NEW: SEPTEMBER 2016 LETTER TO COMEY IGNORED
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 31, 2019) — On Sunday morning, “Full Measure” News aired an interview between journalist Sharyl Attkisson, formerly of CBS News, and former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who was falsely targeted in 2016 by the FBI and Justice Department as having acted as an agent of the Russian government on behalf of the campaign.
The FBI’s identification of Page as a foreign agent provided a catalyst for the opening of a counterintelligence investigation into the campaign which finally ended nine days ago with the completion and delivery of a report produced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller assumed the FBI’s investigation after its director, James Comey, was fired by Donald Trump on May 9, 2017 at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In the 23-minute interview, Attkisson uncovered a fact perhaps not widely known: that in late September 2016, Page contacted Comey in response to a Yahoo! News article titled, “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin” which said that “Page’s contacts in Moscow” were being evaluated “as a possible back channel to the Russians that could undercut U.S. foreign policy.”
The article, published September 23, 2016 and written by longtime NBC reporter Michael Isikoff, was much later revealed to have been the product of “circular reporting,” meaning that it was written as a result of information provided by a single source and not by independent research on the part of the journalist.
The information for the article was provided by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, whose collection of allegations against the Trump campaign, now known as the “dossier,” remains unverified.
In December, Isikoff admitted in an interview that Steele’s dossier was not corroborated.
On March 22, 2019, after news agencies began to report that Mueller had recommended no additional indictments to those already issued during the course of his Russia “collusion” investigation, it became obvious that the probe identified no instances of wrongdoing between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
That observation was confirmed in a four-page summary of the expected 300+-page report issued by Attorney General William Barr on March 24, 2019. Mueller’s report is expected to be released to Congress by mid-April, Fox News reported Sunday morning, although Sen. Lindsey Graham invoked the date of “May 1” in an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo that day.
The result of Isikoff’s article, Page said, was that he became the subject the following month and continuously for a year of surveillance warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Although unverified, Justice and FBI officials, including Comey and Rosenstein, signed their names to warrant applications based largely, if not entirely, on the dossier, and failed to reveal to the FISA court its political origins with the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Beginning on October 21, 2016, four successive warrants were applied for and granted to monitor Page’s communications, which Attkisson explained extended to “two levels.” That meant, Page confirmed, that his conversations with then-Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who might have then spoken with Trump, were likely captured by the U.S. intelligence community.
On March 5, 2017, Trump unexpectedly used his Twitter account to declare that his campaign had been “wiretapped,” a claim the mainstream media immediately ridiculed as lacking “evidence.” However, on January 19, 2017, The New York Times reported that “wiretapped communications” were gathered for a number of FBI investigations into “Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump.”
At the time, the paper also reported, “The decision to open the investigations was not based on a dossier of salacious, uncorroborated allegations that were compiled by a former British spy working for a Washington research firm. The F.B.I. is also examining the allegations in that dossier, and a summary of its contents was provided to Mr. Trump earlier this month.”
Rather than acting against U.S. interests, Page explained to Attkisson, “going back many, many years,” he has provided intelligence to the FBI and the CIA as a result of his Navy training and “relationships.” A graduate of Annapolis, Page earned two Master’s degrees and a PhD, later opening Global Energy Capital.
On Twitter, Page has reported threats against his life as a result of the false allegations. In response to Attkisson’s question as to the most troubling aspect of the Russia “collusion” investigation, he responded, “The damage that it’s done to the country.”
Attkisson, too, was the subject of extensive surveillance by the U.S. government. In a setback to her legal case against the Justice Department, now at the appellate level, Attkisson reported last month:
The government…has the benefit of endless time and taxpayer funds to delay and obstruct. The rules seem rigged to protect government lawlessness, and the playing field is uneven. After years without turning over a single document in response to dozens of our subpoenas, the government now argues that my case should be dismissed, in part, because I haven’t learned the names of the “John Doe” federal agents to insert in the lawsuit; names which only the government knows and has refused to divulge.
In short, the government withheld the names, and now argues the lawsuit should end because I haven’t learned the names. That effectively prohibits citizens from obtaining justice when government is the lawbreaker.
During his interview with Bartiromo Sunday morning, Graham, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he wants to discover why the FBI opened its investigation into the Trump campaign as well as whether or not anyone broke the law in carrying out the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The two investigations are intertwined, as the Clinton investigation ended just weeks before the Trump investigation officially began and involved many of the same FBI agents.
Graham said he hopes that Barr will hire a special counsel, as did Rosenstein with Mueller, to produce answers to those issues.
Page currently is appealing the dismissal in January of a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC). A previous suit against Yahoo!’s parent company, Oath, Inc., was dismissed last March. However, at the time, all of the facts regarding the Russia “collusion” claim were not in the public domain.