“The FISA applications further exposed the extent to which the DOJ relied on unverified media reports to support their request for court-ordered electronic surveillance of Page. Contrary to Democrat claims that the applications’ reliance on a Yahoo News article was passing, the FISA documents detailed the Yahoo News article’s assertion that a “well-placed Western intelligence source,” told the news organization that Page met with the Russian agents in July.
Just as statements from unverified “sub-sources” could not establish probable cause, unverified newspaper articles could not either. The DOJ, however, did not limit itself to repeating the Yahoo News article’s claims, which the public later learned had also originated from Steele. The FISA application also cited two other media reports.
One was apparently Josh Rogin’s Washington Post opinion article, which reported claims that Trump campaign members “worked behind the scenes to make sure [the GOP]’s platform would not call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.” The DOJ also relied on an article from August 2016—likely the Michael Crowley Politico piece—that “opined that while the reason for [Trump’s] shift [in Russian policy] was not clear, [Trump]’s more conciliatory words, which contradict [the GOP]’s official platform, follow [Trump]’s recent association with several people sympathetic to Russian influence in Ukraine, including foreign policy advisor Carter Page.”
There are two fundamental problems with this portion of the FISA application. First, as the Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained, the GOP platform narrative the Washington Post and Politico pushed was extremely misleading. Second, when I asked Page whether he participated in the GOP Russia platform debate, the former Trump advisor responded with an emphatic “NEVER,” and shared this excerpt from his defamation lawsuit against a media conglomerate:
Plaintiff, Dr. Page arrived on Delta flight 5353 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at 1:36 p.m. on July 18, 2016, the same day that the Washington Post published the following report: ‘Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine’. (Delta Air Lines flight confirmation attached as Exhibit 19(a)) Dr. Page played no role whatsoever in the drafting of the 2016 Republican party platform.
The FISA applications create the false impression that Page was involved with the GOP platform debate. The DOJ then used that misleading inference to support its claim that Page was a foreign agent.” (Read more: The Federalist, 7/23/2019) (Archive)