[ Editor’s Note: I had not seen this yesterday. The article on Politico is from Harding’s book, and includes FBI intercepts of the Russians in NY City that were “working” Page, who was a classic man on the make, and in over his head as you will see.
There are still some questions about Page as he had a strong profile of someone being groomed with all the “good breaks” that seemed to flow his way over the years. British schooled academics are a huge magnet for spy recruiting, by everybody.
Another good tidbit here is that the FISA renewals, four I think, of the surveillance on Page were done by four different judges, all appointed by Republicans. This also seems to have been overlooked in adding to the Nunes memo. Imagine that, the man who can point out what the FBI leaves out, but not what he does. Does that sound like something a political player would do?
Wherever you stand on this controversy, including those that want your side to win purely because it is your side, you will need to be aware of what is in this review.
Page got into Trump’s team during the initial chaos when Trump was winging it, surrounding himself with real degrees. Page had pumped himself up out of proportion, something a man like Trump would know a lot about … Jim W. Dean ]
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… The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.
…PODOBNYY: [Male-1] … He [Page] flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.
SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.
…The FBI presented its evidence before a secret tribunal— the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, court, which handles sensitive national security cases. The bureau argued that there were strong grounds to believe that Page was acting as a Russian agent. The judge agreed. From this point on, the FBI was able to access Page’s electronic communications. An initial ninety-day warrant was later renewed.
…As the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, Steele’s research formed only part of the application. Four separate federal judges approved these renewals. All were appointed by Republican presidents.
Luke Harding is a foreign correspondent at the Guardian. Excerpted from the book Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win published by Vintage Books, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2017 by Luke Harding.
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