WSJ confirms Carter Page was cooperating with FBI before he entered campaign
Overlooked in the furor of publication of the Nunes Memo, The Wall Street Journal published an article Friday that confirms major points made about Page in earlier research first posted at JPR by this author. See, https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-trump-aide-carter-page-was-on-u-s-counterintelligence-radar-before-russia-dossier-1517486401
In a JPR series beginning last May, readers here first learned that Carter Page — now a key figure in the Nunes Memo — before joining the Trump campaign was a key informant for the FBI in an investigation and prosecution of Russian intelligence operations in NY. See, https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/is-carter-page-an-fbi-informant-who-wormed-into-trumps-campaign/
As I reported, Court documents and USDOJ press releases stated that in January 2013 Page first made the acquaintance of Victor Polobnyy, a suspected Russian intelligence operative at an energy conference in NY. In May, Page then met with FBI Agents. Documents show that subsequently an FBI informant posing as an American energy analyst passed bugged binders to the SVR though which the Bureau conducted electronic surveillance of suspected intelligence operatives at the Russian Mission to the UN. In 2015, Polobny was convicted of espionage based in part on Page’s testimony and expelled. Russian offices and a residence were shut down, leading to increasing U.S.-Russian tensions.
Last April, Page sent a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee complaining that his cover as “MALE-1” in that court testimony had revealed his identity as a cooperating witness bringing him unwanted public attention.
Finally, the WSJ has confirmed key details of what was reported here last Spring. The Journal’s story is titled, “Former Trump Aide Carter Page Was on U.S. Counterintelligence Radar Before Russia Dossier: Court documents, testimony show foreign-policy adviser was known to authorities as early as 2013″, https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-trump-aide-carter-page-was-on-u-s-counterintelligence-radar-before-russia-dossier-1517486401
In a statement last year, Mr. Page confirmed he was the unnamed consultant and said he helped U.S. federal investigators during the case. The complaint charging Mr. Podobnyy said Mr. Page had provided the Russians with documents, which Mr. Page said were “nothing more than a few samples from the more detailed lectures” he was preparing for a course he was teaching at New York University at the time. [ . . . ] Six months after prosecutors charged Mr. Podobnyy, Mr. Trump launched his presidential campaign. In January 2016, Mr. Page told the House committee, he had an “initial meeting” with the campaign and began serving as an informal adviser.
[ . . . ]
A former Trump national security adviser said the campaign wasn’t aware at the time of Mr. Page’s past dealings with U.S. counterintelligence officials. Over the course of the campaign, Mr. Page traveled to Russia at least twice and kept top Trump campaign advisers abreast of his travels, Mr. Page told the House panel.
The Journal asked an obvious question, gathered together some some essential dots, but neglected to connect them:
Yet a question persists: What prompted the FBI to suspect that Mr. Page was acting as an agent of Russia? The full extent of the evidence regarding Mr. Page that the Justice Department submitted to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—a secret judicial panel that approves surveillance warrants against suspected agents of foreign powers—isn’t clear. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that the warrant included material beyond research compiled by Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official. What is known from court documents and testimony by Mr. Page before Congress is that the former Trump aide has been known to U.S. counterintelligence officials dating back to at least 2013, nearly three years before he joined the Trump campaign.
JPR readers know the obvious answer to that question. As I wrote last Spring:
As far as I can walk the cat back, the beginnings of “Russiagate” may have been FBI surveillance of Carter Page during a 2013 meeting with Victor Podobnyy, a Russian “Junior Attache” to the UN in NY. U.S. intelligence had Podobnyy under human and electronic surveillance as a suspected Russian SVR intelligence operative, and the FBI had recorded a conversation in March of between Podoobnyy and a second Russian agent discussing his attempt to recruit Page as an asset.
According to court documents, in January 2013, Carter Page first met Podobnyy at an international energy conference, and later that year Page provided information about the U.S. energy industry to Podobbny. But, this is where it only starts to get really interesting.
