Saturday, March 7, 2020

A Closer Look At The FBI's Carter Page Investigation (Part 2)

Let's continue with our "Closer Look" at the FBI's investigation of Carter Page, as explained in the Horowitz FISA report.  Part I of our "Closer Look" dealt with the origins of the investigation in the FBI's New York Field Office's (NYFO) dealings with Carter Page--which stretch back to 2009--and stopped at the point that the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was opened (July 31, 2016) and a separate sub-investigation was opened on Page. Here we will look at Horowitz's account of FBI investigative activity with regard to Page prior to the FBI's supposed first knowledge of the Steele "dossier" on September 19, 2016.

Once again I've pasted in several pages from the OIG report--the full section, with footnotes. The page numbering is included as before: (paper doc page number/pdf file page number). My comments are in "quote" format.


IV. Investigative Steps in Crossfire Hurricane Prior to Receipt of Christopher Steele Reporting on September 19

According to FBI officials, the early investigative steps taken in Crossfire Hurricane were structured to maintain a close-hold on the investigation and avoid any impact on the 2016 U.S. elections. FBI officials told us that no steps were (78/111) taken to investigate anyone associated with the Trump campaign prior to the opening of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31. [195] Department officials including Rosenstein, Evans, Laufman, and Gauhar said they did not learn anything at any time suggesting otherwise. We reviewed emails of senior CD officials from the 2 months prior to the opening of Crossfire Hurricane and did not find any communications suggesting any investigative actions relating to Trump campaign personnel were taken prior to July 31, 2016, with the exception of the pre-existing Page and Manafort cases discussed previously.

Curiously, there is no reference to a pre-existing Flynn investigation, although it's well documented that Flynn was being targeted by the USIC.

[Trisha] Anderson [Deputy General Counsel to General Counsel James Baker] told us that the investigation began on July 31 with covert investigative techniques to be "very quiet" prior to the election. We were told that the team's concern was that if the information about the investigation became public, it would disrupt the investigative efforts and could potentially impact the 2016 U.S. elections. Anderson also told us that counterintelligence investigations are typically "conducted in the dark" because any public confirmation of the existence of the investigation "might alert the hostile foreign power ... that we were onto them." She also said that early on in the investigation, FBI managers overseeing the Crossfire Hurricane team "took off the table any idea of legal process" in conducting the investigation, because the FBI was "trying to move very quietly." The FBI did not use national security letters or compulsory process prior to obtaining the first FISA orders.

At the outset of the investigation, as described earlier in this chapter, Strzok and SSA 1 [Joe Pientka] traveled [to London] to verify the FFG [Downer] information while analysts conducted open source and database research on the Crossfire Hurricane subjects and monitored their travel. Analysts also developed profiles on each of the four subjects and reviewed FBI files for information and to identify potential FBI CHSs with useful contacts for the investigation. [196] Additionally, almost immediately after opening the Page, Papadopoulos, and Manafort investigations on August 10, the case agent [in New York] assigned to the Carter Page investigation, Case Agent 1 [Stephen Somma], contacted OGC about the possibility of seeking FISA authority for Carter Page. As we discuss in Chapter Five, FBI documents indicate that by late August, [Somma] had been told that he had not yet presented enough information to support a FISA application targeting Carter Page.

The described investigative steps are, in general, standard, required, steps. The exact nature of these steps will vary depending on the specific facts of an investigation--travel to London is obviously exceptional--but many are the same for all investigations. Failure to take such logical investigative steps would raise question during file reviews.
Somma, in New York, was obviously very keen to take action against Carter Page. As we saw in Part I, NYFO had nowhere near enough data to apply for a FISA on Page, but Somma asked about that virtually as soon as Crossfire Hurricane was opened. I have to wonder whether FBI lawyers in NYFO were consulted. If they were, and if they gave Somma the go-ahead to consult with OGC regarding a FISA on Page, their judgment would certainly be suspect.

The FBI also sent names of individuals associated with the Trump campaign to other U.S. government agencies and a foreign intelligence agency and requested any information about those individuals. McCabe said that requesting a name trace from other U.S government agencies is a standard step in counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases that assists investigators by providing information on the (79/112) kind of network surrounding a person in whom the FBI is interested. He told us that the FBI requests a name check on an individual who is the subject of an investigation, or who the FBI is considering as a subject, but is not certain that an investigation is warranted. McCabe said that the FBI also uses the information received from such name checks to eliminate individuals as subjects. The FBI received information from the name trace requests and serialized that information to the Crossfire Hurricane case file.

The standard trace searches would include CIA--we know that CIA was contacted, below. Much information that used to require coordination with other agencies is now available through shared databases.

As we describe in Chapter Five, on or about August 17, 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team received information from another U.S. government agency advising the team that Carter Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013 and detailing information that Page had provided to the other agency regarding Page's past contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers. However, this information was not provided to NSD attorneys and was not included in any of the FISA applications. We also found no evidence that the Crossfire Hurricane team requested additional information from the other agency prior to submission of the first FISA application in order to deconflict on issues that were relevant to the FISA application.

This describes the results of the standard trace search the FBI sent to CIA regarding Page. The CIA appears to have provided rather full information, including that Page had been a CIA asset for five years--a fairly long time, which is probably explained by the amount of time Page worked in Russia. Horowitz makes two very pertinent observations without additional comment: 
1. The FBI did not provide this crucial information to DoJ attorneys. If they had, I doubt that the FISA would have been approved. The same, of course, is true regarding FBI misrepresentations of the FBI's prior relations with Page in New York. 
2. The FBI did not request "additional information" about Page from the CIA. What "additional information" would that have been? In the circumstances one would assume that the FBI would have--should have--wanted to know how the CIA assessed Page's reliability and stability and the reasons for discontinuing use of Page as an asset. All of this information would be highly relevant not only to any FISA application but also to whether Page was a viable possible Russian contact in the Trump campaign. But we saw in Part I that such considerations do not appear to have concerned the NYFO. From this we see that they didn't concern FBIHQ, either.
My assumption is that the CIA discontinued use of Page in 2013 because that was the year that Page began cooperating with the FBI's attempted prosecution of Russian officials in New York. The CIA--unlike Somma, apparently--would have understood that the Russians would catch on to Page's identity and affiliation with US intel agencies sooner rather than later, and that Page was therefore 'burned' as an operational contact.

