[Photo: Emily Morter via Unsplash]

Ruin a Movie with a Name: Get Carter (Page)

[Get Carter by MGM c. 1971]

[NB: As always, check the byline before reading. ~Rayne]

After all the Nunes memo hubbub and the impending Democratic counterpart, erstwhile Trump campaign adviser Carter Page looks sketchier than ever after TIME reported this past Saturday that Page characterized himself as an “informal advisor to the Kremlin” back in 2013.

The FBI warned Page that same year that he was being recruited by spies; Page blew them off. During the following year the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on Page.

Page thought the FBI had retaliated against him — he knew his blow-off was pretty arrogant — but as much as he asked for trouble by saying they should focus on the Boston bombing, then as now, the body of his actions asked for more scrutiny.

Let’s take a step or two back and take a look at the bigger picture surrounding Page; the timeline here is a work in process and will be updated.

2010 — In New York City, Russian spies Igor Sporyshev, Victor Podobnyy, and Evgeny Buryakov began work on several economics-related objectives on behalf of Russia’s SVR ‘Directorate ER’; their efforts started shortly after guilty pleas by members of Russian ‘Illegals’ spy ring and their expulsion.

14 DEC 2012 — Bipartisan Magnitsky Act (Pub.L. 112–208) passed and signed into law.

XX JAN 2013Carter Page met Podobnyy in New York City at an Asia Society meeting where the topic was China and Chinese energy development. (specific date TBD).

2013 — Podobnyy and Sporyshev attempted to recruit Page. Special agents with the FBI’s New York Field Office Counterintelligence Division surveilled and investigated spies and Page.

XX JUN 2013 — FBI interviewed Page about his contacts with Russians and cautioned him he was being recruited (specific date TBD).

25 AUG 2013 — In a letter this date sent to an academic press, Page refers to himself as “an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin.”

13 APR 2013 — In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russian lawmakers banned 18 Americans from entering Russian Federation, including Preet Bharara, a judge and 12 other DOJ/DEA personnel from the Southern District of New York. Russia also barred adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens.

2014 — FBI obtains a FISA warrant to monitor Page‘s communications (specific date TBD).

26 JAN 2015 — Russian spy Buryakov arrested; he had non-official cover as an employee of Vnesheconombank. Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy had already left the country; both had diplomatic immunity. Case was under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office for Southern District of New York. Page‘s identity was masked and appeared in the complaint against the spies as “MALE-1.” (See Buryakov, et al complaint (pdf))

DEC 2015 — George Papadopoulos began work for Ben Carson’s presidential campaign as a foreign policy advisor.

Late 2015 — New York’s GOP chair Ed Cox was in contact with Page. It is not clear from Page‘s testimony how this contact occurred; Page uses the word volunteered more than once.

JAN 2016 — Page had at least one meeting with campaign officials based on his contact with Ed Cox; in his HPSCI testimony he said he met Corey Lewandowski. Page was an unpaid adviser. Unclear from testimony if Sam Clovis had Page sign an NDA now or later in the campaign, before the July trip to Moscow.

FEB 2016 — Papadopoulos left Carson’s campaign.

Early MAR 2016 — Sam Clovis recruited Papadopoulos to work for Trump’s campaign as a foreign policy advisor.

06 MAR 2016 — Clovis relayed to Papadopoulos that “a principal foreign policy focus of the campaign was an improved U.S. relationship with Russia,” according to court records related to Papadopoulos’ eventual indictment. Clovis later denied saying this.

14-21 MAR 2016 — Prof. Joseph Mifsud met twice with Papadopoulos; Mifsud brought to the second meeting “Olga” who posed as Putin’s niece.

XX MAR 2016 — Page had breakfast in “March-ish” timeframe with Sam Clovis in Falls Church, VA to discuss NDA and “general foreign policy topics.”

21 MAR 2016Page joined Trump campaign as one of five foreign policy advisors, including George Papadopoulos.

MAR-APR 2016 — Dialog continued between Papadopoulos, Mifsud, Olga Vinogradova (referred to as Olga Poloskaya in some earlier reports). [link, link]

24 MAR 2016 — Papadopoulos sends an email copying campaign foreign policy advisers and Sam Clovis, offering to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump.”

28 MAR 2016 — Article: Donald Trump Hires Paul Manafort to Lead Delegate Effort

26 APR 2016 — Papadopoulos learned the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton consisting of “thousands of emails.”

05 MAY 2016 — Trump is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Page emailed fellow foreign policy adviser Walid Phares and J.D. Gordon, asking them to contact him via cell phone or iMessage, adding “P.S. I forgot to mention that I also have the Middle East staple of [redacted]* as well. So that’s another global connectivity alternative if you want to get in touch there.” (* Believed to be the name of a regionalized communications system. See testimony transcript (pdf).)

16 MAY 2016Page sent an email to Walid Phares and J.D. Gordon, suggesting that Trump visit Russia  (see testimony transcript (pdf)).

24 MAY 2016Page emailed J.D. Gordon: “FYI: At the Newark Sky Club, Delta has a private room when you can have a confidential conversation, but, unfortunately, no such luck at Third-World LaGuardia. So I’ll mostly be on the receive mode, since there are a significant number of people in the lounge. Rather than saying too much, I’ll just refer to the seven points on my list which I sent last night.” (see testimony transcript (pdf)).

26 MAY 2016 — Page emailed J.D. Gordon and another foreign policy team member, Bernadette Kilroy, letting them know he will be speaking at the New Economic School’s commencement alongside Russia’s Sberbank’s chair and CEO  (see testimony transcript (pdf)).

27 MAY 2016Page may have met Paul Manafort associate Rick Gates at Trump’s North Dakota speech event (see testimony transcript (pdf)).

Early JUN 2016Page called Putin “stronger and more reliable than President Obama” and “touted the positive effect a Trump presidency would have on U.S.-Russia relations” according to attendees of a meeting of campaign foreign policy team members with India’s Prime Minister Modi. Modi’s trip was five days long, beginning June 8.

09 JUN 2016 — Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya et al., ostensibly about Russian adoptions.

XX JUN 2016 — After back-and-forth and an initial refusal with Corey Lewandowski, J.D. Gordon, and Hope Hicks, Page finally  obtains approval from Lewandowski to travel to Russia as a campaign team member (specific date TBD). In HPSCI testimony there is an exchange about an email he sent asking for feedback about the speech he was going to give in Moscow; same email mentions Russia’s Minister of Economics and Trade Herman Gref was expected to speak at the same event.

