This killer observation by @AndrewCMcCarthy brings into focus another key issue: what was the role of the FISC judge in granting this Title I warrant against Carter Page?
Even if you believe the allegations against Page contained in the Steele memo and Isikoff article, they don’t establish probable cause that Page was a foreign agent of Russia. And the kicker? Even if he was, there is no evidence he breached Federal criminal law. It’s not a breach of a Federal criminal law to listen to a Russian talk about possible lifting of future sanctions with an private US citizen. It’s also not a crime to listen to a Russian talk about possibly having dirt on Clinton. EVEN IF you are a foreign agent.
To be clear : Carter Page was NOT a foreign agent of Russia. There has not been one scintilla of evidence produced that comes close to proving that he probably was. If he was, Mr Page would have been indicted and disappeared from view a long time ago.
Remember Aldrich Ames (CIA)? It is estimated that information Ames provided to the Soviets led to the compromise of at least a hundred U.S. intelligence operations and to the execution of at least ten U.S. sources. [1]
Furthermore, Ames’ betrayal of CIA methods allowed the KGB to use “controlled agents” to feed the U.S. both genuine intelligence and disinformation from 1986 to 1993. [2]
To PROVE that, the FBI and DOJ had to surveil him 24/7, go through his trash, monitor his communications and even demonstrate payments from Moscow to Ames coinciding with specific events, eg Page handing over classified intel. A monumental task. The point being that Ames was a PROVEN foreign agent of Russia, because the EVIDENCE revealed clear intention and then execution on his part, to exchange classified intelligence to with Moscow for money.
All clear violations of American criminal and civil laws.
Now, IF there was credible evidence of Page conspiring with known FSB agents – and then an actual trail of communications with Team Trump proving the conspiracy alleged, it might be possible to prove not only that Page was he a foreign agent, but that he was ALSO engaged in clandestine activities in that capacity, in a way that breached US Federal criminal law.
But what did the FBI/DOJ appear to provide to the FISC? A dossier of allegations that Page vehemently and credibly denies, plus an Isikoff article. Another thing – the FBI had ample opportunity to notify Page and then question him about the Steele dossier allegations, BEFORE making the FISA application.
Why? They had known him well for years.
There’s credible evidence that he actually worked undercover for the FBI and was still doing so in early 2016:
In March 2016 Carter Page Was an FBI Employee – In October 2016 FBI Told FISA Court He’s a Spy. In 2013 Carter Page was working as an “under-cover employee” (UCE) of the FBI, helping them to build a case against “Evgeny Buryakov”.  [3]

Also, Page himself admits that over the years he had regularly briefed the FBI and CIA, because of his expertise in Russian affairs:

Carter Page: I regularly briefed CIA, FBI Former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page tells Chris Hayes that over the years, from time to time, he has been consulted by the CIA and FBI for his Russia expertise. [4]
So if Page was known to the FBI for so long, why didn’t they question Page about the Steele dossier as soon as the allegations emerged – and BEFORE applying for a FISA? Why would you reflexively seek a Title I FISA warrant on someone who posed no ostensible risk? An honest FBI leadership would have suspected the dossier’s allegations about Page to be dubious and would be anxious to clarify with him. There wouldn’t even be discussion of placing him under Title I surveillance. It makes no sense.
Of course, it makes no sense and we know why. Page was not a foreign agent of Russia. The allegation is ridiculous and not just unproven, but based on fake evidence. Page selected by these scum as a sacrificial lamb, to try and frame Trump. What should frighten everyone is how casual they were willing to destroy innocent people, in order to achieve their ends. Page, Trump, anyone who got in their way. And how the current Democrats under the detestable Schiff are STILL willing to do it. These Obama and Clinton stooges are truly vile, disgusting people. I wonder who else they targeted and ruined over the Obama years. Its reasonable to assume that we should be prepared to learn that they had unmasked (with or without FISA) and targeted citizens MANY times before. But back to the first question – what was the role of the FISC judge in all of this? At this stage, we just don’t know. It’s true that the FISC had become a rubber stamp for FISA warrants. Mainly because the FISC assumed the relevant FBI/DOJ compliance had already been done.
But you have to ask yourself – if you’re a FISC judge and Obama people ask to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, in the middle of an insane election riven with allegations of Trump-Russia collusion – AND you know the 1st FISA warrant was denied, wouldn’t you be skeptical? If you saw even the slightest hint of the evidence being political in nature (eg, the obscure footnote Schiff outrageously says discloses the nature of the dossier), wouldn’t you at least ask two basic questions : such as, ‘tell me who paid for the dossier, how much was paid for it?’ Especially given that the target, Carter Page, was not able to defend himself in an ex-parte proceeding. It seems more than odd to me, but then again I am not a FISC judge and none of us have seen the transcript. Also, these DOJ/FBI crooks were exceedingly good at lying.

At the moment, I guess we have to give the FISC the benefit of the doubt. But there’s no doubt it now has a credibility problem. Under Obama, the entire FISA process became corrupted and weaponized:

Operation Condor – How NSA Director Mike Rogers Saved The U.S. From a Massive Constitutional Crisis… This outline is the story of how the FBI Counterintelligence Division and DOJ National Security Division were weaponized. [5]

Some good progress has been made. We have the scathing rebuke below of Obama’s dogs, by FISC Chief Judge Collyer (April 2017). That reveals the s702 violations, which were widespread and extremely disturbing (and which Obama had to have known about) [6]

In that spirit, we deserve to see the entire FISC file on the Page application, including the hearing transcript and actual application documentation, so we can know the truth.

And to expose liars like Schiff, who seek to damage the Republic.


The end.


[1] NY Times

[2] TandfOnline

[3] Conservative Tree House

[4] NBC News

[5] Conservative Tree House