FBI officials told us that the early steps in the investigation focused on developing information about the four subjects and conducting CHS operations to obtain relevant subject specific information. According to McCabe, using sources is a logical first step in an investigation to learn what information the FBI may have access to that could be of value in the investigation. Agents told us that CHS operations can be an effective tool for quickly obtaining information, including, for example, the telephone numbers and email addresses of the named subjects. In determining how to use CHSs in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, [Pientka] and the case agents told the OIG that they focused their CHS operations on the predicating information and the four named subjects. [Somma] told the OIG that the team "had a very narrow mandate" and that was "a mandate to look at these four individuals ... and see if there's any potential cooperation between themselves and the Russian government ... that was our goal in that investigation." He added that they were focused on the information provided by the FFG [Downer] and "we wanted to prove or disprove it, [as] best we could" but also "wanted to make sure that it didn't get broadcast out and we didn't harm the electoral process." Case Agent 2 stated that the core of the investigation was "literally looking at the predication and saying, okay, who reasonably could have had been in a position to receive suggestions from the Russians?"

All of this sounds quite reasonable, but notice that there's a subtle difference between Pientka/Somma and Case Agent 2. All of them say that they were "focused ... on the predicating information." Pientka/Somma say they wanted to "prove or disprove it." Case Agent 2, on the other hand, seems to have accepted the predication as a given--as unquestionably reliable--so that the question becomes one of asking: "Who reasonably could have had been in a position to receive suggestions from the Russians?" However, as we'll see, there is reason to doubt that Pientka/Somma were as critically minded as they now profess to have been. The reality appears to have been that the "predication" was actually accepted uncritically throughout the Crossfire Hurricane "team"--taken as gospel.
Consider for starters: The entire predication is said to have rested on the information received from Alexander Downer--the Aussie diplomat/intel operative. Did the FBI actually address the issue of how trustworthy Downer was in this matter or any other? Did FBI analysts, busily checking "open source and database research on the Crossfire Hurricane subjects" also do some checking into Downer's background? Were they aware of his blatant connections to the Clinton Foundation? After all, it's not as if Russia is the only country in the world that would like to influence a US election. "Allies" have their preferences, too--as Downer's ties to the Clinton organization show. Nor was a Clinton preference limited to the Aussies. Brit PM (at the time) David Cameron publicly stated--in Parliament--as early as December 16, 2015, that Trump's comments on immigration and international travel were 'divisive, stupid and wrong'.
These are just two examples of quite a few that strongly suggest that our "allies" were not neutral observers of the 2016 election. Of course it's a distinct possibility that even FBI personnel involved in Counterintelligence don't bother to keep up with international news, but the simple fact is that the FBI was on notice that our "allies" were taking sides in this election. That simple fact should have entered into the evaluation of any professional intelligence agency of information received from a foreign power--allied or not. One guesses that our "allied" intel services--those interested in influencing US politics--regularly pinched themselves when they considered that they were dealing with such a credulous agency as the FBI. It shouldn't be necessary to state this, but since it hasn't been stated widely in the US media perhaps it's just as well to get that out in the open before moving on.

As summarized in Chapter Ten, the Crossfire Hurricane team conducted three CHS operations prior to the team's initial receipt of Steele's reporting on September 19, 2016. All three CHS operations were with individuals who were still with the Trump campaign. The first was a consensually recorded meeting in August 2016 between Carter Page and an FBI CHS. During the meeting, Page discussed his recent trip to Moscow, a pending "October Surprise" discussed further in Chapters Five, Seven, and Ten, and his involvement with the Russian energy company Gazprom. Page also told the CHS that he had "literally never met" Paul Manafort, had "never said one word to him," and that Manafort had not responded to any of (80/113) Carter Page's emails. 197 [Pientka] and [Somma] told the OIG that this meeting was important for the investigation as it helped the team determine where Page lived and what he was currently working on as well as developing a successful contact between an established FBI source and one of the Crossfire Hurricane targets.

This consensual recording of Page was quite remarkable--or should have been, for the Crossfire Hurricane "team." Consider the topics that Page discussed--quite candidly, it appears: 
1. Page's "recent" trip to Moscow. Well, that trip took place back in June, but OK. Here we have Page speaking--on "tape"--about the trip to Moscow that the Steele "dossier" makes so much of, and that they FBI relied heavily upon to apply for their FISA on Page. Remember? Steele claimed that Page met "secretly" with Russian officials close to Putin. In other words, by the the time the FBI began the application process they possessed not just Steele's unverified "narrative"--they also had a recording of Page discussing that same trip with an FBI asset whom Page apparently trusted! 
2. Page also discussed "a pending 'October Surprise.'" What was that October Surprise? Page believed that by October the "conspiracy theory" (Page's words) about the Hillary emails would be exposed as nonsense. Remember? That was the "Russian hacking" narrative, the one that the FBI somehow declined to investigate in any meaningful sense--like, obtaining the actual server. And yet that would definitely have been "Russian meddling" in an election. Page's comment casts doubt on the Downer's story about his meeting with Papadopoulos, and therefore strikes at the heart of the supposed "predication" for the entire Crossfire Hurricane investigation. 
3. Page also recounted that "he had 'literally never met' Paul Manafort, had 'never said one word to him,' and that Manafort had not responded to any of Carter Page's emails. And yet Steele claimed in his "dossier" that Manafort was the evil genius coordinating Trump campaign collusion with Putin--using Carter Page as his 'legman.' 
As you can see from this, when it came time to submit that crucial first FISA application the FBI faced a decision. They could provide DoJ and the FISA court with all relevant information regarding Carter Page or they could slant the application by only providing the Steele "dossier". 
Let's have a show of hands. Who is surprised to learn that this remarkably relevant recording of Page--which strikes at the heart of the predication for Crossfire Hurricane as well as at Christopher Steele's credibility--was NOT presented to either DoJ or the FISC? Because it wasn't. Does that sound like the action of investigators who were disinterestly seeking to "prove or disprove" the predication? And yet Pientka and Somma had the nerve to claim to OIG that this was a highly successful recording of Page because they also learned "where Page lived and what he was currently working on." Words fail me.

