Now, recall that my theory yesterday posited that the August 16, 2016, text between Strzok and Lisa Page referred to a strategic meeting of the top FBI CI players plus Deputy Director Andy McCabe--a meeting at which, in my theory, the decision was made to utilize Carter Page as "it", the insurance policy in the form of a FISA target.
"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."My view then was that this was in good measure a defensive move: to protect or insure against the event of a Trump presidency, in the sense of offering a justification for the spying that the FBI had already been engaged in against Trump associates.
The Gateway theory poses the question:
"Was Carter Page planted inside the Trump campaign to allow the FBI to spy on Trump?"In other words, the difference between the two theories is that for me Carter Page was more or less a target of opportunity--the opportunity he afforded just happened to fall into the FBI's lap. In the Gateway theory Carter Page is decidedly and offensive weapon--deliberately inserted into the Trump campaign. Note that in the Gateway theory Carter Page can still function as an insurance policy; so he and the FISA on him can still be the "it" in the Strzok/Page text. The way Carter Page and the FISA on him functions as insurance is that, in the event that Trump is elected, the FBI can continue spying on Trump--which is exactly what happened. So the difference between the two theories seems to come done to: was the use of Carter Page as the vehicle for obtaining FISA coverage of the Trump circle a deliberate choice in which Page himself was a willing participant, or was it more opportunistic in nature--Page attached himself to the Trump campaign all on his on and the FBI jumped at this opportunity.
Since yesterday I invited one and all to disprove my theory about Carter Page as the "insurance policy" for the FBI, mostly as a CYA maneuver, it seems incumbent on me to comment. What can I say about this related theory, that he was the insurance policy, but maybe in a decidedly more offensive fashion?
The theory makes sense, in a general way. It's definitely very bold. Very ... audacious. Really, at this point, my one argument against it is the way that this FISA was leaked and made public very early on, following which Page went fully public himself and even sued the government. This would seem to be self defeating, since it drew attention to the existence of the FISA. But I can't claim to definitively disprove the Gateway theory. All we can do at this point, or so it seems to me, is await new facts.
QUICK UPDATE: As of this morning Carter Page is doubling down on his denunciations of the FBI's use of him as a FISA target. That would seem to be a decidedly risky move on his part if it were untrue, since it would jeopardize his best bet at making lots of money: suing the FBI and DoJ, rather than trying to strike it rich in the Russian energy field. So this would militate against him being an FBI plant in the Trump campaign.
UPDATE: Monica Showalter at American Thinker makes a shrewd observation that bears directly on this whole Why Page? business:
Page was a weird choice of a guy to investigate, even with his Russia ties. Page is known for his volubility and openness, and he gladly cooperated with the FBI in the past over an unrelated spy issue, proving he was a patriot. The New York Times says he's the guy who can't stop talking. The FBI knew all this this about him firsthand, quite unlike the contents of the dossier. So if something he was doing really was a problem, why didn't they ask him directly? He obviously would have told them everything he knew if they had just asked. That's a freebie to investigators, assuming they were really interested in investigating Russian collusion to swing the election.Ordinarily, you might think that a direct contact with Page--who had been cooperating with the FBI for the past three years--would make a lot of sense. Anyone who has seen him on TV will quickly come to the conclusion that the NYT is absolutely right: this is a guy who can't stop talking.
Moreover, as Showalter also notes, the stories about Page in the dossier (where he's characterized as a "high profile player," in stark contrast to his common characterization in US media as "the hapless Page") are particularly outlandish--almost as much so as the tarradiddles about Trump's supposed antics in Moscow hotels. Very much to the point, the dossier claims that
Page was in line for a 19% stake in Rosneft, the $62 billion Russian state oil company (do the math) and was buddy-buddy with Igor Sechin, the scariest and most powerful oligarch in all Russia. Sechin, who has ties to both Rosneft and Gazprom, is a real godfather and the only one who has no fear of Vladimir Putin. He's not a cuddly guy. And it's hard to imagine anyone from the outside being close enough to him for a 19% partnership. Page himself says he never so much as met the guy, and frankly, that's believable. The claim about the 19 percent stake isn't, yet that was what the FBI believed.Well, if the FBI really did believe that, and given that Page, their source of three years running, was so close to Sechin, wouldn't the FBI have seen this as a golden opportunity to continue to debrief Page--but this time regarding a truly major player, Sechin? Instead they showed no interest in Page, beyond opening a Full Investigation--which they needed in order to get a FISA on him.
Maybe, you ask, that was the point of the FISA--to listen to Sechin spilling the beans, the real Inside Russia scoop, when he called Page? As if Sechin would call Page? For starters, the FBI wouldn't need a FISA for that purpose--the NSA would be happy to oblige them regarding any foreign target. The only use of a FISA on a US Person like Page was to get at other US contacts, like in the Trump circle. It's abundantly clear that the FBI had zero interest in Page except as a vehicle for a FISA that was really aimed at Trump's circle.
Which goes back to Carter Page and his FISA being "it", the insurance policy that would 1) justify to a possible President Trump all the hinky stuff the FBI had been up to during the campaign, but also 2) provide a window into Trump's world for political intelligence purposes--and just maybe for leverage over Trump.