On Friday, House Republicans released their classified memo attacking the FBI and the Justice Department. This memo played to the GOP voting base but left Fox News’ Shepard Smith mocking the lack of a smoking gun within cherry-picked facts. The document was intended to illuminate alleged abuses in securing a FISA warrant for surveillance of Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who has extensive Russian ties and lived in the country for five years.
Page, who gives excruciatingly shifty interviews and was likely targeted for recruitment as a Russian spy, has denied helping Russia interfere with the U.S. presidential election. However, Time has dug up a 2013 letter, in which he boasts about advising the Kremlin on a prior occasion. Here’s the key passage:
“Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda.”
Sadly, however, Page has already shown himself to be an incredibly unreliable witness who’s prone to wildly inconsistent statements (sometimes within the same interview) and fanciful yet rage-filled letters to the same effect. So while this letter makes Carter Page (and the House GOP) look ridiculous for hanging their collective hat on that FISA warrant (which was obtained through proper procedures), that’s about the extent of things — silliness.