The second CHS operation took place in September 2016, between an FBI CHS and a high-level official in the Trump campaign who was not a subject of the investigation. [Somma] told the OIG that the plan for this operation was for the CHS to ask the high-level official about Papadopoulos and Carter Page "because they were ... unknowns" and the Crossfire Hurricane team was trying to find out how "these two individuals who are not known in political circles ... [got] introduced to the campaign," including whether the person responsible for those introductions had ties to RIS. During the consensually recorded meeting, the CHS raised a number of issues that were pertinent to the investigation, but received little information from the high-level official in response.  [198]

The third CHS operation took place in September 2016, and involved Papadopoulos. The Crossfire Hurricane case agents told the OIG that, during this CHS operation, they were trying to recreate the conditions that resulted in Papadopoulos's comments to [Downer] about the suggestion from Russia that it could assist the Trump campaign by anonymously releasing derogatory information about then candidate Clinton, which we described earlier in this chapter. Among other things, when the CHS asked Papadopoulos whether help "from a third party like Wikileaks for example or some other third party like the Russians, could be incredibly helpful" in securing a campaign victory, Papadopoulos responded that the "campaign, of course, [does not] advocate for this type of activity because at the end of the day it's ... illegal." Papadopoulos also stated that the campaign is not "reaching out to Wikileaks or to whoever it is to tell them please work with us, collaborate because we don't, no one does that. ..." [199]

Let's give credit where it's due. This was an imaginative effort--trying to get Papadopoulos to repeat the words that Downer had attributed to him, and which formed the sole basis for the entire Russia Hoax--according to the FBI. What they got, of course, was something quite different. Papadopoulos forthrightly rejected any notion of the Trump campaign cooperating either with 'the Russians' or with Wikileaks. Oh, sh*t! On tape! There goes the predication for the Russia Hoax!
Naturally, this recording was withheld from both DoJ and the FISC. 
In that regard--the withholding of highly relevant information from the persons whose job it was to critically evaluate that precise information--ask yourself this: Could that have been the action of just one person? The obvious answer is: Don't make me laugh. In an investigation of this sort, involving regular weekly team briefings and legal consultation at every step of the way, there would have been multiple people aware of all these recording meetings with Page and Papadopoulos. Those same people would also have been involved in preparing and vetting the FISA application. Think of how McCabe was all over the Flynn setup. They all knew. They all knew that they were pulling a fast one on the FISC. 
Below in footnote 199 Horowitz makes a fascinating observation. He states, regarding the Papadopoulos recording, that the relevant office at DoJ (OI, Office of Intelligence) "learned of [this] information from ODAG in May 2018." I take that to mean that OI learned of this bombshell information ... from DAG Rod Rosenstein. Is it possible that this was the beginning of Rosenstein's realization that Team Mueller was a gigantic fraud? That's one of many little mysteries we may be getting the answers to in coming months.

Thereafter, on September 19, 2016, the Crossfire Hurricane team received information from an FBI source (Christopher Steele) on election matters that became an important part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and the FBI seeking FISA authority targeting one of the Crossfire Hurricane subjects, Carter Page. The information the Crossfire Hurricane team received from Steele and the team's use of the information is described in the next chapter.


195. As referenced in Chapter Nine, prior to his involvement with the Trump campaign,
Manafort was the subject of a federal criminal investigation by the Department for alleged white collar offenses. Further, as referenced earlier in this chapter, prior to his involvement with the Trump campaign, Carter Page was the subject of a NYFO counterintelligence investigation for his contacts with Russian intelligence officers.

196. As described in Chapter Ten, early in the investigation, the Crossfire Hurricane team
discovered that they had an existing FBI CHS who had previously interacted with three of the named subjects of the investigation [Stefan Halper].

197. As we discuss later in this report, Carter Page's comment about his lack of a relationship with Manafort was relevant to one of the allegations in the Steele reporting that was relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, but information about the August 2016 CHS meeting was not shared with the OI attorneys handling the FISA applications until June 2017.

198. We found no evidence that the information learned at this meeting was put to use by the Crossfire Hurricane team or disclosed to the OI attorneys handling the Carter Page FISA applications.

199. The Crossfire Hurricane team did not provide information about this meeting to OI
attorneys handling the Carter Page FISA applications. As described in Chapter Eight, OI learned of the information from ODAG in May 2018.


  1. On the macro level, it seems there are only two ways to read this. They are not mutually exclusive. Either the agents involved are completely and utterly corrupt (most likely), or they are fools.

    The idea that hustler-grifters (Manafort, Page, Papadoupoulos) operating in the public eye, openly swimming in the cesspool, are actually Russian agents doesn't pass the smell test. Anyone who believed for one second that they were is either unrelievedly incompetent, or corrupt.