30 JUN 2016 — On the Thursday before his Moscow trip Page attended a dinner meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in DC at which both Sen. Jeff Sessions and George Papadopoulos were present and seated next to each other. Page testified to HPSCI this is the last time he saw Papadopoulos, and that he (Page) wasn’t going to Russia as part of the campaign team.

05 JUL 2016Page‘s trip to Russia. (05-09 JUL 2016; in his HPSCI testimony he said he left Sunday night, which would have been July 3.)

06 JUL 2016 — In his HPSCI testimony Page admits to meeting Rosneft’s Directer of Investor Relations Andrey Baranov at a Morgan Stanley-hosted Europa football event as well as [redacted] Nagovitsyn* of Gazprom; he also admitted to having a 10-second exchange with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as well as meeting members of the Duma. (* This may be Oleg Nagovitsyn who in 2014 had been CEO of Gazprom Investproekt, a subsidiary entity; Nagovitsyn has been elevated to General Director of Gazprom if this is the same Oleg.)

07 JUL 2016Page gave a speech at New Economic School; his speech is critical of U.S. foreign policy. He testified that the school paid for his expenses. (video)

08 JUL 2016Page attended and gave commencement speech at New Economic School graduation.  (videoPage avoided answering journalists’ questions both days regarding officials Page may have/will meet with in Russia. Page emailed campaign advisers Tera Dahl and J.D. Gordon, telling them he would send them “a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential administration here.”

14 JUL 2016 — Page praises fellow foreign policy advisers and campaign team members J.D. Gordon, Walid Phares, Joseph Schmitz, Bert Mizusawa, Chuck Kubic, and Tera Dahl for their work changing the GOP platform on Ukraine.

18-21 JUL 2016Page spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak during the Global Partners in Diplomacy event  associated with the RNC Convention in Cleveland (specific date TBD).

19 JUL 2016 — Former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele wrote a memo about Page‘s July trip to Moscow. Steele’s intelligence said Page met with Rosneft’s Igor Sechin and Russian Internal Affairs minister Igor Diveykin.

U.S. received intelligence that Page met with Igor Sechin, Putin associate, former Russian deputy prime minister, and executive chairman of Rosneft, but it isn’t clear whether this intelligence is based on Steele’s dossier alone and/or if disinformation involved.

After 22 JUL 2016 — Australia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Joe Hockey disclosed to the FBI that diplomat Alexander Downer learned from George Papadopoulos the Trump campaign had “dirt” on HRC in the form of emails.

XX JUL 2016Page had dinner alone with Sam Clovis some time after the July trip to Moscow.

05 AUG 2016 — Article: Trump adviser’s public comments, ties to Moscow stir unease in both parties; includes a profile of Page. Hope Hicks characterized Page as “informal policy adviser.”

19 AUG 2016 — Paul Manafort resigns from the campaign two days after Trump’s first security briefing. Steve Bannon assumes Manafort’s role for the campaign.

26 AUG 2016 — Sen. Harry Reid sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey asking for the investigation of Russian hacking and influence on the 2016 election with publication of findings. Reid cited the example of an unnamed Trump adviser “who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July 2016…” (link)

XX AUG 2016 — Page said he sold his ADR shares in Gazprom this month, approximately five months after joining the campaign; it’s not clear whether this sale happened before or after Sen. Reid’s letter (see written testimony (pdf)).

XX AUG 2016 — Page traveled to Hungary and met with the ambassador to the US; the ambassador had already met Page at the RNC convention. They discussed U.S.-Russia policy as it affected Hungary — “in general,” according to Page‘s testimony.

23 SEP 2016 — Article: U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.

25 SEP 2016Page wrote to Comey and asked him to end the investigation into his trip to Russia (see written testimony).

26 SEP 2016Page left Trump campaign.

Mid to Late SEP 2016 — After discussing the matter with Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele metwith the FBI in Rome to share what he had learned about the Trump campaign and related Russian efforts. Steele was concerned there was a crime in progress; some of his research shared included information about Page‘s interactions with key Russians during his July trip.

21 OCT 2016 — FISA warrant on Page obtained.

24-OCT-2016 — Page did an interview with Russian media outlet RT on its Going Underground program. Program host and Page characterized Page‘s status as “on leave” from the campaign. Page‘s written testimony shared that Wikileaks and leaked emails “tangentially came up.” (video, uploaded to YouTube on 29-OCT-2016.)

08 NOV 2016 — Election Day.

08 DEC 2016 — Page took another trip to Russia; Arkady Dvorkovich stopped by a dinner Page attended and said hello according to Page‘s testimony (specific date TBD). Page also met Shlomo Weber again; he had lunch with Andrey Baranov, a bank analyst with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and a third person whose names were redacted at Page‘s request. He had a laptop with him at the lunch which he said he used to share his speech and slides for another academic presentation. The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitri Peskov, said there were no plans to contact Page yet managed to see Page just before a television interview.

XX DEC 2016 — On the return leg to the U.S., Page stopped in London to attend an energy conference. While in London he met with a Russian national, Sergey Yatsenko, in London on return from Moscow; they talked about opportunities in Kazahkstan related to the country’s privatization process and the sovereign wealth fund, Samruk Kazyna. They were joined by the Kazahk ambassador to the U.K. and an aide.

10 JAN 2017 — BuzzFeed published 35 pages of the dossier Steele prepared for Orbis under contract to Fusion GPS.

Mid JAN 2017 — Jones Day LLP, White House counsel Don McGahn’s former law firm, communicated with Page, instructing him not to depict himself as a representative of the campaign. Steve Bannon conveyed a similar message by text to Page.

XX JAN 2017 — In an interview with ABC News, Page said he didn’t meet with any Russian officials on behalf of Trump campaign or with Igor Sechin (specific date not clear in ABC’s report).

18 JAN 2017 — Deadline, FISA renewal required (before inauguration).

19 JAN 2017 — Article: Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates; Page along with Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have become subjects of an investigation.

20 JAN 2017 — Inauguration Day.

31 JAN 2017 — Trump nominated Maryland’s U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General.

31 JAN 2017 — Page told ABC News’ Brian Ross he never talked to anyone in the Kremlin about the campaign during his July trip, “not one word.”

15 FEB 2017 — Interview: Former Trump adviser says he had no Russian meetings in the last year

Did you have any meetings — I will ask again — did you have any meetings last year with Russian officials in Russia, outside Russia, anywhere?

