offer legal analysis on the Trump Administration. We have previously discussed the use by CNN of figures like Andrew McCabe to give legal analysis despite his being referred for possible criminal charges by the Inspector General for repeatedly lying to federal investigators. The media appears intent on fulfilling the narrative of President Trump that it is overly biased and hostile in its analysis. Indeed, it now appears a marketing plan that has subsumed the journalistic mission.
Page appeared with Rachel Maddow and began her work as the new legal analyst by discussing her own controversial work at the FBI. Page is still part of investigation by various committees and the investigation being conducted by U.S Attorney John Durham.
I have denounced President Trump for his repeated and often vicious references to Page’s affair with fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok. There is no excuse for such personal abuse. I also do not view her emails as proof of her involvement in a deep-state conspiracy as opposed to clearly inappropriate and partisan communications for someone involved in the investigation. Indeed, Page did not appear a particularly significant figure in the investigation or even the FBI as a whole. She was primarily dragged into the controversy due to her relationship with Strzok.
However, Trump has legitimate reason to object (as he has) to this hiring as do those who expect analysis from experts without a personal stake in the ongoing investigations. It has long been an ethical rule in American journalism not to pay for interviews. Either NBC is paying for exclusive rights to Page in interviews like the one on Maddow’s show or it is hiring an expert with a personal stake in these controversies to give legal analysis. Neither is a good option for a network that represented the gold standard in journalism with figures like John Chancellor, Edwin Newman, and Roger Mudd.
It is not that Page disagrees with the Administration on legal matters or these cases. It is the fact that she is personally involved in the ongoing stories and has shown intense and at times unhinged bias against Trump in communications with Strzok and others. She is the news story, or at least a significant part of it.
Andrew A. Weissmann has also been retained as a legal analyst by NBC and MSNBC. While Weissmann has been raised by Republicans as a lightening rod for his perceived partisan bias as a member of the Mueller team, he does not have the type of personal conflict or interest in these investigations. Weissmann is likely to be raised in the hearing over the next weeks into the Flynn case in terms of prosecutorial decisions. (It is worth noting that Fox hired Trey Gowdy at an analyst even though he would be commenting on matters that came before his committee in these investigations.) In terms of balance, however, the appearance of both Page and Weissmann giving analysis on the Administration’s response to the protests is a bit jarring for some.
Page was an unknown attorney in the FBI before she was forced into the public eye due to her emails with Strzok. Her emails fueled the controversy over bias in the FBI. They were undeniably biased and strident including the now famous reference to the FBI investigation as “insurance” in case Trump was elected. In the email in August 2016, here’s what Strzok wrote:
I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office [Andrew McCabe is the FBI deputy director and married to a Democratic Virginia State Senate candidate] for that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 …
What particularly concerns me is that Page has come up recently in new disclosures in the Flynn case. In newly released document is an email from former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who played the leadership role in targeting Flynn. In the email, Page suggests that Flynn could be set up by making a passing reference to a federal law that criminalizes lies to federal investigators. She suggested to Strzok that “it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in.” So this effort was not about protecting national security or learning critical intelligence. As I have noted, the email reinforces other evidence that it was about bagging Flynn for the case in the legal version of a canned trophy hunt.
It appears that, on January 4, 2017, the FBI’s Washington Field Office issued a “Closing Communication” indicating that the bureau was terminating “CROSSFIRE RAZOR” — the newly disclosed codename for the investigation of Flynn. That is when Strzok intervened. The FBI had investigated Flynn and various databases and determined that “no derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings.” Due to this conclusion, the Washington Field Office concluded that Flynn “was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger CROSSFIRE HURRICANE umbrella case.” On that same day, however, fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok instructed the FBI case manager handling CROSSFIRE RAZOR to keep the investigation open, telling him “Hey don’t close RAZOR.” The FBI official replied, “Okay.” Strzok then confirmed again, “Still open right? And you’re the case agent? Going to send you [REDACTED] for the file.” The FBI official confirmed: “I have not closed it … Still open.” Strzok responded “Rgr. I couldn’t raise [REDACTED] earlier. Pls keep it open for now.”
Strzok also texted Page: “Razor still open. :@ but serendipitously good, I guess. You want those chips and Oreos?” Page replied “Phew. But yeah that’s amazing that he is still open. Good, I guess.” Strzok replied “Yeah, our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time, I’m guessing :)”
Page will be the focus of much of the upcoming inquiries both in Congress and the Justice Department as will CNN’s legal analyst Andrew McCabe.
In her Maddow segment, Page attempts to defuse the “insurance policy” email as all part of her commitment to protecting the nation, not her repeatedly stated hatred for Trump. In what is now a signature for MSNBC, Maddow did not ask a single probative question but actually helped her frame the response. Even in echo journalistic circles, the echo between the two was deafening.
“It’s an analogy. First of all, it’s not my text, so I’m sort of interpreting what I believed he meant back three years ago, but we’re using an analogy. We’re talking about whether or not we should take certain investigative steps or not based on the likelihood that he’s going to be president or not.”