    As any idiot knows, the only agencies successfully penetrated by the Russians, from before WWII up to last week, were the State Department, the FBI & the CIA.

    1. That's it. They have their narrative to make it sound reasonable to the general public, but anyone with any idea of how this stuff actually works will be blown away reading this. They may not have been rocket scientists, but they knew better.

  2. The Horowitz report, Page 98, says that FBI official Michael Gaeta (Handling Agent 1, stationed at the US Embassy in Rome) sent Christopher Steele's Report 94 to FBI's New York Field Office (NYFO) on July 28, 2016. A NYFO Assistant Special Agent in Charge received Report 94 and gave it to the NYFO Special Agent in Charge.

    Subsequently, on August 3, a meeting took place at the NYFO to discuss Report 94. Participants in the meeting included the same Assistant Special Agent in Charge, the Chief Division Counsel, the Associate Division Counsel and a Supervisory Special Agent.

    About a week later, on about August 10, the NYFO was assigned by the Crossfire Hurricane team in FBI Headquarters to investigate Carter Page, suspected of collaborating with Russian Intelligence to meddle in the USA's 2016 election.

    The Dossier's Report 94 says that Page -- identified as a "Foreign Affairs Advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump" -- had met with a top Russian official to discuss "a dossier of kompromat the Kremlin possessed on .... Hillary Clinton and its possible release to the Republican's campaign team."


    Readers of the Horowitz report are supposed to believe that Report 94 did not affect the NYFO investigation of Page. The NYFO office discussed Report 94 and ignored the report, because the report was not "pertinent to any crimes involving public corruption".

    Furthermore, the NYFO suggested in August that a FISA warrant should be requested against Page but did not mention Report 94 in the discussions with FBI Headquarters officials about that FISA suggestion.

    Although the NYFO was assigned to investigate Page in regard to Russian meddling in the USA's 2016 election, the NYFO did not mention Report 94 at all in any discussions with FBI Headquarters.

    The Crossfire Hurricane team remained ignorant of Report 94 until September 19, when Andrew McCabe eventually prompted the NYFO office to provide a copy of Report 94 to the Crossfire Hurricane team.


    The Horowitz report explains this situation -- the NYFO's ignoring and concealment of Report 94 from FBI Headquarters during July, August and most of September 2016 -- inadequately.

    1. "inadequately"

      You're very kind, Mike.

    2. One obvious conclusion that could be drawn from NYFO not even mentioning report 94 to FBIHQ in its discussions about Page is that they did not have a need to mention its existence .... because they knew that the FBI folks at HQ already knew what was in Steele report 94! And this would have been at least a month before Strzok, et al *officially* received the Steele material.

      As "Smiley" likes to say: "However did they get hold of that?"

      This implies the existence of a "backdoor," through which FBI HQ was getting Steele's info, if not other info, and which they steadfastly deny existed. Alternatively, they knew what info was going to be planted in the Steele memoes ahead of time, and that implies communication (direct or otherwise) with the coup plotters who arranged it.... [sotto voce]: *cough*Brennan*cough*.

    3. MW Wrote:

      >>Bruce Ohr.<<

      Mind reader!

    4. I think Mark's reply was meant to read:

      Bruce Ohr

  3. It's fascinating that while Page is approved as an operational contact with the CIA for five years--information available to the FBI for the asking--the FBI turns around an opens an investigation on him for the very reason he was useful to the CIA, interfaces with Russia intelligence contacts. And especially in light of Page's cooperation with SDNY prosecution of same!

    If your agenda is to stitch someone up, I can see the rationale.

    And while the subject here is Page, I still can't see the leap from the Downer info on PapaD, to open a full investigation. I think you've referred to it as enterprise conspiracy with the four named being investigated--Page, PapaD, Manafort, Flynn.

    I'd have thought the two interviews with Page and PapaD discussed above would've put an end to it. But what do I know.

    And even if you accept the pathetic story about the Steele info as received on September 19--it's still opposition research paid for by Clinton/DNC.

    It really beggars belief that anyone thought this wouldn't be revealed. Even had Clinton won the election, would Page remain silent? What would the FBI have continued to do to dirty-up anyone who spoke out? Corruption begets corruption, just as lies beget further lies.

    1. "It really beggars belief"

      The whole thing does. It reads like a bureaucratic mafia hit conspiracy. Which is exactly what it was.

    2. Some DOJ/FBI actions in this history might have innocent explanations.

      A problem with innocent explanations, however, is that DOJ/FBI maliciously persecuted Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone and other hapless citizens. DOJ/FBI poisoned American politics during the years 2016-2019.

      Therefore, DOJ/FBI officials have forfeited the trust of citizens who supported Trump. Innocent explanations are treated skeptically.

      DOJ/FBI was not interested in considering innocent explanations about Page, Flynn, Papadopoulos, Stone or others.

    3. What about the fact that Page worked with the FBI, particularly Strzok, if I’m not mistaken, in the New York spy case. Wouldn’t they have known and had evidence in files from that case about his work as a CI for the CIA?

      You can’t have that many dummies, on the other hand, it’s chilling that there hasn't been anyone who has stood up and said stop, this is wrong. The closest thing to that is the Strzok Page insurance policy text.

      I am concerned. Concerned that this wasn’t the perps first rodeo, and they created enough plausible deniability to skate.

      With the core 35% of Dems who believe that it is ok to use whatever means to get rid of Trump, coupled with the fact that the DC bureaucracy and the media are closer to 70% in that camp, this is a mountain of Everest proportions.

      Great work!!

    4. Gray, Page's work for both FBI and CIA is covered in Part 1 as well as above.

    5. Right, I was speaking about the name search, not implying a deficiency in your critique.

      I would also like to add to my assertions about Democrats and the media. 35% of Democrat voters are all in for these types of active measures. 70% of the beltway media and the bureaucracy are, my reread didn't seem that specific.

