Did the FBI defraud the FISA Court in 2013-14 and again in 2016-17?
* The Horowitz Report's forgotten FISA applications: Carter Page's Role as U.S. Informant appears to have been withheld from an earlier set of Warrant Applications.
The Attorney General Inspector General's report confirmed yesterday that Page was a US intelligence source from 2008-13, and that information was withheld in 2016-17 warrant applications. We are now reminded that there were earlier FISA warrants issued for Page in 2013-14. That same information was apparently not revealed to the FISA Court in the earlier warrant applications, if Page was indeed then the target.
The first issue raised in Attorney General's IG Report released Monday concerns ommissions in the FBI FISA warrants to surveil Carter Page in 2016 and 2017. It is puzzling, therefore, that it somehow makes no reference to a set of earlier FISA warrants reportedly issued to surveil Page in 2013-2014. These earlier FISA warrants were first reported by CNN in 2017 and became a side issue in the Nunes Memo but, it seems, they were all but forgotten or have been intentionally ignored in the Horowitz report.
This raises serious questions about the completeness of the Horowitz report if the now unearthed news reports are accurate, we have also have to ask why major media that reported the earlier warrants aren't now publicly asking the same question.
CNN and the NYT and several other major outlets reported in 2017 and 2018 that FISA warrants were obtained for Page five years earlier to surveil suspected Russian espionage figures associated with Page. Several Congressmen were quoted to that effect in major media reports two years ago. Yet, in a seeming case of mass institutional amnesia, nobody in the corporate media now mentions the striking variance in the Attorney General's IG report from the public record.
This apparent gap in the Horowitz report is extremely troubling, given that alleged FBI misconduct in obtaining warrants for Page has become a core issue in questions about political bias in launching of the Russiagate investigation.
What is going on? Why aren't CNN and the New York Times and the others asking questions about the missing FISA warrants in the Horowitz report? There is a logical and obvious answer, but before we come to that, let's review the history of what has been reported about the earlier round of FISA applications.
On August 3, 2017, CNN made an important disclosure about FISA warrant applications that had been sought five years ago for Carter Page, who is now central to the controversy brewed up by the Horowitz report accusations of FBI lawbreaking in warrants sought in 2016-17 to wiretap the Trump Campaign and Administration. More than 18 months ago, the CNN article first revealed: https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/03/politics/mueller-investigation-russia-tru...
"Page had been the subject of a secret intelligence surveillance warrant since 2014, earlier than had been previously reported, US officials briefed on the probe told CNN.
When information emerged last summer suggesting that the Russians were attempting to cultivate Page as a way to gain an entrée into the Trump campaign, the FBI renewed its interest in him. Initially, FBI counterintelligence investigators saw the campaign as possible victims being targeted by Russian intelligence."
A follow-up published by Ryan Goodman in the July, 2018 JustSecurity Blog referenced that CNN article, detailed a number of related media references, and observed: https://www.justsecurity.org/59837/reports-carter-page-subject-fisa-warr...
"Carter Page came to the attention of the FBI long before he joined the Trump campaign, as the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets have reported. In 2013, Russian spies tried to recruit Page as an intelligence source, and Page passed documents to an agent of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. In discussing the Oct. 2016 FISA warrant, the WSJ says, “It isn’t clear whether the department had previously requested a FISA warrant on Mr. Page.”
I have always recalled a nugget buried deep in a CNN report published in Aug. 4, 2017. The 61st paragraph of the report reads:
“Page had been the subject of a secret intelligence surveillance warrant since 2014, earlier than had been previously reported, US officials briefed on the probe told CNN.”
I long thought that CNN report was the only reference to such a warrant. But there’s more.
[Update: On Feb. 2, 2018, the New York Times’ annotation of the Nunes memo states, “In accusing the F.B.I. of omitting important information, this memo’s critics say the memo itself omits crucial context: other evidence that did not come from Mr. Steele, much of which remains classified. For example, it makes no note of the fact that Mr. Page attracted the F.B.I.’s interest in 2013, when agents came to believe that Russian spies were trying to recruit him. The F.B.I. obtained a FISA wiretap order then, as well, according to a person familiar with the matter” (emphasis added).]
On Feb. 2, 2018, FOX News’ Dana Perino said, “if Carter Page is under a FISA warrant starting in 2013. You have to go to the FISA court every 90 days in order to keep up that warrant. We don’t know if there was a lapse in the warrant between 2013 and 2015.”
In Feb. 4, 2018, TIME published a piece on Carter Page’s 2013 letter to an academic press declaring, “Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin.” The TIME story also said, “According to published reports, the FBI obtained a first FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Page’s electronic communications during 2013.” Note: that line in the TIME story linked to a Washington Post report, at least the current version of which does not say Page was subject to a 2013 FISA warrant.
On Feb. 4 2018, Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union stated, “In 2013, 2014, Carter Page was spied on by the FBI in a different FISA warrant.”
On Feb. 5, 2018, CNN’s Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider said, “In 2014, the FBI began surveilling Page’s communications under a FISA warrant.”).
In a piece published on Feb. 25, 2018, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass) told World Net Daily. “The first warrant on Carter Page went back to 2013. He had been surveilled back then as a possible Russian agent. FBI had the evidence. That may have had some influence on the court.” (The WND is generally not a reliable source, but this news story included direct quotes from WND interviews with several congressional representatives.)
Finally, not as explicitly stated or clear cut but Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) said in Feb. 2018, “The Nunes Memo specifically focuses on the most recent warrants for surveillance of Carter Page, who has reportedly been under watch for his potentially illicit relationship with the Russian government since 2013” (emphasis added).
If a FISA warrant was issued to surveil Page back in 2013 or 2014, it would add a meaningful piece to analyses of the FBI and courts’ actions in 2016 and 2017."
Indeed, it would be meaningful. Given that we are now told that reference to Page as an “operational contact” from 2008-2013 for an unnamed US Government intelligence agency was withheld from the four warrant applications filed during 2016-17, that would answer why the FBI would go to such extraordinary lengths to hide his role as a government informant in the earlier FISA applications.
Frankly, I am surprise that as of my last Google search this afternoon, this subject hasn't been raised anywhere but here.
I can only surmise, if this isn't a case of mass amnesia, that for various reasons, nobody wants to risk their career by being the first to raise the following question in major media. If one puts two and two together -- confirmation in the IG Report that Carter Page was a US intelligence agency operative from 2008-2013, and that fact was withheld and falsified in the warrant applications submitted to FISC Judges most recently two years ago -- doesn't it follow that the same information was withheld from the Court in the 2013-2014 FISA Court applications?
See, related reporting here: https://caucus99percent.com/content/impeachment-fruit-poisonous-tree
UPDATES AS THEY DEVELOP