Wednesday, April 12, 2017

FBI Obtained FISA Warrant Against Trump Adviser Carter Page

In breaking news last evening the Washington Post is reporting that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant against Trump adviser Cater Page.  The fact that the warrant was granted indicates that the FBI proved probable cause that Page was involved in illegal/criminal activities and/or an agent of a foreign power. This follows past reports and a blog post that Page passed materials to Russian spies. Obviously, Trump's Syrian air strikers that were orhestrated with Russia to change the topic from Russiagate will be old news and strongly indicate that the media not allow itself to be so easily manipulated by Der  Trumpenführer and his propaganda minister and henchmen.  It goes without saying that we can expect wild denials from the White House and whining about "leaks" rather than any substantive response to the issues swirling around Russiagate.  Here are highlights from the Post article:
The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.
 During an interview with the Washington Post editorial page staff in March 2016, Trump identified Page, who had previously been an investment banker in Moscow, as a foreign policy adviser to his campaign. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks later described Page’s role as “informal.”
The White House, FBI and Justice Department declined to comment.
FBI Director James B. Comey disclosed in public testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last month that the bureau is investigating efforts by the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Comey said this includes investigating the “nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
During the hearing last month, Democratic lawmakers repeatedly singled out Page’s contacts in Russia as a cause for concern.
The judges who rule on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests oversee the nation’s most sensitive national security cases, and their warrants are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Any FISA application has to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI.
Applications for FISA warrants, Comey said, are often thicker than his wrists, and that thickness represents all the work Justice Department attorneys and FBI agents have to do to convince a judge that such surveillance is appropriate in an investigation.
The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.
Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. . . . . In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.
The application also showed that the FBI and the Justice Department’s national security division have been seeking since July to determine how broad a network of accomplices Russia enlisted in attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election, the officials said.
Since the 90-day warrant was first issued, it has been renewed more than once by the FISA court, the officials said.
Page’s role as an adviser to the Trump campaign drew alarm last year from more-established foreign policy experts in part because of Page’s effusive praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his criticism of U.S. sanctions over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.
In July, Page traveled to Moscow, where he delivered a speech harshly critical of the United States’ policy toward Russia.  While there, Page allegedly met with Igor Sechin, a Putin confidant . . . .
Officials have said the FBI and the Justice Department were particularly reluctant to seek FISA warrants of campaign figures during the 2016 presidential race because of concerns that agents would inadvertently eavesdrop on political talk. To obtain a FISA warrant, prosecutors must show that a significant purpose of the warrant is to obtain foreign intelligence information.
Watch from Der Trumpenführer to tweet or do something extreme tomorrow to try again to change the topic from the possible - perhaps likely - treason that went on within the Trump/Pence campaign. 

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