President Trump Falsely Said the Carter Page Warrant Exonera
Since the start of the Russia probe, President Donald Trump has argued several times that new reports or documents have proven that he did nothing wrong. But in each case, the newly released information doesnrsquot say exactly what Trump claims it does.
In some cases, it actually makes Trump look worse.
Over the weekend, Trump argued repeatedly on Twitter that a warrant in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for former campaign adviser Carter Page shows that the Special Counsel Robert Muellerrsquos investigation is ldquodiscreditedrdquo and based on a ldquohoax.rdquo
But legal experts who have been following the case say the parts of the warrant released in full do not appear to back up Trumprsquos arguments. The Brief Newsletter Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample Sign Up Now
Trump has long argued that the FBI was not forthcoming about the role that a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele played in getting the FISA warrant approved, arguing that the dossier is ldquoopposition researchrdquo since Steele worked for a firm that was retained by Democrats and Hillary Clintonrsquos campaign.
But Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent who now teaches at Yale Law School, notes that the 412-page FISA warrant application clearly includes a number of sources other than the so-called Steele dossier and that the special investigation is much larger than just Page.
ldquoThe Carter Page investigation is only one investigation of many in the Mueller probe,rdquo Rangappa told TIME. ldquoWhen I look at that FISA application, what I see is that this is just one part of a lot of other words that have been redacted. We donrsquot know what those other words say. [Based] on my experience, it would lay out a lot of what theyrsquove uncovered in other parts of the investigation using other techniques.#8221
Read More: The 200 Arguments Trump Has Made About the Russia Investigation
David Kriss, an attorney who previously worked in the Justice Department, noted that the warrant also undermines a key argument about a memo written for Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and released in February, which was that the FBI put the key information about Steelersquos potential bias in a footnote which could be easily overlooked. Writing for the website Lawfare, Kriss noted that the footnote in question is over a page long.
ldquoThere is literally no way the FISA Court could have missed it,rdquo he wrote.