I had no meetings, no meetings.

I might have said hello to a few people as they were walking by me at my graduation — the graduation speech that I gave in July, but no meetings.

02 MAR 2017 — Interview: Page: ‘I don’t deny’ meeting with Russian amb.; Page admitted meeting Russia’s Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign.

04 MAR 2017 — Corey Lewandowski told Fox News, “I never met Carter Page.”

11 MAR 2017 — Preet Bharara fired by USAG Jeff Sessions.

11 MAR 2017Page sent a letter to the HPSCI asking to be interviewed in a public hearing. His letter coincided with letters from Paul Manafort and Roger Stone who both volunteered to be interviewed.

03 APR 2017 — ABC News and BuzzFeed contacted Page about his role as MALE-1 in Buryakov et al spy ring case ((see written testimony (pdf))

13 APR 2017Page told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he “said hello briefly to one individual, who was aboard member of the New Economic School where I gave my speech” during his July 2016 to Moscow. He also hedged as to whether he had any discussion of sanctions while in Russia.

05 APR 2017 — Evgeny Buryakov was released from prison on March 31 and expelled from the U.S. days later; he had been credited with time served while in custody against his 2.5 year sentence. His deportation shortened his sentence by a couple of months.

~19 APR 2017 — Deadline, FISA renewal required (specific date TBD).

25 APR 2017 — Rod Rosenstein confirmed by Senate as Deputy Attorney General.

28 APR 2017 — Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Page along with Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone asking for records related to the campaign, including a “list of all meetings between you and any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests which took place between June 16, 2015, and Jan. 20, 2017.”

05 MAY 2017 — Senate Intelligence Committee chair and vice chair sent a joint statement to Page to insist on his cooperation with their investigation.

09 MAY 2017 — FBI Director James Comey fired.

21 MAY 2017—Page requested appealed to the DOJ, FBI, NSA for disclosure of “information, applications and other materials related to my illegitimate FISA warrant” (see written testimony (pdf)).

~18 JUL 2017 — Deadline, FISA renewal required (specific date TBD).

04 OCT 2017 — HPSCI issued a subpoena to Page.

10 OCT 2017Page informed the Senate Intelligence Committee he would plead the Fifth Amendment and not testify in front of the SIC.

30 OCT 2017 — Excerpt from interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes suggests Page expected House Speaker Paul Ryan to release the FISA warrant documentation (video, about 06:57):

HAYES: Did you bring an attorney to you when you spent five hours before the Senate?

PAGE: Nope. Nope. I’m very, very open and happy to give all the information I can. In the interest of really getting the truth out there, because I think when the truth comes out, when Speaker Paul Ryan says the FISA warrant or the details about the dodgy dossier and what happened and all this documents around that is going to be released, that’s what I’m really excited about. And I think the truth will set a lot of people free.

02 NOV 2017 — In testimony submitted to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Page said he briefly met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich during his July trip. Page pleaded the Fifth Amendment on some of the materials responsive to the HPSCI’s subpoena.

14 NOV 2017 — Jeff Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee; he said he did not remember seeing Page at the June 30, 2016 dinner with campaign team members, nor did he recall any communications about Page‘s trip to Moscow.

Again, this is not a complete timeline of Trump-Russia events, let alone a complete timeline of everything Carter Page. It captures some key points from just before the FBI became aware of Carter Page through the release of the Nunes’ memo Friday last week.

From a comprehensive meta level, the push operation to release the Nunes memo — driven in part with help from Russian bots promoting #ReleaseTheMemo, complementing Page’s request for the FISA warrant documentation — looks less like an effort to remove Robert Mueller as special counsel or Rod Rosenstein as U.S. Deputy AG.

As others have suggested, Page looks like an expendable mule and/or a decoy — a perfect fit for a perfect useful idiot.

The entire picture reflects a more comprehensive effort to attack the USDOJ apart from Jeff Sessions, and to undermine or obscure the opposition research process which included the Steele dossier.

And it looks more like Devin Nunes aided Putin’s continued attack against the U.S.’ Magnitsky Act, attempting to undermine law enforcement charged with executing this public law.

For all the concern that Page and other campaign team members might have talked about the sanctions with Russia, the Magnitsky Act is lost in the media buzz.

There are quite a few oddities about Page which should cause the average Joe to take pause. Why did Page join the campaign in March 2016 when Trump wasn’t the presumptive nominee until the first week of May after the Indiana primary? Did he just show up at the campaign’s doorstep via Ed Cox on his own or was he recruited/encouraged? Why wasn’t Page vetted more thoroughly by the campaign?

And why when he joined the campaign was he not expected to have already eliminated any conflicts of interest like his Gazprom ADRs? The financial conflict made Page an easily compromised mark even though both campaign and administration didn’t and don’t give a fig about ethics. It’s not clear how Page earns his keep; he testified he was living off his savings. Did he sell his ADRs only because he was low on cash? In other words, was he at risk for financial compromise?

(An aside: with Page’s relationships to Russian oil and gas community members, did Page buy or sell his ADRs on what might have been insider information? He didn’t do well if he sold in August 2016 but it’s not clear when and at what price he bought the ADRs to begin with.)

How did a guy with such thin credentials — he was awarded his doctorate in 2012 after his thesis was twice rejected — end up speaking not just once at the New Economic School but twice, giving the commencement speech? Not to mention his flaky personal style spies Podobnyy and Sporyshev noted years earlier. What was in his speeches that students, faculty, and distinguished guests alike needed to hear? Did someone at the New Economic School ‘review’ an electronic or hardcopy version of the speeches in advance? This is a question the HPSCI attempted to ask but didn’t receive a clear answer. Did a member of Russia’s government ‘review’ the speeches?

Why was there such a lag between Page’s trip to Russia and the FISA warrant given Page’s history?

Some pieces in this puzzle hint at other possible connections. Recall that Rosenstein — who has been involved in the FISA warrants since Comey was fired — was the US Attorney for Maryland. Pioneer Point, one of Russia’s compounds confiscated December 29, 2016 under sanctions related to hacking the DNC, is located on the water in Maryland.

Maryland was also home to a Manafort-related business SCG raided on May 11 last year. Has Rosenstein been kept preoccupied so that he would not be involved in anything related to either Pioneer Point or SCG? Who (if anyone) was nominated to replace Rosenstein in Maryland? Has the pressure on Rosenstein been two-fold — not just to discourage another extension of the FISA warrant on Page, but to keep him from looking too closely in what was once his backyard?