  4. On two occasions in this history, reports were sent to FBI field offices.

    1) The FBI's Legat in London sent the Downer report to the Philadelphia field office.

    2) The FBI's Legat in Rome sent its first Dossier reports to the New York field office.

    In each case, sending the report to the field office caused delays. In the first case, the delay was several days; in the second case, the delay was several weeks.

    In both cases, the explanation for sending the report to the field office was that someone in the Legat office knew someone in the field office who would know what to do with the report.

    The Horowitz report does not explain the normal, proper procedures that Legats are supposed to follow in sending reports. The Horowitz report does remark (page 97, footnote 222) that FBI Headquarters has an International Operations Division (IOD) that supports FBI Legats about the reporting.

    Were the London and Rome Legats supposed to consult the IOD about these reports -- or supposed to send the reports to the IOD? If so, then did the London and Rome Legats decide to send these reports to FBI field offices?

    Don't FBI Legats obtain and send lots of reports all the time? Aren't there written procedures?

    The London Legat and the Rome Legat sent these reports to FBI field offices, because "I know someone there who is very smart, and he will know what to do with this report".

    I am very skeptical about these Legat decisions.

    1. Correction:

      If so, then WHY did the London and Rome Legats decide to send these reports to FBI field offices?

    2. The Philly thing makes no sense at all. I think it was sheer stupidity.

      Re Gaeta and Rome, otoh, it might be that it was basically routed through NYFO to make it appear, at least superficially, that this was info coming from a normal field investigation. I say that because I have no doubt that Gaeta had cleared the travel to London through FBIHQ. I expect that McCabe was in on it. The official reason for sending it to NY would have been that NYFO had a case on Page, and Page was discussed in the "report." But this was the sort of info that should go to FBIHQ, so I think it was just a bit of a subterfuge that hasn't fooled anyone.

  5. My assumption is that the CIA discontinued use of Page in 2013 because that was the year that Page began cooperating with the FBI's attempted prosecution of Russian officials in New York.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am not aware that Page cooperated in the prosecution of Buryakov, et al. All that Page did was to answer the FBI's questions in an interview.

    The FBI had obtained e-mails of Buryakov, et al., and Page was mentioned in those e-mails. Subsequently, the FBI summoned Page to an interview and asked him about his interactions with Buryakov, et al. Page answered the FBI's questions, and that is all that he ever did.

    Correct me if you have evidence of any further "cooperation".


    The Horowitz report (page 61, footnote 180) describes Page's cooperation with the CIA as follows:


    [The CIA was allowed] to collect information from that person [Page] via "passive debriefing," or debriefing a person of information that is within the knowledge of an individual and has been acquired through the normal course of that individual's activities. ....

    [The CIA was not allowed] operational use ... or tasking of that person [Page].

    [end quote]

    In other words, Page simply went about his normal activities and then sometimes answered the CIA's questions. Page did not do anything more for the CIA.

    1. "Correct me if you have evidence of any further "cooperation"."

      Sure. "Male-1"--who is readily identifiable as Page--is mentioned 14x in the complaint, along with a transcript of his telephone conversation with Podobnyy and details of the Russians' plan to recruit Page as well as other details. If the case had gone to trial Page would have had to testify.

      "Page simply went about his normal activities and then sometimes answered the CIA's questions."

      Pretty standard CIA asset. That's as I assumed. Did you expect anything else?

    2. In a press release re the Buryakov case the FBI appears to refer to Page as UCE-1 (Undercover Employee 1). I believe that over the years in question Page met with FBI agents and provided the usual sort of information (usual as in, similar to what he gave the CIA). One reason I think this happened more often than the Horowitz report indicates is simply Bureau regulations re sources.

    3. Pretty standard CIA asset. That's as I assumed. Did you expect anything else?

      We all should understand that the CIA did not task Page to collect information or to do anything else.

      Page did not do anything for the CIA except to answer questions about his casual observations that happened during his normal activities.

      The CIA classified its relationship with Page as "passive debriefing".

    4. In a press release re the Buryakov case the FBI appears to refer to Page as UCE-1 (Undercover Employee 1).

      In its documents about the investigation and prosecution of Buryakov et al., the FBI referred to Carter Page as "Male-1" -- not as "UCE-1".

      UCE-1 is someone other than Page.

    5. @Mark --

      Why would Podobnyy/Russians be trying to recruit Page as an agent in 2016 if he was a known CIA source who had been 'burned' back in 2013?

      As I think has been said here repeatedly one is never 'ex-CIA'.

    6. "Why would Podobnyy/Russians be trying to recruit Page as an agent in 2016"

      He wasn't trying to recruit Page in 2016--that all happened in 2013. The Russians had 3 years to digest what went wrong with The Three Russians, and they'd have had to have been pretty stupid not to realize--even before the complaint was made public--that Page had been involved with the FBI. Professional CI people would assume that the Russians would figure that out, which suggests that Somma and the other NYFO agents were either not terribly professional or that they had other motives for wanting to jam Page up.

    7. @Mike Sylwester--Mike, you're jumping to conclusions.

      "the CIA did not task Page to collect information or to do anything else.

      Page did not do anything for the CIA except to answer questions about his casual observations that happened during his normal activities."

      That's an unwarranted assumption. While the CIA would not have wanted someone like Page to act outside his known role as an energy analyst, that would not mean that they wouldn't task him to, for example, seek to cultivate an acquaintance with a specific person if that seemed possible, to raise a specific topic in conversation with certain of his contacts, etc. In other words, to direct him in directions that might be in keeping with his professional role, but which he might not have taken on his own. Such details would fall under "methods," would be classified, and would not appear in the FISA report.