You have to keep in mind … if President Trump doesn’t become president, the national-security risk, if there is somebody in his campaign associated with Russia, plummets. You’re not so worried about what Russia’s doing vis-à-vis a member of his campaign if he’s not president because you’re not going to have access to classified information, you’re not going to have access to sources and methods in our national-security apparatus. So, the ‘insurance policy’ was an analogy. It’s like an insurance policy when you’re 40. You don’t expect to die when you’re 40, yet you still have an insurance policy.”
Maddow then decided to better frame the spin:
“So, don’t just hope that he’s not going to be elected and therefore not press forward with the investigation hoping, but rather press forward with the investigation just in case he does get in there.”
Page simply responds “Exactly.”
Well, not exactly. Page is leaving out that, as new documents show, there never was credible evidence of any Russian collusion. Recently, the Congress unsealed testimony from a long line of Obama officials who denied ever seeing such evidence, including some who publicly suggested that they had. Indeed, Page testified that even by May 2017, they did not find such evidence that “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing” to connect Trump and Russia. There was little reason to believe in this “insurance policy” given the absence of evidence. Yet, Page still viewed the effort led by Strzok as an indemnity in case of election.
The Inspector General found that, soon after the first surveillance was ordered, FBI agents began to cast doubts on the veracity of the Steele document and suggested it might be disinformation from Russian intelligence. The IG said that, due to the relatively low standard required for a FISA application, he could not say that the original application was invalid but that it was quickly established that no credible evidence existed to support the continuance of the investigation — which Page called their “insurance policy.”
Page also left out her other emails including calling Trump foul names while praising Hillary Clinton and other opponents. Even if she were not involved in the ongoing controversy, her emails show her to be fervently opposed to both Trump and the Republicans.
Bias however has become the coin of the realm for some networks. Why have echo journalism when you can have an analyst simply repeat her position directly? For viewers who become irate at the appearance of opposing views (as vividly demonstrated in the recent apology of the New York Times for publishing a conservative opinion column), having a vehemently biased and personally invested analyst is reassuring. It is not like Page will suddenly blurt out a defense of Flynn or Trump or others in the Administration.
With Page, NBC has crossed the Rubicon and left its objectivity scattered on the far bank.
273 thoughts on “Lisa Page Hired By NBC and MSNBC As Legal Analyst”
“With Page, NBC has crossed the Rubicon and left its objectivity scattered on the far bank.”
That happened many years ago.
“Andrew A. Weissmann has also been retained as a legal analyst by NBC and MSNBC.”
This made me laugh. I guess NBC/MSNBC viewers will never hear from Sidney Powell.
Like hiring John Dean or G. Gordon Liddy in the middle of the Watergate investigation. Page is a fact witness, not a neutral observer.
In fairness, ol’ Laydown Lisa was only third choice after John Wilkes Booth and Benedict Arnold bailed on the idea and were listed as “unavailable/ working in other projects.” Is her cuckold husband her first guest?
BTW, here’s a good ad with Eisenhower, very fitting on the anniversary of D-Day:
Commit, I’ve read much about Eisenhower. He put country above party. Ike wasn’t that committed to the GOP. Eisenhower wanted to see WWII paid off before he aged out. That explains the high taxes Eisenhower maintained on upper tax brackets. The idea was to pay off WWII. That took leadership.
That’s not the ad that I pasted into my comment.
Here, again, is the ad with Eisenhower:
Sorry, now the ad is appearing correctly in my first comment. I guess it’s some tech glitch, because the first time I loaded the page, a different ad appeared. If Turley used a commenting system that allowed us to delete our comments, I’d delete my comment with the second one.
Eisenhower was a strong President not like the weak one Obama. Trump calls for healing not hatred. You call for rioting and looting while you pretend to be a peaceful protester aiding the criminals in destroying the streets of our inner cities and destroying black lives for years to come.
Eisenhower is dead. Obama is out of office.
Eisenhower was a good President and should be remembered favorably. He called in the troops something our rioters, looters and Democrat leaders supporting rioters do not want done. Hail to Eisenhower. Now let’s finish the video above.
Ah, the DIRTBAG SETH WARNER once more gives his cow pie analysis.
I wonder if Seth realizes most of us just scroll past his posts.
That’s what I do.
When you can’t stop liberals with gay smears, they become a problem. I’ve looked in my Ann Coulter books, but can’t find any guidance.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Even If The Russia Probe Was Debunked,
Trump Is Still A Total Failure
Earlier I noted that Donald Trump Tweeted his displeasure that MSNBC had hired Lisa Page. Trump called it “disgraceful’. And the entire tone of Professor Turley’s column presumes we agree.
But in reality we’re thinking, “So what if Trump’s annoyed?” The Mueller Probe was real. Trump’s presidency reads like an American tragedy.
In the span of 5 months Donald Trump has gone from impeachment, pandemic, economic crisis and now mass protests combined with urban unrest. No president has ever had a worse 5 months in history.
The pandemic wasn’t Trump’s fault. Nor was the economic crisis. But Trump floundered through these tests like the buffoon he always was.