Key events from George Papadopoulos’ tenure with the campaign were included in the timeline for comparison between two foreign policy advisers working for the same campaign. What marching orders did these two receive from Clovis or other senior campaign team members? They’re off doing their own things but both generating trouble at the same time. Page’s open activities drew media attention; Papadopoulos’ efforts were not as visible to the public. Was this intentional? Why did the campaign need not one but two foreign policy advisers with fossil fuel-based energy backgrounds mingling with Russians? Were they both proof-of-concepts establishing back channel communications, testing approaches to see which would be more successful? Were there any other attempts at back channels via campaign team members?

And while we’ve been focused on these two advisers, at least three others continued their work for the campaign and possibly into the transition. What were they doing?

It’s worth reading the HPSCI transcript of Page’s oral and written testimony. He’s a lousy writer; his work borders on irrational. His oral responses during the HPSCI hearing are as bad if not worse. Of particular concern is his repetitive use of certain arguments and phrases which have been use at times by online provocateurs.

Other persons and issues aside, consider this particular excerpt in a report published about a month before the FBI obtained a FISA warrant on Page:

Page came to the attention of officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow several years ago when he showed up in the Russian capital during several business trips and made provocative public comments critical of U.S. policy and sympathetic to Putin. “He was pretty much a brazen apologist for anything Moscow did,” said one U.S. official who served in Russia at the time.

How could the FBI not have requested a FISA warrant given what we the public already knew about Carter Page once he left for Moscow last July?

73 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    My eyes are still bugging out and crossing after reading all things Carter Page, including his HPSCI testimony. If anyone finds an error or something which should be added, please let me know here in comments. Thanks.

    EDIT — 10:35 am EST — If anybody has a good OCR program and some time, I would love a scanned+OCRd copy of Page’s HPSCI testimony for some quantitative analysis. I’m afraid I have some equipment limitations here right now or I’d do this myself. Hit me up in comments here if you are up to volunteering. Thanks!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Nice work.  Saved everyone else’s eyes from bugging out.  Thanks.

      Should the “19 Aug 2017” date be 2016?

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks, EoH, fixed it; that was one of the last things I entered and I was just plain fried. There’s probably more nits like that but I don’t think they’ll take away from the big picture.

        I don’t know how the hell HPSCI could stand to interview him without wanting to slap him. He’s incapable of answering a direct, simple question with yes or no. “Are your socks blue today? Yes or no?” “Well, they were black in that d0dgy d0ssier, so maybe Clinton changed them…yes, not black…”


  2. Avattoir says:

    1. “Page pleaded the Fifth Amendment on some of the materials responsive to the HPSCI’s subpoena.”
    Wait, wot? He pleaded the FIFTH? And THIS is the guy Nunes et al picked as young innocent fresh-faced Trump campaign poster boy?

    2. FWIW, I can’t find any EUFA Europa League matches played in Moscow, or anywhere in the Russian Federation, or anywhere in the Europe League on July 6, 2016. There were some Europe League matches played on July 7, 2016, but none of those were played in the Russian Federation.
    Of course, I realize that “event” doesn’t necessarily mean “match”, and I lack the craze element for EUFA & region sports.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      1. He tried to assert Fifth Amendment privileges for materials in a selective way that neither Schiff nor Gowdy thought much of.

      2. It was a viewing party in Moscow for the Portugal-Wales semi-final of Euro 2016; Page talks about Cristiano Ronaldo scoring.

      • Rayne says:

        1 – Yup. I suspect part of his attempt was driven by his NDA and others’ NDAs when he wasn’t simply being a deliberately deceptive jackass.

        2 – Exactly, the UEFA semi-final. Didn’t take long to find it by Googling the few bits he shared in testimony. Absolutely bloody amazing how he could recall Ronaldo scoring but he couldn’t remember whether he called or a Russian called him. Or who he met from the Duma.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Page called Putin “stronger and more reliable than President Obama” and “touted the positive effect a Trump presidency would have on U.S.-Russia relations”

    With quotes like that, had Page been an African American activist, he would have been under investigation by the FBI much sooner.  But that would have been the domestic counter-terrorism branch.

    It is an unusual expression for an Annapolis grad and former Naval Intelligence staffer.  Given that his struggling one-man business was built on promoting US-Russian energy deals, and how few resources he seemed to have that would allow him to do so much volunteering in US politics, it is no wonder he was worth taking a much closer look at.  The Steele dossier would have been irrelevant to that decision.

    • Trip says:

      Everything about this administration is tied to the oil industry/energy. Tillerson/Exxon, State Dept., Scott Pruitt, EPA, Flynn, nuclear energy in middle east in collaboration of Russia (that his company would make bank on), The Mercers (Breitbart funders) donated millions of dollars toward climate change denial. Then, of course, you have the Koch brothers (enough said) and their cash, with the players in Trump’s administration. Viewed through that prism, it’s no wonder Page was considered a fellow traveler.

      Like Flynn, Page could be seen as having the same motivations of a personal get rich quick scheme. Carter Page had some of his trips paid for by the New Economic School.  Of course he would be looked at, even if Steele never existed.

      • Trip says:

        Then of course, Kissinger, war criminal, pal of Putin, who Clinton respected/conferred with, and who sidled up to Trump:
        Kissinger: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

        Alan Greenspan had acknowledged what is blindingly obvious to those who live in the reality-based world: the Iraq War was largely about oil.
        Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger says in an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Post that control over oil is the key issue that should determine whether the U.S. undertakes military action against Iran. These statements would not be remarkable, but for the effort of a broad swath of the U.S. political establishment to deny the central role of oil in U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Greenspan’s remarks, appearing first in his just-published memoirs, are eyebrow-raising for their directness:
        “Whatever their publicized angst over Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in the area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy. I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”


        How Russian Oil Tycoon Courted Friends in U.S.

        “We should have kept the oil”, Donald Trump


        The wet dream of the fossil fuel industry is coming to fruition. Kissinger has been the puppet master of war, and to a large extent the chess player moving pieces (countries) on the board (see also Netanyahu, Israel).

        Many more articles exist, too many to post. That’s why I think Mueller will never reach the absolute bottom of this hellish pit. The international oligarchs are running the show.

      • orionATL says:

        it certainly is the case that the republican party operatives running the presidency for donald trump are favoring coal, oil, and gas industries.

        the immediate consequence and casualty of that gov-corporate alliance is the rapid destruction of the protections our people, all of us, repubs and dems, have built up over the last 50 years. this is an inexcusable deference by a presidency to a single industry, especially one so destructive to health and welfare as the energy industries.