      "In its documents about the investigation and prosecution of Buryakov et al., the FBI referred to Carter Page as "Male-1" -- not as "UCE-1".

      "UCE-1 is someone other than Page."

      Not so. All you have to do is compare the SDNY press release re UCE-1 and the complaint re Male-1. Those are the two docs we have, both prepared by prosecutors, not the FBI. A cursory perusal makes it clear that UCE-1 and Male-1 are the same person. Interestingly, the press release provides additional details. There is only one energy consultant/analyst who figures in both docs, so Page is both UCE-1 and Male-1. The biggst additional detail in the press release is that one or more of the docs Page provided to the Russians contained hidden recording devices. It appears likely that Page met with the Russians repeatedly.

  6. As mentioned in the Horowitz report, the OIG limited it's investigation of documentary evidence to a two month interval preceding the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, e.g. June/July 2016. Had they searched records from the prior months (May 2016 and earlier), they would have discovered dozens of emails, call reports, and other correspondence that explicitly reveal that FBI knew about Brennan's plot to frame the Trump campaign with a manufactured Russia hoax. This documentation still exists and Durham has it. All of the conspirators that gave testimony to OIG are now on-the-record overtly lying about their involvement and knowingly proffered false testimony. That is not a trivial thing, and Wray knows all of this. His dereliction of duty in this is way beyond malfeasance. He has tacitly become a co-conspirator after the fact. Barr knows that he will have to bring down the house when this thing blows up. And all of this is still small potatoes compared to the greater crimes still hiding in the closet. How far we have fallen.

    1. Bring down the house? That's a concept I think I could buy into.

  7. I am just going to say this ...

    Investigations that begin as this and is conducted in the way this was means, clearly, that it was B.S.!

    We have to just recognize that our republic was lost long ago.

    Seriously, it was.

    Ironically, a former New York registered Democrat is trying, against all odds, to bring the "Land of the Free", the United States of America, to a Constitutional republic all the while the entire history of the Democrat party screams totalitarian with now the Republican going "I'll help" is just beyond comprehension.

    I am truly done with both political parties.

  8. "Male-1"--who is readily identifiable as Page--is mentioned 14x in the complaint, along with a transcript of his telephone conversation with Podobnyy

    The transcript in the complaint is a telephone conversation between Podobnyy and Sporyshev -- not between Podobnyy and Page.

    In that telephone conversation, Podobnyy and Sporyshev mention Page about a dozen times. They mention Page because their colleague Podobnyy intends to recruit Page as an informant or agent for Russian Intelligence.

    Those many mentions of Page are not evidence that Page worked for the FBI.

    The complaint does not include any transcript of a conversation in which Page is a participant.

    1. It was not a telephone convo, it was a recording obtained from within the NYC SVR HQ, which was supposed to be a secure (SCIF) facility from which the Diplomats securely transmitted intel to the Motherland.

      Those specific recordings discussing Page, are the Crown Jewels of the Buryakov prosecution. The entire UCE "wired binders" which was squeezed from the prosecutors (in order to introduce the evidence)... as far as I can tell, IS A LIE. Mostly because its so fantabulous... like the SVR has no security protocols? The binder story *is* a cover story, but recordings *were* obtained.

      Bonus fact: Scan the affidavit for every single mention of 'intercepts'. Pay attention to how they're being obtained, whether bugs at Buryakov home, office, intercepted phone calls (one), or recordings from within SVR HQ... watch the dates... SVR HQ recordings *only exist* during Carter Page's exact timeframe (Jan-June)... 5 months out of a 36 month case.

    2. Re introducing some device into the residentura, that was an aspect that troubled me, as being non credible. I persistent aspect of this case is that we're supposed to believe simultaneously that the Russians are evil geniuses yet also incredibly stupid and inept.

  9. In a press release re the Buryakov case the FBI appears to refer to Page as UCE-1 (Undercover Employee 1).

    The press release says:


    The FBI obtained the recordings after Sporyshev attempted to recruit an FBI undercover employee (“UCE-1”), who was posing as an analyst from a New York-based energy company. In response to requests from Sporyshev, UCE-1 provided Sporyshev with binders containing purported industry analysis written by UCE-1 and supporting documentation relating to UCE-1’s reports, as well as covertly placed recording devices. Sporyshev then took the binders to, among other places, the Residentura.

    [end quote]

    For sure, UCE-1 is NOT Carter Page.

    For sure, UCE-1 is some other person, who is an FBI undercover employee.

    1. Mike, you may be right about this. "Employee" should mean exactly that: employee. Page would not be an employee. The problem is that there is only one energy analyst who appears in both documents. In one it's UCE-1, in the other it's Male-1.

      In each doc the energy analyst (or pretended analyst) is subject to a recruitment attempt, provides docs to the Russians. The difference I now see is that in the press release Sporyshev is the Russian conducting the the activity, whereas in the complaint Page deals with Podobnyy.

      I apologize for jumping to my own conclusions. While this could be a ruse by the prosecutors, it's not clear.

    2. More:

      If you search terms like "energy" and "recruit" in both docs, you'll see that in the press release they refer only to UCE-1 and in the complaint they refer only to Male-1--who we know for sure is Page. (I leave out the "recruit" refs to females). In both docs they also provide docs to Russians, but to different Russians in each doc.

      Another difference is that there appears to be a role reversal in the docs between Sporyshev and Podobnyy. In the complaint (2013) it's Podobnyy doing the recruiting and reporting to his boss, Sporyshev. In the press release (March 11, 2016) it's Sporyshev doing the recruiting--or at least it appears that way. I say that because, since Sporyshev was Podobnyy' superior, he would be directing Podobnyy's activity and could be truthfully portrayed as directing the recruitment even if he didn't do it personally. Nevertheless, in the complaint Podobnyy is never portrayed as recruiting--except in conjunction with Sporyshev.

