Based on Attorney General Barr’s summary of the report submitted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, we know that the gravamen of Mueller’s investigation was alleged “collusion” by the Trump presidential campaign with Russian organs interfering with the election. We nevertheless have yet to see an unredacted copy of the August 2017 scope memo that set the parameters of Mueller’s investigation. It remains a deep, dark secret.
The case of Carter Page represents a sorry chapter in the investigation. He was subjected to surveillance intended to be reserved for agents of foreign governments about to commit serious crimes. The FBI and Department of Justice took out a FISA warrant on Page in October 2016. The warrant was renewed three times. The surveillance on Page and his contacts and their contacts extended over the period of a year. According to the FBI and the Department of Justice, probable cause existed to believe that Page was a Russian agent knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence activities.
Incidentally, Trump Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed off on the third of the renewal applications. How is it that Rosenstein could supervise Mueller without a conflict but Jeff Sessions had to remove himself? What a farce.
His reputation duly impaired, Carter Page still rolls merrily along. One inference we can draw from the Mueller investigation: Carter Page is the cleanest man in the United States. Perhaps now that the Mueller investigation is closing up shop we can see the FISA warrant documents that purported to justify the surveillance carried out against him and his friends.
The political corruption of the FBI and the intelligence agencies by the Obama administration was to remain a deep, dark secret. If the the American people had not had the temerity to elect Donald Trump along with a Republican Congress in 2016, we would have remained in blissful ignorance. After such knowledge what forgiveness?
We await the further declassification of the FISA warrant documents. It appears that the Steele Dossier produced and shopped by the Clinton presidential campaign to the FBI is somewhere near the bottom of this outrage, but there is more. See, e.g., Peter Van Buren’s American Conservative column “The primordial ooze of the collusion conspiracy.” A raft of former officials needs to be held to account. This is the biggest scandal in American political history.
The corruption wrought appears to extend to the federal courts. The FISA warrant on Carter Page was renewed three times. Four federal judges — each one appointed to the FISA court by Chief Justice Roberts — signed off on it. They have yet to speak up, but I will say that at the least they were ill-used. Another lesson to be drawn is that the FISA regime needs to be reformed.
Sharyl Attkisson took up the case of Carter Page with Page himself yesterday on Sinclair’s Full Measure show. Attkisson set Page’s case in the context of the larger story. The video is below; the Full Measure transcript is posted here. With her nose for news, Attkisson took up Page’s story this past December in the Hill column “10 pieces of evidence against most diabolical Russian spy ever.”