        • Trip says:

          Yes, and sorry (especially to Rayne) that I deviated from the topic, somewhat. They picked the perfect sociopath in Trump, because ‘control’ is an aphrodisiac to someone like him.  He has no compunctions about lying to his base about his ‘populism’, while carrying out the exact opposite. In retrospect, I think they didn’t want Clinton, nor think Clinton would hand over the store, but Trump is doing just that, wiping away any pretense of democracy, controlling and killing all of the institutions on the way.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Trump, however, is curiously limited in what he cares to control.  Largely, it’s that everything he’s aware of has to be about him.  Everything else he’s happy to delegate by default.  In a small family-run company, dominated by a single overblown personality, one might not even notice that.  In a place like Washington, that leaves a lot of territory unaccounted for.  Hope Hicks is probably finding that out about now.

        • Trip says:

          Once a frontman, always a frontman?  Don’t forget the entanglements of money inside politics and out that kept him afloat, as well the media. That continues to this day with the curious shielding by the GOP. They’d prefer that the nation goes down in flames, as long as they come out on top. Let’s hope some of these people meet a rude comeuppance, as well as Trump.

          And yeah, Trump is all about adulation and respect (that he doesn’t deserve).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Page probably was motivated to “volunteer” in order to network and find new clients.  That’s routine.  It’s just that he was unusual in his extreme pro-Russian focus, which has been apparent for over a decade.  His sources of funds seem to be concentrated on Rusian clients, too, which might raise eyebrows in counter-intel circles.

      Page’s public persona does not fit his academic background; he seems more of a useful idiot, a patsy, than a player.  That view is also reflected in some of the Russian intercepts.  I suggest that Carter be diligent about what he buys on-line or through mail order, and that he avoid places like New Orleans and Dallas.

      • Trip says:

        Page sounded exactly like some of the commenters, pre-election, whose sole purpose seemed to be elevating Putin; How they’d rather have a leader like Putin than Obama, how Putin was a peacenik, and loved by everyone at home. While we were getting the Putin propaganda, the Russian people got Trump propaganda.


        I don’t know where Carter Page fits into any of this. He would have to be insane or insanely greedy, once already slapped and questioned by the FBI in re to his activities, unless he was an asset.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Page had been a committed Russophile for a decade before he came to the attention of the Trump campaign.  His list of degrees is impressive, but for most people, that impression would be revised on interviewing him.  The resume and the real Page are like two different people.  But Trump’s campaign seemed more, not less, interested in him.

          It would take a desperate or a determinedly Russophilic campaign to react that way.  It could probably have had its pick from among dozens of Ivy Leaguers, panting for the job given to Page.  He seems attractive because of his inconsistencies: a resume that attracts attention; a slippery, juvenile demeanor that’s hard to take seriously; Russian and Russian language experience; and distinctly pro-Russian views.  The inconsistencies would have been a red flag to the typical corporate HR recruiter, let alone a typical Republican presidential campaign.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          This Julia Ioffe profile of Carter Page, from September 2016, pretty much sums him up: stranichkin, meaning “little page”.

          At least that’s what was said by the few Russians she found who had heard of him (most of her sources hadn’t). According to Page’s former boss at Merrill, Moscow, who was more direct than the typical American HR staffer, Carter was:

          someone “without any special talents or accomplishments,” someone who was “a gray spot.” “What can you say about a person who in no way [is] exceptional?”

          (Emphasis mine.)  That’s the impression left by someone who had spent seven years with Merrill, who worked at their NYC, London and Moscow offices, and who had good degrees from Annapolis, Georgetown and NYU’s Stern School of Business. Bit of a disconnect, I’d say, between the resume and the accomplishments.

          The senior executives whom Ioffe talked to about the Russian deals that Page claimed to have worked on for Merrill hadn’t heard of him.  That is, except for the Russians who did most of the work on them.  Said one,

          “When you’re dealing with a pro, you see it. Page, unfortunately, did not leave that impression.”

          Page’s boss at Merrill, Moscow – who was available to an American reporter and presumably could have been reached by a competent campaign attempting to vet a wannabe “presidential foreign policy advisor” – concluded that Carter,

          “mildly speaking, [was] not competent in the field of energy….[J]udging by the drivel he spews on Russia, you can tell he doesn’t really understand the topic.”

          Trump’s putative adviser on Russia and energy and foreign policy, in other words, “did not create the impression of someone who was intellectual or well-educated, or someone who was in any way interested or knowledgeable in foreign policy”.

          Makes you wonder why the Trump campaign wanted him.  Makes me pity the UCL examiners who were persuaded, on Carter’s third attempt at passing his oral examination, that Page had earned his PhD, despite knowing little about Marxism, state capitalism or the Russian energy business.  Amazing what bumptious bluster and rants about “discrimination” – or a guardian angel  – can do.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Correction and apologies: Page’s PhD was from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), not UCL.

      • ap says:

        Remember, this was when Trump was beginning to seal the nomination – he scrambled for any foreign policy ‘hands’ that would raise them. Establishment folks who actually had knowledge of foreign policy were still keeping distance. He had to put together a team quickly.

        Page had already proven himself valuable at getting his name in the news. I’m sure someone just printed out his fluffed up LinkedIn, he saw some foreign countries and that was good enough for Trump.

        As for Marci’s question about vetting – I think we can safely say there was no vetting going on during this campaign at all. I don’t think they even had a clue what Manafort’s readily available past contained.

        • Rayne says:

          I might buy the scramble for foreign policy team members, but this team was the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

          How did Page have publicity before his July speech became a problem? His identity had been masked in the Buryakov spy case and he hadn’t been able to get published.

          Also take note this was not Marcy’s post — see the note at the very beginning marked NB (nota bene)? My question was snarky – they should have vetted, used some vetting we can’t comprehend, and in all likelihood it was the same kind of vetting that earned us Betsy DeVos who believes kids with guns in the classroom will be safer from all-too-common bear-in-K12-school attacks.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          If the Don likes you, he waives you aboard.  If not, it doesn’t matter, regardless of qualifications.

          The list of people wholly inappropriate for the jobs Trump has given them is long.  The most recent, Rob Porter, just left the White House under a cloud for having allegedly assaulted two former wives.  (He was allegedly dating Hope Hicks.)

