According to new revelations about her testimony in July, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page dropped a big piece of information that Democrats aren’t going to be happy about.
After being on the case since at least July 2016, after all the spying, with the Obama administration even putting at least one spy next to people in the Trump campaign and an FBI “media leak strategy,” not to mention secret FISA warrants, Page testified that by the time Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May of 2017, the FBI still had not found evidence of any collusion.
From The Hill:
“It’s a reflection of us still not knowing,” Page told Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) when questioned about texts she and Strzok exchanged in May 2017 as Robert Mueller was being named a special prosecutor to take over the Russia investigation.
With that statement, Page acknowledged a momentous fact: After nine months of using some of the most awesome surveillance powers afforded to U.S. intelligence, the FBI still had not made a case connecting Trump or his campaign to Russia’s election meddling.
Page opined further, acknowledging “it still existed in the scope of possibility that there would be literally nothing” to connect Trump and Russia, no matter what Mueller or the FBI did.
“As far as May of 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question,” she said at another point.
And Ratcliffe explained his takeaway from her testimony.
From Fox News:
“I cannot provide the specifics of a confidential interview,” Ratcliffe told Fox News when asked for comment. “But I can say that Lisa Page left me with the impression, based on her own words, that the lead investigator of the Russian collusion case, Peter Strzok, had found no evidence of collusion after nearly a year.”
Now, that’s already on top of what was said by both Comey and fired FBI officials Peter Strzok.
From The Hill:
Shortly after he was fired, ex-FBI Director James Comey told the Senate there was not yet evidence to justify investigating Trump for colluding with Russia. “When I left, we did not have an investigation focused on President Trump,” Comey testified.
And Strzok, the counterintelligence boss and leader of the Russia probe, texted Page in May 2017 that he was reluctant to join Mueller’s probe and leave his senior FBI post because he feared “there’s no big there, there.”
So there was a Special Counsel appointed despite the fact that there was no evidence of collusion even with all the effort to prove it and even to make it look like it through media leaks beforehand.
As John Solomon at The Hill cogently notes:
There was no fault to the FBI checking whether Trump was compromised by Russia; that is a classic counterintelligence responsibility.
The real fault lies in those leaders who allowed a secret investigation to mushroom into a media maelstrom driven by official leaks that created a story that far exceeded the evidence, and then used that false narrative to set a special prosecutor flying downhill ahead of his skis.
No matter where Mueller ends his probe, it is now clear the actions that preceded his appointment turned justice on its head, imposing the presumption of guilt upon a probe whose own originators had reason to doubt the strength of their evidence.