Here was a global crisis and the President of The United States is musing to the effect that “injecting bleach” has possible benefits.
More recently the nation experienced one of those moments when too many Black suspects are killed by police. Moments like these are the biggest test a president can face. Great leaders rise on such occasions with just the right words.
But Donald Trump responds by encouraging police to shoot looters. Now, one week later, every cop in America is under siege. The White House could become a permanent protest site. Trump flunked this test like a drunken frat boy.
No one in their right mind could possibly say Donald Trump has passed any test of leadership. To the contrary Trump has played the role of Putin’s Stooge with devastating impact. These past 5 months have been The Twilight Zone for most Americans.
Amid this tragedy, Professor Turley presumes we agree that is indeed a disgrace that MSNBC hired Lisa Page. We should cluck, cluck, cluck our tongues. ‘Because everyone knows the Russian Probe was a hoax’.
Professor Turley look at him: Trump is a buffoon!! ..Who are you thinking of in relation to Donald Trump..?
Is Trump still the theoretic president of your impeachment defense? That’s not who we see. We see an unhinged, bloated gas bag with yellow hair. A fool who’s only talent is starting arguments.
In other words: “Even if the Russia Probe was thoroughly debunked, by men of real integrity, it wouldn’t matter now”. The world has seen Donald Trump as a nightmare clown.
“Even If The Russia Probe Was Debunked, Trump Is Still A Total Failure”
Paint Chips, isn’t it amazing that the Ukraine probe was debunked as well? You seem to love failure.
The dem hysteria has now given you brain damage. And you see nothing wrong with Page & Strzok’s emails? I knew the dem party had crossed over into insanity but no idea they were this far gone. As a Trump supporter I don’t give a damn what you think. What are you going to do when he wins re-election in a freak landslide? Start shooting ppl? What a dumbass!
Allan– thank you.
In Trump’s speech in the Rose Garden, he lied that he was “an ally of all peaceful protesters.” Shortly before he went out to give that speech, police and National Guard cleared peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square Park and nearby streets in DC so that Trump could walk from the WH to St. John’s Church for a photo op after the Rose Garden speech. The officers used pepper balls, flash bangs, smoke canisters, rubber bullets, riot shields, and batons on peaceful protesters. Even clergy on the church property were affected: https://religionnews.com/2020/06/02/ahead-of-trump-bible-photo-op-police-forcibly-expel-priest-from-st-johns-church-near-white-house/
He lies a lot. “I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, and that is exactly what I will do” is another whopper.
You are such a liar and distorter of truth. When violence is in the streets peaceful people try and separate themselves from the violence and might even try to quell it. Your type will heighten the violence while you protect yourself from getting hurt or arrested. I’ve seen your type in action. If you want to surround yourself with violent protesters then accept the fact that you will be treated as one.
Lies about what!? You are calling his “opinion” lying! He brags, he exaggerates, uses puffery but he has never lied about matters of state. You just don’t like him or his style but no crime is being committed here so stop lying yourself!!
No, Trump lies about all sorts of factual matters.
Here’s one of many trackers of his false statements: https://www.thestar.com/news/donald-trump-fact-check.html
If you do an internet search on [trump false statements], you’ll get many more examples.
Is there any evidence that would convince you that Trump lies?
If so, what would convince you?
But if not, your mind is closed to evidence.
That type of evidence is garbage. The writer can’t even pick out which items have any potential truth. ‘Trump lies, he dropped a spoon not a fork” Such is the intellect of the guy upstairs.
Anyone can produce cr-p. Here is an interesting video. Most is true. AS far as the rest much of that might be true as well.
Allan…..wonderful ad. Thank you!!
Honest and Cindy, I am not sure but I believe the add was thrown off of Twitter.
Good. She’ll be awesome. Don’t let it rent free space in your head, Professor. Drinking a cup of acid and hoping the other person dies just f’s up your digestive tract.
Would be interesting to know the terms of her immunity agreement.
No, this is NOT the Babylon Bee or The Onion.
1200 Public Health Experts Advocate Mass Gatherings Because “White Supremacy” Is Bigger Threat Than COVID-19
“White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19,” states the letter, before adding, “Black people are twice as likely to be killed by police compared to white people, but the effects of racism are far more pervasive,” (a claim which is completely misleading given that black people are far likelier to be involved in violent confrontations with police).
The letter goes on to basically assert that COVID-19 isn’t a threat, so long as people are protesting against racism, which is a bigger threat, a completely ludicrous assertion that sounds like it came straight from a far-left protest group, not 1200 public health experts.
“As public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission,” states the letter. “We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States.”
The letter then claims that ‘stay-at-home’ protests shouldn’t be treated the same because they “not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives.”
The health experts then go on to assert that BLM protesters shouldn’t be arrested, shouldn’t be held in vans and that tear gas shouldn’t be used against them due to the threat of it exacerbating symptoms of people infected with COVID-19.
The letter also says that facemasks should be ‘celebrated’ and not seen as an easy way for criminals and looters to hide their identity.
More at the link:
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