(…) “Page staunchly maintained that any briefings given to the White House were always about the “Russian active-measures effort” and were not in relation to “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s name for its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump–Russia allegations.
Brennan admitted during congressional testimony that his intelligence helped establish the FBI counterintelligence investigation:
“I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.”
This admission is important, particularly since Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had previously disclosed that no official intelligence was used to open the FBI’s investigation.
Brennan’s role was highlighted again during testimony, as one representative questioning Page questioned her in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message: “What are you doing after the CH brief?” CH almost certainly referred to “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Page was asked specifically about an event that occurred on the same day:
“It’s the same day that Director Brennan is briefing Harry Reid, is why I ask. And so what you’re saying is you were unaware that Director Brennan was briefing Harry Reid that same day?”
Page said she was unaware of Brennan’s briefing to Reid. She was then asked the following:
“You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It’s not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point. And it becomes apparent, based on your text messages and based on Director Comey’s emails, that you all are aware that that conversation took place. Were you aware that Director Brennan had a briefing with Harry Reid and that you expected a letter from Harry Reid?”
Page noted that she remembered the letter sent by Reid, but seemed confused as to Brennan’s involvement and possible knowledge of the Steele dossier. Worth noting is that while some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in July, the counterintelligence investigative team didn’t receive it until mid-September during a trip to Rome, where they met personally with Steele.
The representative, who was clearly aware of the disparity in timing, focused on precisely how Brennan might have been aware of the dossier in August:
Unidentified Representative: “So what you’re saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?”
Page: “That is correct, sir.”
Rep.: “OK. So on Aug. 30, you and Peter are going back and forth, and you go, ‘Here we go.’ If you’ll look at 9:44:50 on August the 30th, you go, ‘Here we go.’ And it’s referencing [the New York Times report] ‘Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in the U.S. Vote and Seeks FBI Inquiry.’ Now, what happens is, and what I guess gives me a little bit of concern is, if you drop down, that if you drop down to the same day, August 30th, 9:45, it says, ‘The D’—which I assume means director—’said at the a.m. brief that Reid had called him and told him that he would be sending the letter.’
Rep.: “So you get a brief that says, well, we got the letter, but it’s almost like it’s a coordinated effort between Harry Reid and the FBI director, because obviously, he’s briefing you.”
After a bit of back and forth, Page responded, “I don’t know what Harry Reid was told or why or what the purpose of Brennan [was.]”
The representative pressed on:
“Why would Director Brennan be aware of things that the FBI was not aware of at this particular point, when it actually would potentially involve, according to Peter Strzok’s word on January 10th of 2017, an unverified salacious set of memos?”
And then the big reveal:
Unidentified Representative: “We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we’re going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?”
Page: “Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan—so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did, because the first time we—”
Rep.: “We do know there are multiple sources.”
Page: “I do know that. I do know that the information ultimately found its way lots of different places, certainly in October of 2016. But if the CIA as early as August, in fact, had those same reports, I am not aware of—I’m not aware of that and nor do I believe they provided them to us, and that would be unusual.”
Rep.: “Were you aware that Christopher Steele had conversations or multiple conversations with Fusion GPS and others outside of just working special intel for you?”
Page: “As of August of 2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life. So let me just sort of be clear. When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated. We don’t know for what purpose.”
A bit later in the discussion, the representative asked another question:
Rep.: “So you don’t know whether it’s a coordinated effort to get you those documents or not at that point in September?”
Page responds, “Coordinated by whom, sir?
Rep.: “Anybody, other than a confidential human source saying, ‘Listen, I’ve got reason to be concerned and bring it to you.’ It could be coordinated by the CIA. It could have been coordinated by Fusion GPS. You don’t know.”
Page: “At the time that we received the documentation, no. What we have is the preexisting relationship with the source and the reliability of his prior reporting.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)