          A Mormon Harvardian, his alleged conduct would have been among the easiest things for the FBI agents checking his security clearance to find.  This White House knew about that alleged conduct and his lack of clearance and hired him anyway.  COS Kelly just repeated his declaration that he thought Porter was “a man of high integrity”. (Note to self: Never rely on a recommendation from John Kelly.)

          Porter used to read everything that was supposed to reach the president’s desk, a job normally requiring the best judgment and the highest of clearances.  He had none.  The Don isn’t smart enough not to conspire with the Russians.

        • Rayne says:

          I didn’t realize until I read the first news report that Rob Porter was Mormon — explains Hatch’s protective attitude toward him, innately misogynist as it is towards Porter’s ex-wives. Which makes me wonder if the vetting for Porter was different than others in the WH; did Hatch vouch for him somewhere along the line? Was Porter a plant for other Mormon-approved GOP? I can’t help think of the other Mormon/Mormon-assisted executive branch folks we’ve seen in the past, like Kyle Sampson and Brett Tolman who figured in the Bush admin’s U.S. Attorneys’ dismissals scandal.

        • posaune says:

          Really?   this guy had NO clearance at all and had access to Frump’s desk?   I don’t know why I’m shocked at this.  I shouldn’t be at this point.  But gee whiz, how low will this go?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The Don is at the pinnacle of the security clearance system, although ordinarily the bureaucracy controls who gets one, mostly according to predetermined, conservative standards.  The president can make exceptions.  The Don’s rationales for his are as uninformed, selfish and counter-productive as his other actions.

          As for Kelly, he couldn’t very well keep working for the Don, or himself, if he thought ill of another misogynist.  These men are moral leaders, the role models for America.  Fundamentalists are cheering their misogyny and turning a blind eye to their violence.  What could go wrong?

        • Trip says:

          General Kelly has established himself as a decaying old fossil, who needs to be put in a museum so visitors can gawk about what once was.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Porter had a, “temporary clearance”, normally a stop-gap status for someone likely to obtain a full clearance.  The level isn’t described; there are many.  Like Trump’s Senate confirmation-avoiding nominees – so-called temporary heads who overstay the legal limits on being “temporary” – Porter’s temporary clearance seemed to have no cut-off date.  It’s a dodge that avoids an outright presidential waiver, but amounts to the same thing.  A typical one-off exception to normal process for a president for whom “no” never means no.

          It seems unlikely that Porter deceived anyone, except perhaps his ex-wives and Hope Hicks.  Interviewing current and ex-wives and family is always high on the security clearance investigatory to do list.  Yet, Kelly’s description of Porter as a “man of true integrity”, is a characterization he just reaffirmed.  I wonder how that would stand up if Porter were subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  General?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Porter’s behavior seems routinely predatory, with a dose of unmanageable anger.  SAD, because its liable to expose the predatory character beneath the charm and Ivy League resume.  Her attractiveness aside, Hicks would have been the perfect date to keep that sort of personality inside the White House.

        • posaune says:

          I remember when my oldest brother (at age 18) was accepted into the US Marine Band (“President’s Own”) during the Nixon Administration.  He had to get a general clearance and a higher level one to perform at the White House.  Until the higher clearance level was approved, his sole assignment was playing for funerals at Arlington.  In the meantime,  the FBI showed up in our little Illinois farm town (popl 5,000)  to interview the neighbors, family and his 3rd grade teacher, Sister Peter Marie.    It was the town’s gossip of the year.

        • Trip says:

          The Devos enlist either had to do with the Mercers via Bannon or Flynn, who was buds with Prince. In his book, Flynn asserted that propaganda needed to be taught in schools regularly. Bannon envisioned a ‘lofty’ Christian religious war against Muslims.  Thus, you have the slow mechanisms for a state religion, with all of this ‘religious freedom’ hogwash. These people are awful, but vetted, for their purposes.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Regarding Rob Porter, I missed that he was a Rhodes Scholar.  Wiki does not list his college at Oxford or his sport.  His thesis was on the political philosophy of C.S. Lewis, an acclaimed Christian.

          Porter’s father is a tenured professor at Harvard and friend of George H.W. Bush.  Porter interned on the Hill and in the White House, and spent his two years as a missionary after his first year at Harvard.

          All the perks, all the opportunities.  Good Mormon upbringing.  Hard to find a more privileged background.  And he allegedly beats his wives. 

          Mr. Porter explains that he allegedly beat his second wife because his first marriage was so “toxic”, what with the alleged wife beating and all.  It was hard on him.  Rob is unlikely to do well in talk therapy, at least until he runs out of wives.

          General Kelly, how would you rate that self-assessment, if it had come from a lieutenant fresh out of Basic School?  An officer of potential and “true integrity”?

        • dalloway says:

          Gee.  Almost seems as if a privileged upbringing (along with male genitalia and white skin) gives you a massive sense of entitlement and exemption from the rules that apply to the rest of us.  But that couldn’t be right, could it?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Well, the reference to talk therapy was a dig.  The misogyny; the pride in power and dominance, hidden by surface charm and an aura of righteousness; the expectation of immunity; the expectation that women are subservient and that violence against them is natural; the idea that the explanation must lie anywhere but with the perpetrator.  These things don’t spring up out of nowhere.

          Good looks, athleticism and intelligence – and society’s responses to them – explain only part of the sense of entitlement.  Family and one’s immediate cultural environment are often implicated.  If the seed isn’t bad, it’s where it grows.

          Those aren’t answers, but places to look for them.  Without the me too movement, we might not even try.  Given the future access to power such personalities have, and the immunity they wield by having it, I would say looking would be a good idea.

        • Trip says:

          @ap, There’s plenty of reason to reject the notion that they (the campaign and Trump) were naive and didn’t know any better. If you recall, Trump had a long line of friendly politicians in his past. To name a few, there is NJ Gov Chris Christie, once NJ AG, as well as NYC mayor Giuliani, prior prosecutor (who still talks to retired FBI agents, who supposedly talk to current FBI agents). It’s hard to believe that neither would have advised him, and even more difficult to believe that Rudy wouldn’t have had any inside dirt about Carter, being that the case took place in the Southern District of NYC, under Preet Bharara. Not to mention you have a Koch who pays to stay at Maralago, although it is unclear when that membership began.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Trump learned whatever he knows about such things at the feet of Roy Cohn.  Naive doesn’t enter into it.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the feedback. Knowing Iranians favored a particular video conferencing service for some time (one not popular here), I wasn’t going to make that assumption about other parts of the middle east.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Page pretty much spells it out in his testimony (p. 30): WhatsApp is the one that costs a dollar a year and has a huge presence in the Middle East (including Israel); Viber is the other one.

