Carter Page, the man at the center of the recent Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) report about how the FBI handled FISA warrants to surveil the 2016 Trump campaign, says he understands how the government watchdog didn’t arrive at its conclusion that political bias did not play a role in the FBI’s investigation.
Page, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Wire, said that political bias as most Americans understand it – that is, Democrat vs. Republican – is not what led to the FBI’s focus on him; it was policy bias.
Asked about his reaction to the IG report – which found significant errors in the form of “inaccuracies and omissions” when it came to the FBI’s FISA warrant applications against Page – the former Trump campaign aide echoed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) by saying the report was “a first step.” One of the limits of IG Michael Horowitz’s report, Page said, was that it relied on many of the same people who had been described in previous reports as having a “lack of candor.”
“I would say one of the biggest constraints is that many of the people he talked to have a track record of being less than forthcoming, as seen in some of their interviews before and after the release of the report,” Page said. “The IG report marked a positive development, but there’s a lot more to do. So, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.”
As to the IG’s conclusion – repeated ad nauseum by the mainstream media – that he did not find political bias is what caused the FBI’s malfeasance, Page said he believes that Horowitz was “being careful” and that it was policy bias, not party bias, that drove the FBI.
It’s not that Horowitz found no political bias or that it didn’t happen, Page said, it’s “just that he couldn’t firmly establish political bias.”
“The fundamental drivers of the impeachment process have an overlap with factors inherent in the IG report,” Page said. “In each instance, I would say that the primary issue wasn’t political bias per se, such as Democrat versus Republican. The defining aspect of this was instead policy bias.”
During his testimony before the Senate regarding the IG report, Horowitz told Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that they simply “could not prove” the bias, so the report laid out “what we can prove.”
Page told The Daily Wire that he had received numerous death threats throughout the media and Democrats’ portrayal of him as an enemy of the U.S. In a February 4, 2019 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Page explained that the most death threats he received came on March 20, 2017 – the same day former FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence committee. On that day, in addition to other threats, Page received a voicemail from an unknown caller, who referred to something Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said during Comey’s testimony.
“We know what the f*** you’ve been doing, you piece of s*** mother f***er,” the caller said. “You think you’re not, you know you’re not in f***ing in cahoots with f***ing [Russian energy company] Rosneft and every f***ing Russian oligarch over there? You f***ing half-wit, f***ing piece of s***. You deserve everthing you f***ing get. Every f***ing thing you get. If it was up to me, after we f***ing tried you for treason, we’d take you out in the street and beat the f***ing piss out of you with baseball bats, you cock sucking mother f***er. Next time you turn your back on your f***ing country, you’ll f***ing regret it.”
Remember, the IG report showed that the coverage of Page was unwarranted, as he had a previous working relationship with the FBI and CIA, who were aware of his Russian contacts. In sum, the IG report showed that Page was an asset to America, not Russia, in contradiction to how he had been portrayed since 2016.
Page called Schiff “completely dishonest” for the California Democrat’s repeated claims, including one recently made on “Firing Line” in which Schiff said: “It’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath.”
Page said Schiff is the one who is being dishonest, as Schiff repeatedly claims Page met with a Russian while Page said the extent of that “meeting” was a few words spoken during a receiving line after the man spoke at a conference.
In the wake of the IG report, the FBI promised to review its processes and fix them. When asked if there were any proposed fixes he thought the FBI should make, Page said it was “not so much a question of just making new rules,” but: “ensuring that people to actually follow the existing rules. This must include doing the right thing, and acting ethically as attorneys.”
As for what’s next for Page, he said he would be able to give more information “in the new year.”
“There’s a lot of follow-up I need to do,” Page said, referring to what kind of recourse he has in the wake of the IG report. “This has been a pretty historic, massive development, and it takes work to resolve some of these crimes. It’s a step-by-step rehabilitation process for our country.”
But Page wouldn’t opine about his own situation, instead reflecting on how the FBI’s actions toward him hurt the country as a whole.
“My primary concern is the damage that’s been done to the country,” Page said. “Like most people who are military veterans, we make sacrifices and there’s a bigger purpose beyond the personal impact that it’s had on just yourself.”
While the IG report laid out the corruption in the FBI’s warrant application process, another, bigger, investigation is taking place into the origins of the narrative that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. This investigation, led by prosecutor John Durham, was ordered by Attorney General William Barr and is still ongoing. Those who opposed the Russia-collusion narrative expect accountability from the Durham investigation.