The year 2020 has been one of vindication for many of the people who were targets of the massive and ever-expanding Russiagate hoax. I’ve been cataloging this in an ongoing series here at The Epoch Times:
In this, the fifth installment, we arrive at Carter W. Page, the former Trump campaign adviser who was accused by some of the most powerful people in the world of being a traitor to his country.
Page has an important story to tell, and you can read it in his new book released on Aug. 25, “Abuse and Power: How an Innocent American Was Framed in an Attempted Coup Against the President.”
After then-candidate Trump mentioned Page’s name to Washington Post reporters asking pointed questions about the real estate billionaire’s lack of foreign policy experience, the former naval officer and Annapolis graduate found himself drawing a lot of sudden attention from multiple news media outlets.
Most of these early media stories were purposefully written to establish a narrative that Page was a corrupt figure who needed to be thoroughly investigated by the proper authorities.
As Page himself puts it in his book:
“I was targeted by Donald Trump’s political foes within the FBI, the Justice Department, and elsewhere, who decided to make me Exhibit A in an imagined Trump–Russia conspiracy storyline.”
A key strategy used to present Page as “Exhibit A” in the Trump–Russia conspiracy theory involved these powerful people making use of their extensive corporate media contacts to “seed” the election news cycle with numerous stories about this mysterious and shady Page fellow and just how cozy he supposedly was with the Russian government.
Many of these “news articles” strongly hinted that someone, perhaps the FBI, really needed to investigate this suspicious character.
Upon realizing he was fast becoming a conduit for a coordinated smear attack on the entire Trump presidential campaign by top federal government officials, as well as powerful media and political figures, Page resigned as an adviser on Sept. 26, 2016.
It changed nothing. The FBI still submitted a surveillance warrant targeting Page to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court the following month.
As Page writes in his book’s fourth chapter:
“I realized that the FBI, armed with the ability to retroactively look at my communications and contacts within the campaign, had found me a convenient platform from which to mount a political investigation and smear job of Donald Trump in the last weeks before the election.”
Role of the Steele Dossier in Targeting Page
As I discussed in a previous column, the FBI’s use of former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s fake dossier as a predicate to open investigations of Page and fellow Trump campaign associates Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was only possible if no one took a critical look at the allegations and the sourcing.
Upon the dossier’s publication by BuzzFeed in January 2017, the initial media hype about Steele’s impeccable intelligence credentials managed to obscure and delay the realization of the full absurdity of what had really happened.
The myth of Steele being an intrepid intelligence agent, whose highly connected sources in the Kremlin had revealed to him a serious national security threat involving a presidential campaign filled with secret Putin puppets, only slowly and inexorably gave way to the brutal truth as the years passed:
Steele was actually just a highly paid political fantasist working for the Hillary Clinton campaign, who took speculative information from a low-level research assistant at the Brookings Institution in Washington and was passing it off to the FBI and news reporters as intelligence from highly placed Kremlin sources.
The claims in the dossier about Page were always manifestly absurd on their face.
The Bribe Offer That Never Was
The dossier alleges that former Trump campaign chairman Manafort was using Page as a go-between with Vladimir Putin’s government during visits to Russia. During one of these visits, the dossier claims Page met with Igor Sechin, a man considered by many to be second in power only to Putin himself and who is also the chairman of the massive oil corporation Rosneft.
Steele claimed his source told him Sechin made a stunning bribe offer to Page: Should Trump win the election and lift Russian sanctions, Sechin was prepared to transfer 19 percent of Rosneft stock—an amount that would be worth many billions of dollars—to Trump and his associates’ control.
The problems with this allegation are many, not the least of which is that Page maintains to this day that he’s never met Trump, has never met Manafort, and he most certainly has never met Sechin. And no evidence appears to contradict Page’s claim.
That a candidate and a campaign manager would send a low-level unpaid campaign volunteer who neither had even met on such a sensitive mission defies belief. It also defies common sense that during his first meeting with someone who wasn’t even in Trump’s inner circle, Sechin would make such an astounding bribe offer.
I’ll also point out that it’s also a matter of public record that when the FBI finally made time to interview Steele’s supposed source for this incredible bribe allegation, the source completely disavowed it.
And yet, this ridiculous bribe account in a fake dossier started an unprecedented spying probe into a presidential campaign, because federal agents insist they took it seriously.
It’s become increasingly clear that Steele’s fake dossier transformed Page into someone he never was, and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence agents used this distorted image of Page to help launch a massive hoax on the entire country.
Page has tirelessly insisted from the very earliest stages of this hoax that he’s innocent; the facts that have emerged in the subsequent five years support his contention.
To make Page look like a traitor to his country, federal officials allegedly broke all their oaths, violated the Constitution, and committed multiple federal crimes.
U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly wrapping up his criminal investigation of exactly how the Russiagate hoax happened. It’s expected that he’ll be bringing accountability to those responsible, having already returned one indictment against former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty. There will likely be many more.
In the end, I believe Page will be completely vindicated, and those who broke the law and violated his rights so they could get at Trump will go to prison.
Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.