        • Rayne says:

          I wouldn’t automatically assume WhatsApp because Facebook’s mission when it acquired WhatsApp in 2014 was to migrate toward a comprehensive, integrated free service model, and WhatsApp killed the $1 fee in January 2016.

          Unless like everything else he’s said/done, Page was sketchy about communications apps. I certainly wouldn’t use a communications app requiring a payment method which would personally identify me if I was intent on not being detected/caught.

  4. Domye West says:

    What an insane timeline. Thank you.

    I’m super lazy; If possible, is there any way you could make it so that the links take us directly to where we need to go, especially in regards to Page’s testimony transcript? It’s rough clicking the link, and having to comb through the +240 pages to find specific sections. Thanks

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, sure, in my free time I’ll just convert this 243-page PDF file to HTML, upload it as a massive new page, create a new id H class, embed a few dozen id bookmarks in the new page, then add the cross-matching href link from this timeline.

      Which is a long way of saying not any time soon, sorry. If someone OCRs the testimony it’d help accomplish a big part of the job; the plain text could be uploaded as a new text-searchable document. But I can’t do it as I indicated upthread.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        Recall the crooked PDF problem.

        PDFs are all well and good in various scenarios, many times the only option.

        But it is the crooked PDF that is a big problem which just throws a monkey wrench into the gears of OCR programs.

        It makes converting to searchable plain text very much a pain.

        Not saying that is an issue in this instance, but it certainly can be.

        • Rayne says:

          Dude. Save the mansplaining. I’ve done OCR on legal docs for lawyers and accountants; there are people in our readership who do this regularly, too. These docs are pretty straightforward. I simply don’t have the equipment with capacity and software right now and I’m hoping somebody out there does.

  5. harpie says:

    Oh, man, Rayne! I’m having a difficult time just getting through the transcript. [ugggh]
    Don’t know how you managed all this, but thank you.

  6. matt says:

    I watched Carter Page’s July 7 NES speech in Moscow.  If Page wrote his speech he is worthy of his credentials, but maybe he’s just a PR guy who was given the speech to read.  He obviously believes in an alternative foreign policy strategy between the US-China-Russia.  A “multi-polar” approach as described by Robert Parry vs. the neocon model of US Imperial Hegemon.

    And, sure- as any opportunist would, in our global capitalist social structure- he got paid and made investments in companies with whom he was connected, or for whom he was paid to advocate for.  Nothing unusual there, even if the bedfellow was Putin or Russia.

    Did he help to broker the stolen emails or negotiate quid pro quo for Russian interference/support? Maybe.  But there is an easy explanation for why he was picked by Sam Clovis- he was already advocating for the energy and foreign policy shift that was gaining steam as the necocon alternative.  Surely Podobnyy and Sporyshev made an impression on him as to their point of view regarding global politics.  With “slim pickin’s” of foreign policy advisers who held these views it’s no wonder senior campaign officials settled with the lackluster likes of Carter Page.

    This begs the question.  Who are the real power brokers who have aligned themselves with this alternative to status quo energy/foreign policy?  The ones who are recruiting the likes of Page and Papadopoulos? The ones who are already invested on the ground floor of a new global paradigm?  The ones who are pulling the strings of POTUS?

    My biggest fear is that the little fish and the dumb-ass POTUS are going to take the fall (which admittedly will be very satisfying) for criminality in the 2016 election, and there will be cheering and fist bumping… yet lost in the celebration will be issues way more important to the future of our American Democracy.  That is, our unchallenged Global Hegemony narrative, and the disgusting reality that both the Democratic Party and Republican parties have usurped state and national democratic elections with the abominations of unlimited/undisclosed campaign finance, party favoritism, voter suppression, and gerrymandering.

    I hope after Trump is long gone EW will dive deep into these other issues and keep up the great work informing us about surveillance and privacy issues.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, as with any useful front man, others pull the strings and pursue unknown strategies.

      It took smarts, discipline and determination to do well at Annapolis, Georgetown and NYU.  UCL was about independent thinking, not following the coursework.  That’s where he had trouble and turned to bluster (and/or someone else’s juice) to get out of it.

      Page’s being so pro-Russian would seem to require his favoring Russia’s oil and gas industry, a perspective he would have adopted when working for Merrill in Russia and which led to his dissertation work.  That’s true not just because of its obvious impact on the Russian economy,  but because of the Russian individuals behind and pushing it.  As in the US, but more so (because ownership and control are more personal), Russian oil and gas is as much about foreign policy as about economic and political power.  Ask the western Europeans when it gets cold at night.

      • bell says:

        nato and who is yanking their chain is as much about fp /eco/poli power too, and of course we know who yanks there chain regularly – the usa! keep all those poodles in line, lol…

        good post matt.. don’t expect any of that to get examined more closely.. that would be like examining the actual details around the arrival of the magnitsky act – which ain’t gonna happen!

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Keep in mind why Crude Oil is so important.

      The Global Economy requires potable fuel.
      Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. (I think that was a movie). But more importantly, Tractor-Trailers. And *MOST* importantly, Ships.

      There are no Nuclear powered container ships.
      There are no Solar powered container ships.

      There are no regions or countries that are self-sustaining anymore. The US used to be until 70’s oil shock.

      Now everyone is dependent on others globably.

      And in order to continue the status quo, everyone is dependent on shipping.

      Therefore, everyone is dependent on crude oil.

      But, this is not sustainable.
      Beside the greenhouse gas effect, and global warming, the crude is harder (more expensive) to get.

      And ask yourself, how much energy is wasted transporting energy. I.E., a ship transporting crude oil.

      Who knows how long this can continue?

      But shorter term, everyone should try to push solar where possible. That will not fix the potable fuel problem for shipping, but it can help.

      The problem as I see it, is that the PTB are living in the past and can not fathom alternative energy sources.

      • Trip says:

        The problem is also that the would be partners in the partnership, including the faction in charge of the US now, want to mirror the Russian governmental structures and systems; kleptocracy, money and power only at the top. The Rape the earth, steal from the people, corral them up in religion, put women back in chains, take away the citizens’ rights and bargaining by freeing up rules at the top, restricting them at the bottom, round up the undesirables, imprison, deport, starve, let them die of disease, silence dissent, don’t step out of line, we’ll still bomb you oligarch crew. 

