Lisa Page Hired By NBC and MSNBC As Legal Analyst

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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-Weissman
Andrew Weissman.

440px-Trey_Gowdy_official_congressional_photoAndrew 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.

 

Page explained:

“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.

275 thoughts on “Lisa Page Hired By NBC and MSNBC As Legal Analyst”

  1. TRUMP TWEETS AND TURLEY FOLLOWS UP

    Apparently the professor looks to Trump’s Twitter feed for direction regarding daily columns.

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    You must be kidding??? This is a total disgrace!
    Quote Tweet

    Richard Grenell
    @RichardGrenell
    · 18h
    Is she getting a work phone? twitter.com/msnbcpr/status…
    6:26 PM · Jun 5, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

  2. “We will stop him.”

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page
    —————————————————-

    “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

  3. I hope their viewers see this for what it is. Just one more far left wing nut that they can be sure will view the law through a liberal lens. Not surprising!

  4. The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious criminal act 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, Pelosi, Obama,
    James E. Boasberg et al.

  5. So what? This has been going on for a very long time on all the networks, with Fox being one of the worst offenders. It just bugs me when JT criticizes the left for doing the same things that right does, and he does not say boo about that.

  6. Why does Turley and his Trump loving base care who msnbc hires? The Trump base does not watch the network, mostly they live in their safe little bubble that tells them their news. Turley is on the record of free speech, well, maybe not her speech? Hell, Turley has the job of legal-analyst on the upcoming Trump Network coming to a pay-for-view station near you after January 20, 2021. I’m looking forward to his first show titled “When Trump does it, It’s not illegal”

    1. For the same reason to be concerned about Russian disinformation. The useful idiots don’t know it when they see it and then it spreads like wildfire.

    2. The base only watches FOX? I believe a good half (that’s half of very little) of the CNN and CNBC viewing public is watching just to “know the enemy”. Personally, I love to watch as it is so interesting to observe the sophomoric information they feed their bovine-like audience.

      1. You should report on that Steve, but I doubt you will. If you wish to actually prove to yourself and others you can state the program in advance for everyone to watch or record so we can all know what you are talking about. All broadcasters are sophomoric at one time or another so one has can’t play the game of cherry picking. I know the biggest complaints from the left are against Hannity. He openly states that his program is opinion and he has led the field in releasing information no one else had. Example: REverend Wright, Russia Hoax, Steele Dossier and Ukraine hoax among other things.

        Lets did deep into you claim and see if what you say rings true. IMO it doesn’t and the Fox listeners have been far more educated on what was actually happening than other groups that believed lies that were later proven to be lies.

  7. Anything done to advance the Party is The Truth and those that advance the party gets rewarded in Marxist heaven/ Comrade Page has yet to face her turn before the investigators but the two media organs have bared their innards for their turn.

  8. These hires by the same MSM that worked hand in glove with those in the IC/FBI/DOJ trying to take down Trump and his administration, are not there to provide expert analysis. The can get that from anywhere. They are being given an opportunity to set a narrative to as many as possible prior to the completion of the Durham investigation.

  9. Mark Zuckerberg Faces Mutiny Over Appeasement To Trump

    Dozens of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout on Monday, in an escalation of protests against CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to act on President Trump’s “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” post.

    Staff members flocked to rival platform Twitter for a second day, to denounce Zuckerberg’s “do-nothing” approach to Trump’s post that threatened violence toward George Floyd protesters.

    One employee, Owen Anderson, announced in a tweet that he had quit the company.

    “To be clear, this was in the works for a while. But after last week, I am happy to no longer support policies and values I vehemently disagree with,” he wrote.

    Employees have also been circulating messages internally, with one staffer writing on a staff message board: “The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the U.S. President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression,” the New York Times reported. Others urged Zuckerberg to take down Trump’s post.

    Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said employees will not have the protest days taken out of their vacation allowance, Reuters reported.

    The walkout, staged virtually as all Facebook employees are working remotely in the pandemic,was triggered by Facebook’s refusal to take action over Trump’s inflammatory posts, while Twitter took the unprecedented step of flagging his comment for “glorifying violence.”

    Zuckerberg has reportedly pushed the company’s weekly employee Q & A session from Friday to Tuesday.

    In a joint statement, a number of the virtual demonstrators tweeted: “Facebook’s recent decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. We implore the Facebook leadership to #TakeAction.”

    Edited From: “Facebook Employees Stage Virtual Revolt Against Zuckerberg’s Inaction On Trump’s ‘Shooting’Posts”

    Forbes, 6/2/20

      1. Right Cindy. CNN/ DNC don’t realize the CCP controls their Penicillin. Thanks for bringing it up.

  10. Turley Betrays Dead-Ender Mentality

    Passage From Column:

    “The media appears intent on fulfilling the narrative of President Trump that it is overly biased and hostile in its analysis”.

    It would appear that NBC views Trump as wounded animal gasping for life. This story is really a confirmation that ‘sharks circle when they smell blood’.

    NBC is obviously gambling that Trump has entered his last days. And they honestly dont what Trump-enablers might say. ..But Turley hasn’t figured that out..!

    1. The propagandists you mentioned are more crab food than shark bait and are no differeent to a Citizen than an Antifa Terrorist.

  11. Don’t forget that Lisa Page helped edit General Flynn’s 302, even though she was not present (and the FBI still cannot locate the original 302). She contributed to the framing of General Flynn and is probably facing criminal and civil charges.

    1. Roy, this big purge you’re dreaming of will probably never happen. Trump is under siege by a now overtly hostile media backed by angry crowds.

      1. Those angry crowds you mention are the same group of fascist thugs who trashed your beloved West Hollywood. Wonder if they will stop at your pad next time. Will you call for the police to save you? They have been neutered and will head to the donut shop instead. You are on your own.

        1. Young is flamer trying to put it on me; just a creepy Trump enabler who claims to be a lawyer. What a loser!

      2. Nothing there except those conducting the seige seemed to have walled themselves in to a positiojn of irrelevance except for their duplicity.

    2. What crime are you alleging she committed, and how do you explain that she hasn’t been charged already?

      And what civil charges are you referring to?

  12. – hiring a lying lawbreaker to advise them on law –
    Just further underscores how dirty those two Noise Outlets are. And this is where Leftists go to inform themselves. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so harrowing.

    Mercy’s sake, civilization’s under assault by a lot of soulless doofuses. I miss the days when it was barbarians overrunning the ramparts – as bad as they were, Nobody wants to get gutted by some silly dinkus.

    1. WHY hasn’t this traitor to America been disbarred? Sure would hate to have her legacy.

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