In a letter published today by CNN, Page informed a US Senate committee that shortly after he met with Podobnny in 2013 he was interviewed by federal agents in June, 2013 and that he became a cooperating witness in the federal investigation and resulting 2015 prosecution. See below, and .pdf linked at http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/08/politics/carter-page-russian-official/
Indeed, a court document in the 2015 trial of an SVR officer confirms that Page was indeed interviewed by two FBI Agents about dealings with Podobnyy. Carter Page is referred to in the Affidavit as Male-1:
34. On or about June 13, 2013, [FBI] Agent-2 and I interviewed
Male-1. Male-1 stated that he first met VICTOR PODOBNYY, the
defendant, in January 2013 at an energy symposium in New York City.
During this initial meeting, PODOBNYY gave Male-1 PODOBNYY’s
business card and two email addresses. Over the following months,
Male-1 and PODOBNYY exchanged emails about the energy business and
met in person on occasion, with Male-1 providing PODOBNYY with
Male-l’s outlook on the current and future of the energy industry.
Male-1 also provided documents to PODOBNYY about the energy business.
Having cooperated with the FBI in a counter-intelligence operation and later as a witness in the 2015 trial of a Russian intelligence officer, it seems implausible that Page could have been a willing secret agent of the Russians at any point thereafter. More likely, he was playing out a role assigned to him, perhaps under duress, by the FBI. Page was apparently sufficiently trusted by the FBI that he was allowed to travel to Russia several times before and after the Bureau busted the Podobnny cell in September 2014. [See FBI Affidavit for the Prosecution, http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/2015_0126_spyring2.pdf.%5D It should be pointed out that Page was never charged as an accomplice.
In addition, bear in mind that Page was never a paid Trump staffer and claims he never met Flynn and never had a single meeting with Trump. In fact, Page appears to have insinuated himself into the Trump campaign suddenly in early 2016 when it was short-handed without persons with direct foreign experience. He seemingly emerged out of nowhere. A biography in Newsweek portrayed him as something of a mystery whose role in the campaign is unclear, as is how he managed to gain nearly instant access as a junior foreign policy advisor to Trump: http://www.newsweek.com/carter-page-fbi-surveillance-us-presidential-election-russia-donald-trump-583066
Reporters who went foraging for information on him during the race for the White House found little. Within Trump’s team, no one seemed to know who hired him, or what he did for the campaign. Among U.S. businessmen who had worked in Russia, and the Russians they had worked with, few knew Page’s name. In a scathing Politico article about Page, an unnamed Western investor in Russian energy told the author: “I can poll any number of people involved in energy in Russia about Carter Page and they’ll say, ‘Carter who? You mean Jimmy Carter?’”
What’s notable here that seems to have evaded previous notice is that instead of being a Russian agent of influence, Page at the time he spang briefly into a prominent role within the Trump campaign in early 2016, was already an FBI informant, something the Russians would obviously know. This becomes even more crucial later that summer after Page returned from a business trip to Moscow when he was repeatedly named in the James Steele “dirty dossier” as a close confident of Russian energy officials and bankers. Page actually appears to have all the hallmarks of an FBI informant, or an agent provocateur, who was planted into the Trump campaign as part of an intelligence operation. Only, it seems apparent, the intelligence service he was actually serving was American rather than Russian.
That is significant for another very important reason – according to the Washington Post, the FBI obtained a FISA warrant last summer to spy on the Trump campaign under the pretext that Page was alleged to be a Russian agent. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-obtained-fisa-warrant-to-monitor-former-trump-adviser-carter-page/2017/04/11/620192ea-1e0e-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html?utm_term=.ee32735cc79b
The Russian UN employee was charged with two others in 2015. There is an interesting section in the Justice Department press release that accompanied the March 11, 2016 conviction of one of the three Russians. Seemingly overlooked by everyone are what appear to be at least some intriguing suggestions that Page is not the unwitting Russian pawn he has been made out to be by most of the media, and was instead quite aware of his role in FBI operations: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/evgeny-buryakov-pleads-guilty-manhattan-federal-court-connection-conspiracy-work
BURYAKOV worked in New York with at least two other SVR agents, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy. From November 22, 2010, to November 21, 2014, Sporyshev officially served as a trade representative of the Russian Federation in New York. From December 13, 2012, to September 12, 2013, Podobnyy officially served as an attaché to the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. The investigation, however, showed that Sporyshev and Podobnyy also worked as officers of the SVR. For their roles in the charged conspiracy, Sporyshev and Podobnyy were charged along with BURYAKOV in January 2015. However, Sporyshev and Podbonyy no longer lived in the United States and thus were not arrested.
BURYAKOV’s Co-Conspirators Are Recorded Inside the SVR’s New York “Residentura”
During the course of the investigation, the FBI recorded Sporyshev and Podobnyy speaking inside the SVR’s offices in New York, known as the “Residentura.”
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.
During subsequent recorded conversations, Sporyshev and Podobnyy discussed, among other things, Sporyshev’s SVR employment contract and his official cover position, their work as SVR officers, and the FBI’s July 2010 arrests of 10 SVR agents in the United States, known as the “Illegals.” [emphases added]
While there seem to be some remarkable coincidences, it is not known if Page is actually UCE-1 or, it seems more likely, the FBI used Page to introduce one of its own employees pretending to be a coworker in Page’s NYC-based energy trading company, who subsequently passed bugged binders to the Russians. Page was previously reported in court papers to have been identified as “MALE-1.” It’s all the more curious that Page should have two years later attached himself to the Trump campaign, and is now the central figure in “Russiagate.” Stranger still, that none of this has previously been remarked upon in any major media.
Here’s how ABC portrayed these events when it broke part of story about Page in April: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-campaign-advisor-carter-page-targeted-russian-spies/story?id=46557506
Undercover FBI agents lured Buryakov and his SVR associates, Igor Sporyshev and Podobnyy, into a trap by masquerading as well-placed business sources ripe for recruitment while using physical and electronic surveillance to gather enough information to build their case.
No reference by Newsweek or ABC to an FBI undercover employee posing as an energy analyst or the bugged binders, which suggests that Page (or an agent pretending to work with him) had more than a passive role in the electronic surveillance placed by the Bureau.
[ . . . ]
Even today, all these months later, there still has been no reference in the major media I’ve seen to Page’s apparent role as an FBI operative who helped introduce the bugged binders. That would have required a FISA warrant, years before the one the DOJ finally managed to obtain in October, 2016. FISA warrants expire, but can be renewed if new developments emerge. But, the WSJ only hints at that very significant fact:
That fall, the Justice Department requested a secret court order to monitor Mr. Page’s ties to Russia, using as part of its request information from Mr. Steele, according to people familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear whether the department had previously requested a FISA warrant on Mr. Page, who left the Trump campaign in September amid reports about his ties to Russia.
[ . . . ]
Mr. Page’s name surfaced repeatedly in the fall of 2016 in classified briefings given to high-level members of Congress, according to people familiar with the matter. That was around the same time the FBI and the Justice Department were applying for a surveillance warrant against Mr. Page in the FISA court.
A month after Mr. Trump won the presidential election, Mr. Page traveled to Russia again. There, he met again with Messrs. Dvorkovich and Baranov, among others, Mr. Page told the House panel. The following spring , Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general appointed by Mr. Trump, approved a renewal of surveillance of Mr. Page.
Here’s what the major media, can’t or as yet won’t say. Another hint: It’s in the title of the May 9, 2017 JPR report . . . “Was Carter Page an FBI Informant who wormed his way into Trump’s Campaign?” https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/is-carter-page-an-fbi-informant-who-wormed-into-trumps-campaign/Oilwellian, TRex, dreamnightwind and 32 othersSalemcourt, hopemountain, Baba OhReally, nevereVereven, kath, ThinkingANew, caliny, cleverflamingo, Fuddnik, Peace Patriot, OCMI, travelerxxx, madfloridian, Charles, mother earth, Marym625, GloriaMundi, ozoneman, Fawke Em, Pam, Shlabotnik, Stockholmer, Babel 17, bemildred, gardengoddess, A little weird, rudycantfail, duckpin, Beebee, Two way street, Koko, Odd John like this
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