        No disrespect to the late Mr Parry, but the US/GOP Koch-brand want the same exact extreme kleptocracy system in government like in Russia (yes, I know, it has been moving in that direction before Trump), where critical journalism is also not welcome, nor would he be if he had stepped out of line. Further, some of the current movers ARE neocons. When there are people who are considered subhuman, and leaders are indifferent to their plight, there will always be conflict. It’s not a kumbaya, everyone gets along and wins, and we keep our democracy scenario, that I think he was hoping for.

      • Rayne says:

        Your lecture is stale. We all know this. We would not be using fossil fuels to this degree if oligarchic PTB had not already amassed enough capital to buy and capture government adequate to suppress and overcome the public’s demand for alternative energy. Now that solar power is cheaper than oil, it’s difficult for PTB to continue their suppression without outright autocracy — which is where we are, and why Trump instituted tariffs on solar energy. They also know that oil has an end, which is why Saudi Arabia is looking at nuclear power and massive solar farms, but they expect us to fund it by continuing to burn oil. Never mind Russia screwing with that model by manipulating supply; only the Chinese seem to have it figured out.

        The PTB also know full well the USDOD is the largest consumer of energy on earth; its fuel requirements are the biggest single budget line item. As long as they control the government, they control this expenditure.

        And they don’t give a fuck about us. The PTB have enough cash to hole up and let us all die fighting it out for shade, water, food after they’ve burned down the planet. Fuck them. Eat the 1% before they barbecue us.

        • posaune says:

          And then there’s Exelon, that wants to kill solar so that the grid-based rate payer is shackled with fixed fees for ‘access.’

          All to fund the decommissioning of 3-Mile-Island and all the other deteriorating nuclear facilities whose owner for decades have not ponied up the reserve funds FERC requires — while DOE looks the other way.

          In short order, Exelon will control the entire East Coast grid — they have MD, DC, PA, VA, MA now and no stopping in sight.

    • Rayne says:


      This begs the question. Who are the real power brokers who have aligned themselves with this alternative to status quo energy/foreign policy?

      If you’ve read some of Jim White’s recent posts here, I think we already have answers.

      As for Page’s speech: this is not the speech one gives as a campaign adviser on the doorstep of a nation-state under sanctions during another president’s term. It’s one given after sanctions have expired, possibly from home after some prep work. Otherwise one is simply asking for investigation after having been warned several years ago about recruiting by a nation-state.

  7. SpaceLifeForm says:

    “The entire picture reflects a more comprehensive effort to attack the USDOJ apart from Jeff Sessions, and to undermine or obscure the opposition research process which included the Steele dossier.”

    Fusion GPS like a tout service?
    Playing both sides of same game for profit?
    Why would GOPers want to undermine or obscure oppo research like Fusion GPS? Perhaps they want to hide something. Perhaps Fusion GPS has way more to reveal.


  8. JAAG says:


    Gates’ lawyers withdrew. The other firm, who were seen in and out of Mueller building. stay on.  So, he had two teams working in overlapping roles for a while? Doesn’t bode well for the hope that he needs to save some money and keep the family safe, fwiw.

    • Rayne says:

      I haven’t followed Gates’ situation with attorneys closely enough, but I thought I read somewhere that the new team was a better fit when negotiating a deal, suggesting that Gates flipped. Anybody else have more on this?

      • JAAG says:

        The news is now saying the old lawyers were citing “irreconcilable differences”. Not an answer to your exact question.

        EW said something on twitter about the withdrawal. So she will probably work it into a post when its relevant.


        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Irreconcilable Differences.  Sounds like a sex drama starring Michael Douglas, or Fred MacMurray.  The phrase is standard jargon that helps to avoid publicly explaining what the conflict between lawyer and client was really about.   Similar language was used in divorces, for similar reasons, until not too long ago.

          It covers many possibilities.  Differences over revealing certain facts, over strategy or use of witnesses, over the story line to use in crafting a defense, or over the necessity of cooperating with a prosecutor.  It could cover disagreements about which lawyer was top dog.  It could be about not being paid, as in the excuse that a certain Mr. Green could not be found.

          In high-profile political cases, and it doesn’t get any higher profile than this, it might be about not cooperating with other defendants in a way that keeps common secrets secret, or cooperation that might give up the location of the sally port to the chieftain’s castle.

          The possibilities are many, as they are in a divorce.  But the probabilities seem to be about secrets and a willingness to cooperate, association with which might put a damper on these attorneys obtaining future clients.  In many ways, DC is still a small southern town with a long memory.

  9. JAAG says:

    In every spy movie we have ever seen the FBI would try to flip CP at the first sit down or soon thereafter.  Is there any reason to think he was half cooperating with one or both sides?  This seemed to work for Sater, for years.

    Are we supposed to believe that he CIA/FBI never met with him again? really just once, early on? The former boss-spies are all eager to talk with TV networks and are setting up regular gigs doing it.

    Clapper, Brennan etc, doth protect (the agency) too much.  Something is up.


  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump reading his speech at a prayer breakfast.  The least energetic, most painfully read speech in a long time.  Perhaps his heart’s not in it.  The raccoon-eyes from the tanning bed don’t improve the effect.  The nominal applause is likely to make the Don take the Lord’s name in vain, as soon as he’s off camera.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks so much, TomVet. I hope I can figure out why I can’t open the link, might be some security measures at my end. Much appreciated, though.

  11. Steve McIntyre says:

    chronologies are always good.

    you say that “as much as [Page] asked for trouble by saying they should focus on the Boston bombing..”

    I was interviewed by UK counter-intelligence in 2010 in wake of Climategate hack. I was interviewed as one of approximately 50 people who had submitted FOI requests to University of East Anglia regarding supposed confidentiality agreements that prevented them from supplying temperature records. I asked whether such agreements existed for 5 named countries. The counter-intelligence officer asked me a variety of irrelevant questions, including my opinions on climate change. He asked me the same questions as every other interviewee FOI requester who was interviewed. We compared notes while this was going on. He didn’t ask me anything about Climate Audit, even about the link to the emails published in comments by the hacker at Climate Audit.

    I somewhat snarkily suggested to the counter-intelligence officer that his time would surely be better spent investigating Al Qaeda (or, as matters turned out, the allied Libyan Fighting Group in Manchester) – a sentiment that the officer probably agreed with, but he had his orders.

    While my comment was snarky, I don’t think that it would justify retaliation by an intelligence service, nor do I agree that Page’s slightly snarky remark ought to have made a target either.

Comments are closed.