An apology to Carter Page

Early on, Horowitz found that an unnamed government agency, widely acknowledged to be the CIA, told the FBI that it was making a mistake about Page and that he was working for the agency as an “operational contact” in Moscow. Indeed, he was working as an asset for the CIA for years. While it was falsely reported that Page met with three suspicious individuals there, he had no contact with two of those individuals. More importantly, Page did the right thing and told American officials about being contacted by the third person, because he felt they should know.

It gets even worse. Throughout Operation Crossfire Hurricane, evidence continued to flow into the FBI that Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the infamous dossier, was unreliable and working against the election of Trump. Not only was he known to be trying to get this false information to the press, but evidence mounted that he misrepresented sources and stated false information. While it took long, someone at the Justice Department finally decided to act on the FISA matter regarding Page. The official in charge of FISA applications, Kevin Clinesmith, was told to ask the CIA again about whether Page had been working for the agency. He was again told that Page in fact was, yet Clinesmith allegedly changed the CIA response to describe Page as not working for it. He is now being criminally referred by Horowitz for falsifying that information…

As Horowitz has now stressed, there is a difference between starting an investigation based on mere allegations and continuing the investigation based on known falsehoods. His report documents how direct exculpatory information was quickly shared with the FBI. I do not know anything about Page other than what I have read in these reports. All I know is that he is an American citizen put under a secret surveillance operation based on a dossier shown to be both unfounded and unreliable. He then remained under surveillance with three renewals of secret warrants, even though the FBI was told repeatedly that Page was working with the CIA and that the dossier used to obtain those warrants was considered unsupported. Finally, Page was the subject of an alleged falsification of a document presented to the FISA court to obscure that exculpatory information.

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