      Why these differences? Is the term UCE-1 used to hide Page's ID since he is now with the Trump campaign?

      It's all unclear, but I believe it's possible or even probable that Page is the only energy analyst.

    3. Mark

      The press release states that "The FBI obtained the recordings after Sporyshev attempted to recruit an FBI undercover employee (“UCE-1”), who was posing as an analyst from a New York-based energy company." Apparently this occurred in 2013.

      If UCE-1 is Carter Page, does this not suggest that Page was not only a 'source' or an 'agent' of FBI, but, in fact, an 'employee' of FBI?

      And, if an employee, an employee (or perhaps former employee) who FBI considered a 'foreign agent' (see Page FISA application) in 2016?

      Not to mention, a 'foreign agent' with respect to whom FBI was unable to charge not withstanding FISA warrant and three renewals...

      The truth, when it finally emerges, will be very interesting. Page himself could shed more light on this. I guess he has a book in the works...

    4. If the press release is going 'by the book', following official terminology, yes. But--and I think Mike probably agrees--I don't believe Page was an FBI employee. The problem is that it's difficult if not impossible to reconcile the two docs unless Page is both UCE-1 and Male-1. Otherwise you seem to have two different narratives. That's pretty unusual in an actual prosecution--the complaint says Carter Page was the target of recruitment, that CP was the guy providing docs. Three years later the press release--on the surface--substitutes an FBI employee for Page, but playing the same role.

      Something's going on that we're not fully aware of.

    5. I completely agree that 'something's going on'...


      Especially given that there is, was and never has been any credible reason to believe that Carter Page was actually working for Russia in 2016.

    6. I guess what I've been thinking...but reluctant to say out that it seems to me more likely that Page was working for the IC (who knows which agency) when he signed up for the Trump Campaign than he was working for Russia.

      You may remember that I have expressed doubt here in the past that we know everything we need to know about the provenance of PapaD and Page, as well as Sam Clovis, and probably former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) -- all members of the Trump Campaign with some connections to the IC.

      Mark, I know you don't (or haven't) necessarily agreed with me about these doubts and I fully respect your POV. I just can't help myself...

    7. I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying. I tend more to the view that Page and Papadopoulos--and maybe Manafort as well--may have been introduced into the Trump campaign by IC controlled operatives for the express purpose of having them "exposed" as Russian compromised during the campaign. As did happen to each of them.

    8. Yes, and if you are right, an especially despicable thing for Page's handlers in the IC to have done. At least in my old-fashioned way of looking at things...

      So...when young Carter Page signed up to work for the IC following graduation from Annapolis in 1993 did he read and understand the 'fine print' in his 'contract' that said: "I, Carter Page, a loyal and trusting citizen of the United States and officer in the United States Navy, with a bright future in front of me, do understand and acknowledge that at some point during my association with the 'Intelligence Community' I may be necessarily thrown under the bus by my handlers, falsely accused of being a traitor, subjected to ruinous legal fees, and have my reputation utterly destroyed so that I can probably never work again, all of which I voluntarily and willingly accept. I understand I'm getting into a rough game."


    9. The government is your friend, the Deep State wants to protect you ...

    10. Reminds me of the lawyer recruiting process in John Grisham's "The Firm".

    11. MW wrote:

      >>If the press release is going 'by the book', following official terminology, yes. But--and I think Mike probably agrees--I don't believe Page was an FBI employee. The problem is that it's difficult if not impossible to reconcile the two docs unless Page is both UCE-1 and Male-1. Otherwise you seem to have two different narratives. That's pretty unusual in an actual prosecution--the complaint says Carter Page was the target of recruitment, that CP was the guy providing docs. Three years later the press release--on the surface--substitutes an FBI employee for Page, but playing the same role.

      Something's going on that we're not fully aware of.<<

      It's coming back to me now; CP spoke about this recently (in the last 6 months) -- and said something to the effect that after he refused the FBI's attempt suborn perjury from him at the upcoming trial, they substituted one of their own undercover agents who would claim to have done the things CP had down, and presumably, if necessary, would so testify at trial!

      The second thing that the FBI did immediately following CP's refusal to testify perjuriously, but which CP would not find out about it until much later, was to open a counter-intel investigation on HIM out of the NYFO!

      It is curiously during this period -- after opening the investigation on CP -- that CP is approached by the now infamous Stephan Halper, invited to a dinner with him, and invited to attend the hastily arranged "Spook Seminar" in London in the early Summer of 2016, well before CH was officially launched by the FBI.

      Given what we now know, it would seem as though these events may be connected to the FBI NYFO investigation that had been opened on CP in April.

      What's intriguing about this is that it provides cover to FBI HQ CI personnel who, when asked by Horowitz if they were running CHS against CP before CH was opened at the end of July, they could testify truthfully: "No." And the paperwork likely backs them up -- there were no assets being run out of the FBI HQ CI at CP before CH was opened.

      But that doesn't mean that the NYFO didn't do it, or some other IC agency wasn't doing it (directly, or through proxies) in the Spring and early Summer of 2016.

      This is why Halper should stay the hell out of Ft. Marcy Park, or whatever the London equivalent is. He is very likely an "inconvenient" asset, and hence witness, to what the coup plotters were getting up to in the early phases of the operation.

    12. EZ, that's rather breathtaking, but that's what it looks like. The narratives in the two docs are basically the same, but they're 3 years apart and what happens is Male-1 appears to get switched out for UCE-1. That happens after Page says he told the FBI he wouldn't commit perjury.

      We don't see it that I know of, but the FBI narrative is probably that the Russians got to Page, and so the FBI is going to "get" Page, er, investigate the sh*t out of him.

