- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Carter Page, the informal Trump campaign adviser victimized by invalid FBI wiretaps, says there are more abuses to be uncovered in the coming months.

Mr. Page tells The Washington Times that he has been conducting his own inquiries for a project he cannot yet detail. The goal, he said, is to go beyond the surveillance abuses uncovered by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

“Tip of the iceberg is a good way to describe it,” said the U.S. Naval Academy graduate and energy investor, who has spent the last three years clearing his name.

“It was a broad array of people, and so far there has been no accountability,” Mr. Page said. “I have a lot of questions that IG Horowitz never covered. These need to be answered ASAP. I am also going to be taking some action. There’s much more to come.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, has announced a new probe into Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse and asked 17 Justice Department and FBI players to testify.

Mr. Page has drafted 19 questions he wants the committee to ask Mr. Horowitz.

The FBI acquired judges’ signatures for four wiretap warrants on Mr. Page from October 2016 to September 2017. The inspector general said in a Dec. 9 report that those FISA warrants were riddled with errors and omissions.

Last month, the Justice Department ruled the last two FISA warrants were so shaky evidence-wise they never should have been sought by the FBI. The department invalidated them and suggested the first two warrants are also under scrutiny.

The IG report was particularly critical of the FBI New York field office agent who oversaw the Page investigation and interviewed him five times in March 2017.

Identified by the Horowitz report as “Case Agent 1,” he submitted inaccurate information to the Justice Department Office of Intelligence (OI), which coordinated the FISA affidavit.

“Case Agent 1 was primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions in the FISA applications,” Mr. Horowitz concluded.

The IG said he didn’t believe the agent intentionally submitted wrong information, but his explanations weren’t satisfactory.

This agent first pushed for a FISA warrant on Mr. Page in August 2016, but that was rejected by the Justice Department. A month later, the FBI began receiving the infamous Christopher Steele dossier, which accused Mr. Page of being in an election conspiracy with the Kremlin.

The dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It proved to be the crucial piece of evidence to win a judge’s approval for a wiretap in October 2016.

The dossier’s allegations have turned out to be false, according to official government reports.

Here are some of Case Agent 1’s failings:

• The agent received information from the CIA that Mr. Page was an official operator from 2008 to 2013. But the agent relayed to Justice only that Mr. Page was a CIA source in the mid-2000s in Moscow.

“We concluded that Case Agent 1 failed to provide accurate and complete information to the OI Attorney concerning Page’s relationship and cooperation with the other agency,” the IG report said.

The CIA had reported that Mr. Page was a good source who provided information on a Russian intelligence officer in New York.

• The agent knew that Mr. Page denied ever speaking with Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman. He made the denial in a secretly recorded conversation with an FBI informant, college professor Stefan Harper.

But Case Agent 1 never informed the OI attorney, and Mr. Page’s denial was not included in the FISA affidavit. The Office of Intelligence had asked for any exculpatory evidence.

The dossier accused Mr. Page of coordinating election interference with Manafort, a claim that proved untrue.

• Mr. Steele’s major charge is that Mr. Page met in Moscow in July 2016 with Kremlin figures Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin to discuss election interference. Mr. Page denied such a meeting to Mr. Halper, but Case Agent 1 never passed on that information for inclusion in the affidavit.

• In perhaps the most glaring omission, Case Agent 1 interviewed Mr. Steele’s main Russian source in January 2017. The source said he had merely repeated Kremlin gossip to Mr. Steele, not firsthand knowledge. The source’s remarks seemed to greatly undercut Mr. Steele’s accusations, but Case Agent 1 never passed them along to Justice.

• Case Agent 1 wrote in the affidavit that Mr. Steele’s past work for the FBI had been largely corroborated and used in criminal trials. Mr. Horowitz said both statements were untrue.

Mr. Page told The Times that he sat down for five interviews with Case Agent 1.

“I think there’s a lot of bad actors who deserve accountability,” Mr. Page said. “To say that he is the one and only kind of main person responsible, I think, ignores a lot of negligent people.”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide