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FBI Corruption

Trump orders extensive sections of the Carter Page FISA application, Strzok/Page texts declassified


By —— Bio and Archives--September 18, 2018

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This is what some of us have been asking him to do for months – and wondering what was taking so long. There are three possibilities to come from it: 1. It will prove the FBI was hiding something and tell us what; 2. It will demonstrate the much-ballyhooed redactions were mundane business and no big deal; or 3. It will reveal more ambiguities that everyone interprets according to their partisan predispositions.

What do know is that Congress has lost its patience with the redactions, and formally made a request to Trump 10 days ago to declassify not only the rest of the FISA application but also a lot more of the Strzok/Page texts, and late yesterday the president agreed to do so.

Andrew McCarthy thinks the biggest problem for the FBI may be the sections involving probable cause to suspect Carter Page had committed a crime. He has long theorized the FBI had nothing or next to nothing on Page, and that could be the reason so much of that section was redacted:

This section involving Page’s insistence that he is not a Russian agent is followed by six pages that are completely redacted. Is there smoking-gun probable-cause information hidden under these blackouts? I’d be surprised if there were, but we simply don’t know. If it can be done without compromising vital intelligence sources, it would be useful if the president ordered these pages to be disclosed.

After that, though, this probable-cause section does not even purport to add to the probable-cause showing.

The final seven of the factual recitation’s 33 pages consist of a “conclusion” that begins by merely asserting what the FBI argues the foregoing pages have established. It then moves on to what, apparently, is a description of the criminal statutes Page has allegedly violated. We have to say “apparently” because these pages are all blacked out.

Why redact Page’s alleged crimes? Is it because Page is still under the investigation and the FBI doesn’t want to tip him off about its suspicions? Is it because the “crime” allegations come from the Steele dossier and the FBI would rather not acknowledge that? Is it because the FBI, confident that no one would ever get to see this FISA-warrant application, made extravagant claims? Again, we don’t know. But what would be the harm to national security in disclosing to the public what crimes the FBI and Justice Department alleged that Page had committed? We already know they accused him of being a Russian agent complicit in an espionage conspiracy against the election. How much worse can it be?

As for the redacted portions of the Strzok/Page texts, what I would consider significant would be any reference to a) FBI leadership wanting to prioritize a Trump investigation in order to influence the election; b) any reference to Obama wanting this to happen, either factually known or understood by implication; or c) any indication by Strzok of the intention to predetermine the outcome of a Trump investigation, either because of his own hatred of Trump or that of someone up the chain.

Not seeing those things doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, but these would be the really significant pieces of information that could come from declassification of the redacted passages.

It’s possible Trump has resisted declassifying them because he knew there was nothing in them that really changes the game on this. It’s also possible there really is information in there that’s sensitive to national security. I’ve been urging him to declassify for months, but I must acknowledge that I didn’t know what was in the documents and didn’t know his reason for not having done so already.

The presumption among Trump’s defenders on this matter has long been that the FBI redacted at least some information in order to cover up its own corrupt behavior. We’re going to know very soon whether that was true.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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