After the IG disclosure of the edited email stating that Carter Page was “not a source”, I have found myself very interested in this alteration. I have read very little that details this besides “it looks very bad” or “obvious bias”. But like much of the reporting, high on opinion and low on facts. So I decided to actually read the report and see what it said. Here are some interesting tidbits I learned.
- The alteration was done as part of the Renewal Application No. 3 in June of 2017. SSA 2 who was to be an affiant and sign-off on it was nervous that news that he was reading was not yet disclosed in the application (summary xii, Chapter 8 pg )
This likely means that Rosenstein or his compatriots were at least looking into or questioning Comey’s prior lack of disclosure. Trying to confirm what Page himself was saying to news outlets.
We know now that the email response was altered to include “not a source” and change the entire response from the affirmative to the negative. That is big news, but sitting right beside it was this little tid-bit
- it was the liaison’s recollection that Page had or continued to have a relationship with the other agency, and directed the OGC Attorney to review the information that the other agency had provided to t he FBI in August 2016.
Two interesting items in there that I have not heard. First that Page’s relationship with the other agency (assumed to be the CIA) may have been on-going in 2017 (post election). But the bigger item was that this agency had already provided this confirmation in August of 2016. For those confused.. August 2016 would have been prior to the election in November of 2016 AND prior to October 2016 when the first FISA application was signed.
I have tried to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt on the first application. I wanted to believe that they were hearing news about the Trump campaign and that they legitimately wanted to look into it (including spying on them). I had believed that the first application was likely legitimate and without bias, and that they then got caught up in their own discovery and bias to misread signals and misinterpret facts as they renewed the applications.
The altered email was a big signal that “misinterpret” was to be replaced by “misrepresent” in the mind of most Americans. But these surrounding facts point out that before they ever began, they knew that Carter Page’s relationships in Russia were likely connected to another government agency and they decided to ignore those facts from inception and investigate the campaign. I am not sure how you define bias, but a willful desire to misrepresent the known facts for your own means seems pretty close.