      It strains credulity that the FBI would not be aware of the attempts to set Page up, same as with Papadopoulos and Flynn. Earlier, I thought they must have had a Preliminary Investigation on him, but it turns out they opened a Full Investigation in NYFO.

    13. Not only did NYFO open a full investigation, but Agent Somma was hot-to-trot to get a FISA on Carter Page, right out of the box.

      Recall it is at this juncture, when NYFO opened the investigation on CP -- which coincides with CP joining the Trump campaign -- that Comey and RR and/or McCabe (??) go scurrying up to AG Lynch's office like excited little schoolgirls to chat about all these developments with this seemingly minor figure that NYFO is furiously trying to "investigate"/smear.

      The $64,000 question: did they want a FISA on CP because they actually thought he was communicatin' with the Russkies, or was NYFO/Agent Somma part and parcel with spying on the Trump campaign by proxy using the FISA two-hop rule on an adviser/volunteer to the campaign?

      To go a step further: did they ask CP to lie under oath knowing he would refuse, thus giving them what appears from the outside to be circumstantial evidence ("he refused to testify fully against them!) that he's in cahoots with the Russians, as pretext to get a FISA to spy on him, and by extension, the Trump campaign.

      IOW, was this NYFO investigation genned up as part of the scheme to dirty up people in the campaign with Russian "fingerprints" -- just like the bogus "fingerprints" on the Guccifer 2.0 material -- to feed the false narrative that the Russians are helping Trump, and thus giving them the excuse they need to spy on the campaign through the dirtied up campaign volunteers? If so, it sure looks like NYFO was part of the phase 1 -- "dirty them up" op, which precedes the Phase 2 at FBI HQ where CI opens the CH investigation at the end of July to continue the process, and possibly expand it, all the while leaking tidbits and clues furiously to the MSM (in parallel with FusionGPS and Steele) to influence the election.

      Interesting coincidence: the timing of the CP investigation in NYFO coincides almost exactly with when Crowdstrike "claims" the Russians were penetrating the DNC computer system, though the DNC emails that ended up with Wikileaks were not extracted until very late May.

      Too many coincidences for random chance, in my opinion. It all looks like it was part of a larger coordinated operation.

    14. "CP spoke about this recently (in the last 6 months)"

      I'm hoping CP has a lot to say about 'this' in his book. Much is unexplained.

      "We don't see it that I know of, but the FBI narrative is probably that the Russians got to Page, and so the FBI is going to "get" Page, er, investigate the sh*t out of him."

      I haven't heard this theory before. Would be totally contrived (based on what we know today) but entirely possible. I think it more likely, however, that CP was simply -- disposable.

    15. I'm with ya up to the $64,000 question. NYFO sought FBIHQ approval to open a Full on Page as soon as they had the dust up with him--March, 2016. I believe that they wanted to do that because they wanted what they seem to have viewed as payback. They got the approval on 4/1/16. It was only when Crossfire Hurricane was opened and Page was named that NYFO asked to get a FISA--August, 2016. I don't believe Somma saw that much of the big picture of the Russia Hoax at that point. They were still wrapped up in the Three Russians case. OTOH, I strongly suspect that Comey did see the possibilities as soon as he heard about Page joining the campaign. And that means he was certainly aware of the Three Russians case in NY.

    16. MW Wrote:

      >>It was only when Crossfire Hurricane was opened and Page was named that NYFO asked to get a FISA--August, 2016.<<

      I was under the impression that NYFO had attempted to get one earlier, before CH was opened, but was denied. Then, when CH was opened, NYFO went back AGAIN, and tried to get FBI HQ to approve another go at a FISA on CP one in August.

    17. Direct quote from Horowitz:

      On April 6, 2016, NYFO opened a counterintelligence *** investigation on Carter Page under a code name the FBI assigned to him (NYFO investigation) based on his contacts with Russian intelligence officers and his statement to Russian officials that he was "Male-1" in the SDNY indictment. Based on our review of documents in the NYFO case file, as well as our interview of the NYFO CI Agent, there was limited investigative activity in the NYFO investigation between April 6 and the Crossfire Hurricane team's opening of its investigation of Page on August 10. The NYFO CI Agent told the OIG that the steps she took in the first few months of the case were to observe whether any other intelligence officers contacted Page and to prepare national security letters seeking Carter Page's cell phone number(s) and residence information. The NYFO CI agent said that she did not use any CHSs to target Page during the NYFO investigation. The NYFO investigation was transferred to the Crossfire Hurricane team on August 10 and became part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

    18. I understand that's what Horowitz reported, but I recall seeing something indicating a FISA was sought on CP BEFORE CH opened. Can't recall where or what it was...

    19. Right. We all saw that talk, but this seems to be the only thing to come out of it.

  10. TexasDude,

    I became a Republican at age 14. Of course, I wasn't a voter until 18. But I knew which party represented the values that I believed.

    I quit in 2006. A coworker commented when Bush was elected, that with the Presidency, House and Senate, we would see great things. I did see great things. A great deal of spending and a great deal of caving in. The excuse that we don't have the votes was thrown around.

    I quit and never returned. According to the Republican platform, I'm still a Republican. But the actual practice of the party is quite another thing.

    We need term limits. That won't fix everything, but it will help. We also could stand to cut about 25% of the federal workforce. Maybe more.

    I'm not holding my breath that any of this will happen.

    I refer to myself as unaffiliated; not as an independent.

  11. Mr. Wauck,

    In Part One, you noted the difficulty that Durham will have with unraveling this enterprise conspiracy and bringing charges.

    After your two-part summation of the Carter Page investigation, are you more, less, or unchanged regarding your confidence in forthcoming charges for the conspirators?