Monday the Washington Post revealed that, yes, Carter Page had been the subject of surveillance authorized by the FISA court because there was strong suspicion he was consciously acting as an agent of Russia. Let’s take a moment to note that, as far as we know, there is no criminal investigation underway — FISA surveillance is for counterintelligence purposes — and, given the flood of supposedly classified information hitting the newspapers and airwaves, one has to assume there may not be much more than an investigation. Having said that, Page is under scrutiny by two congressional committees and will inevitably receive a proctological exam from some very skeptical federal agents. One would think this would be the time to pretend one was a turtle.
Does Carter Page have the worst lawyer in America? Who learns they are a FISA target and thinks, "Time to give CNN an interview!" https://t.co/8x7go0p4xN
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) April 12, 2017
That’s right. Tuesday Carter Page sat down for a long-form interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. I’m not a Tapper fanboi, but Tapper is not the guy to give an interview to when both he and his network are blatantly out to take any scalp associated with the Trump administration.
In this interview I think we learn that Page has been interviewed by the FBI:
Pressed on FBI questioning, he wouldn’t say if he had been interviewed by the FBI, but said that he looked forward to supporting congressional investigations into the matter.
“I have no comment,” Page said.
In interviews as recently as February, Page had said the FBI had not questioned him, but in his CNN interview he declined to answer.
Lest you think that was an accident, Page gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos today. Stephanopoulos may be a shameless shill but when he’s going after non-Democrats he is very tough and very quick to poke holes in any story.
There was come comedy gold:
"Something may have come up…I have no recollection." Carter Page on if he ever discussed the easing of sanctions with the Russians. pic.twitter.com/O2buQV34W8
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 13, 2017
Carter Page tells me he can't guarantee he did not discuss easing of sanctions w Russian contacts; “Let’s see what the FISA transcripts say”
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) April 13, 2017
There is a hint of sanity in here. Because everyone in the world now knows Page was under intense surveillance for months, his lawyer, whenever he comes out of a drunken stupor and realizes his client in rampaging about television newsrooms giving less than helpful interviews, will undoubtedly request the full panoply of transcripts and videos acquired by the FISA surveillance. Justice will be in a dilemma, should their case rest on those transcripts, in divulging a lot of secret information into a court record or passing on prosecution. Quintessential gray mail.
More likely, though, is that Page is making the same mistake as thousands of other guys in the same situation. He’s convinced himself that he’s smarter than the investigators and that he can explain his way out of trouble. Newsflash. No one has ever talked themselves out of being arrested. A lot have talked themselves into it.
The only other explanation is that Page has using a prison gang shower on his fantasy bucket list and is not going to let anyone stop him from having his fun.