As experts comb through the newly-released, heavily redadcted FISA application to surveil former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, John Hinderaker at PowerLineBlog noticed four key takeaways.
First, he notes, the application – which was renewed several times by the Obama-Holder-Lynch Department of Justice – strongly suggests Page is a Russian agent actively engaged in criminal activity.
However, to date, Page has never been charged with a crime.
Secondly, the government describes Christopher Steel and the origin of the dossier in a way that Hinderaker generously calls “misleading at best.”
The application says:
US-based law firm had hired the identified US person to condict research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia (the identified US person and Source #1 have a long-staning relationship). The identified US person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified US person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified US person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.
Identified US person = Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS
Source #1 = Christopher Steele
Candidate #1 = Donald Trump
The DOJ’s statement that “the FBI speculates that the identified U.S person [Simpson] was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s [Trump’s] campaign” could only have been an intentional effort to deceive the FISA judge. The FBI was perfectly well aware that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Simpson through their lawyers, and the purpose of doing so was to attack candidate Donald Trump. References to “speculation” about “likely” motives are entirely dishonest.
Thirdly, the application relies on “news stories” published by a blatantly anti-Trump media. Hinderaker points to an excerpt of the application:
“… a July 2016 article in an identified news organization reported that Candidate #1’s campaign worked behind the scenes to make sure Political Party #1’s platform would not call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Political Party #1’s forgein policy leaders in Washington. The article stated that Candidate #1’s campaign sought ‘to make sure that [Political Party #1] would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.’ Further, an August 2016 article published be an identified news organization characterized Candidate #1 as sounding like a supporter of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in September , adopted a ‘milder’ tone regarding Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The August 2016 article further reported that Candidate #1 said Candidate #1 might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and lift punitive US sanctions against Russia. The article opined that…”
Of course, the truth is quite the opposite.
Hinderaker cites another excerpt of the application based on “speculation in the US media” regarding the DNC email phishing attack.
“In or about July 2016, WikiLeaks released a trove of email from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). …[redacted]… There has been speculation in the US media that the Russian Government was behind the heck. Russua has publicly denied any involvement in the hack. Russuan President Vladimir Putin said in or about September 2016 that Russia was not responsible for the hace, but said that the release of the DNC documents was a net positive: ‘The importnat thing is the content that was given to the public.’ Despite Russia’s denial, …[redacted]…”
Fourth, Hinderaker notes that the government is still hiding the identity of the individual(s) who completed the FISA application – although we do know who approved it: the disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and former high-ranking DOJ official Sally Yates.
As these documents are studied further and additional players come to light, perhaps the most obvious takeaway goes to the timeline of the inquiry and investigation.
Brietbart News’ Aaron Klein observed:
Documents released on Saturday related to the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page reveal information that contributed to the government’s application to monitor Page originated with the State Department under the Obama administration in October 2016.
That detail may be particularly relevant since numerous officials from John Kerry’s State Department have been fingered for playing roles in the distribution – and in one case, possibly also the compilation – of the largely discredited, 35-page anti-Trump dossier which focused in significant part on Page.
Much of the interaction between the State Department and the dossier author took place just prior to the October 2016 date mentioned in the newly released Page documents. Dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British spy, was commissioned to produce the questionable document by the controversial Fusion GPS opposition research firm, which was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
State Department official Jonathan Winer admitted to exchanging documents and information with Steele, and passed the dossier contents to other officials at the State Department. Winer also admitted to receiving information from Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal that originated with Cody Shearer, a shadowy former tabloid journalist who has long been closely associated with various Clinton scandals. Winer conceded that he passed Shearer’s anti-Trump material to Steele.