… when history judges the former FBI lawyer years from now, her most consequential pronouncement may not have been typed on her bureau-issued Samsung smartphone to her colleague and lover.
Rather, it might be eight simple words she uttered behind closed doors during a congressional interview a few weeks ago.
“It’s a reflection of us still not knowing,” Page told Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) when questioned about texts she and Strzok exchanged in May 2017 as Robert Mueller was being named a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation.
With that statement, Page acknowledged a momentous fact: After nine months of using some of the most awesome surveillance powers afforded to U.S. intelligence, the FBI still had not made a case connecting Trump or his campaign to Russia’s election meddling.
Page opined further, acknowledging “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing” to connect Trump and Russia, no matter what Mueller or the FBI did.
“As far as May of 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question,” she said at another point.
For those who might cast doubt on the word of a single FBI lawyer, there’s more.
Shortly after he was fired, ex-FBI Director James Comey told the Senate there was not yet evidence to justify investigating Trump for colluding with Russia. “When I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump,” Comey testified.
And Strzok, the counterintelligence boss and leader of the Russia probe, texted Page in May 2017 that he was reluctant to join Mueller’s probe and leave his senior FBI post because he feared “there’s no big there, there.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general asked Strzok shortly before he was fired from the FBI what he meant by that text, and he offered a most insightful answer.
Strzok said he wasn’t certain there was a “broad, coordinated effort” to hijack the election and that the evidence of Trump campaign aides talking about getting Hillary Clinton dirt from Russians might have been just a “bunch of opportunists” talking to heighten their importance.
Strzok added that, while he raised the idea of impeachment in some of his texts to Page, “I am, again, was not, am not convinced or certain that it will,” he told the IG.
So, by the words of Comey, Strzok and Page, we now know that the Trump Justice Department — through Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — unleashed the Mueller special prosecutor probe before the FBI could validate a connection between Trump and Russia.
Which raises the question: If there was no concrete evidence of collusion, why did we need a special prosecutor?
Page’s comments also mean FBI and Justice officials likely leaked a barrage of media stories just before and after Mueller’s appointment that made the evidence of collusion look far stronger than the frontline investigators knew it to be. Text messages show contacts between key FBI and DOJ players and the Washington Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times during the ramp-up to Mueller’s probe.
And that means the news media — perhaps longing to find a new Watergate, to revive sagging fortunes — were far too willing to be manipulated by players in a case that began as a political opposition research project funded by Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and led by a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, who despised Trump.
Finally, Page’s statement signals that the nation’s premier intelligence court may not have been given a complete picture of the evidence — or lack thereof — as it approved an extraordinary surveillance intrusion into an American presidential nominee’s campaign just weeks before Election Day.
The majority of the ‘news’ media will ignore this report. It does not fit the narrative that they seek to push. It will not move the end of the Trump Presidency any closer. Furthermore, it will be ignored because it offers new information about the criminal conspiracy and abuses of power that were done in the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice, FBI, and Intelligence Community in their efforts to prevent the election of Donald Trump – and abort his Presidency once he did win.
Despite the overwhelming circumstantial and direct evidence of criminal abuses of power by officials in the previous Administration and the efforts of current Department of Justice and FBI leaders to bury incriminating evidence, the Mueller investigation will continue to fish for a crime suitable for indictment or articles of impeachment.
Those who did commit crimes will continue to face little or no accountability. Information will continue to be withheld or hidden.
President Trump will continue to be faced with the dilemma of ordering the declassification and release of this evidence – or risk the potential of igniting a new and different battle that could affect the Midterms and cripple his Presidency far faster than the Mueller fishing expedition is flailing at trying to do.
The real question, though, remains – do the American people really care about what this is really about? The real abuses of power? The real collusion? The criminal conspiracy by the Obama Administration to destroy the Trump candidacy before the election? And the ongoing efforts to abort the Trump Presidency and ‘undo’ the 2016 election?
To date, Lisa Page’s infamy has been driven mostly by the anti-Donald Trump text messages she exchanged with fellow FBI agent Peter Strzok as the two engaged in an affair while investigating the president for alleged election collusion with Russia.
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