Sunday, February 04, 2018

Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter

As I write this post, Trey Gowdy is on Face the Nation lying through his teeth and making huge lapses in telling the full story about his "concerns" over a FISA warrant issued in the fall of 2016.  Utterly lacking is from Gowdy attempts to mislead viewers is any reference to Carter Page's activities starting in 2013 and intelligence agency concerns that Page was being recruited as a Russian asset.  Indeed, in 2013, Page boasted that he was an adviser to the Kremlin.  All of this is separate and apart from the Steele dossier that the Nunes memo obsesses over. It goes without saying that Fox News, a/k/a Faux News , a/k/a Trump TV, conveniently ignores these pre-existing actions of and concerns over Carter Page.  A piece in Time looks at Page's own past boast of his ties to the Kremlin - and his admission that Russian operatives were seeking to recruit him as a Russian agent.  (A piece in New York Magazine also looks at Page's letter and his boasts of Kremlin ties).  Note that the letter by page predates the FISA application in dispute by THREE YEARS.  The take away is that Mr. Nunes and his co-conspirators in the White House are full of crap.  Here are article excerpts:
Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years.
The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,” the letter reads.
The Nunes memo claims that in Oct. 2016 the FBI improperly received court permission to spy on Page, whom Trump had named as an adviser to his campaign in March 2016. The Nunes memo says the FBI based its request for eavesdropping permission on information provided by former British spy Christopher Steele while Steele was working for Democrats.
House Democrats, the FBI and the Justice Department have all raised questions about what they say are omissions and misleading analysis in the Nunes memo. They argue the FBI presented multiple pieces of evidence, beyond the Steele dossier, in their request for a warrant against Page from the secretive FISA court.
At the heart of the debate is the question of who, exactly, is Carter Page. Trump’s defenders argue that he was simply a low-level consultant to the campaign who has overstated his role as an adviser as well as his Russian contacts. The Steele dossier claims that during a trip to Moscow in July 2016, Page held secret meetings with a senior Kremlin official and a senior Putin ally that included conversations about helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign. Page has given inconsistent accounts about his contacts with the Russians.
In January 2013, Page met a Russian diplomat named Victor Podobnyy at an energy conference in New York City, according to court documents. The two exchanged contact information, sent each other documents on energy policy and met several more times to discuss the topic, the documents allege. Two years later, in January of 2015, Podobnyy was charged in absentia — along with two other Russians — with working as a Russian intelligence agent under diplomatic cover.
Court records include a transcript of a conversation where Podobnyy talks about recruiting someone named “Male-1” by making “empty promises” about “connections in the [Russian] Trade Representation.” Page now acknowledges that he was “Male-1.”
In June 2013, the FBI interviewed Page regarding his contacts with the Russians, Page says. The FBI believed that Russian intelligence services had attempted to recruit Page as an agent with promises of business opportunities in Russia, according to the 2015 court documents. Page says that thereafter the FBI began a retaliatory campaign against him. According to published reports, the FBI obtained a first FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Page’s electronic communications during 2013. And they have been paying attention to him, on and off, ever since.

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