Pre-Dossier Carter Page: Russian Spy … or FBI Honor Scout? by Paul Sperry

New revelations keep undermining the Russiagate fable. From Paul Sperry at realclearinvestigations.com:

The FBI’s interview with Carter Page in March 2016 is one of the seminal events of the Trump-Russia probe. Democrats have long pointed to it as evidence of the bureau’s longstanding fears that Page might be a Russian spy and to downplay the role of the Clinton-financed dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele in securing a FISA surveillance warrant against Page.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence panel. Top photo: Carter Page at a Moscow press conference in December 2016.

“The FBI interviewed Page multiple times about his Russian intelligence contacts, including in March 2016,” Rep. Adam Schiff and other Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee argued in their 10-page memo defending the Obama Justice Department’s monitoring of Page. “The FBI’s concern about and knowledge of Page’s activities therefore long predate the FBI’s receipt of Steele’s information.”

But new information challenges that account. In an interview with RealClearInvestigations, Page insists that the interview in question – held at then-U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s office in New York — had “absolutely nothing” to do with the Trump campaign or Russian collusion. Instead of being grilled about shadowy ties, he says he answered questions “related to events in 2013, in a case where I had served as a witness in support of the FBI.”

In 2013, a Russian national working as an unregistered foreign agent at a Russian bank in Manhattan sought information from Page, a longtime energy consultant, related to U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources, according to court papers filed by the FBI. Although Page thought the man was a legitimate banker after meeting him at an energy symposium in New York City, he was a Russian agent under federal investigation. He was later caught on surveillance dismissing Page as an “idiot.”

The FBI informed Page in 2013 that the Russians might be trying to recruit him.

Evgeny Buryakov, center, in a sketch of the 2016 courtroom proceeding where he pleaded guilty. Carter Page helped convict him.
AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams
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