The FBI is leaking tonight that it’s had a FISA surveillance warrant on Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page since last summer. This makes clear that the FBI has now gotten everything it needs out of that surveillance, or else it wouldn’t be tipping off Page about the surveillance. But one detail reveals that the FBI has gotten a lot on Carter Page since the warrant went into effect, and has continued to get a lot on him in more recent months.
By all accounts it’s extraordinarily difficult for a federal agency to obtain a FISA warrant on a U.S. citizen, and requires a judge’s ruling in secret court. The bar is just as high for getting a FISA warrant renewed once it’s set to expire. So this one sentence from the the Washington Post report stands out as crucial: “Since the 90-day warrant was first issued, it has been renewed more than once by the FISA court” (link). What this means is that each time around, the FBI obtained damning enough evidence to go back to the judge and successfully make the case for a longer period of surveillance.
Precisely what evidence did the FBI obtain by surveilling Carter Page for what appears to have been at least a 270 day period from the summer of 2016 through the spring of 2017? For one thing, Page has been a mere stooge in all of this all along, with a Russian spy having dubbed him as an “idiot” during the process (link). So it strongly suggests that the surveillance of Page was leading to evidence regarding the actions of more crucial players in the Trump-Russia conspiracy.
It’s also noteworthy that the FBI went back and extended the warrant on Carter Page at least once after election day, which is remarkable considering that he officially left the Donald Trump campaign in late September. That points to Page having had continued dealings, perhaps financial dealings, with other participants in the Trump-Russia election rigging conspiracy after he cut political ties. In other words, the FBI intends to use Page to get to the bigger fish, and it has what it needs. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report