Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson showed no remorse for Carter Page at a recent book promotion event, saying that the former Trump campaign adviser is “not a civil liberties victim” and likely should have been prosecuted during the special counsel’s investigation.
“He’s not a poster child for the evils of government surveillance,” Simpson said at the Jan. 16 event, held at the Washington, D.C. book store Politics and Prose to promote his book, “Crime In Progress.”
Simpson’s remarks suggest he disagrees with the findings of a Justice Department inspector general’s report released on Dec. 9 that largely focused on the FBI’s surveillance efforts against Page.
The Justice Department’s inspector general (IG) found that the FBI submitted false and misleading information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in order to obtain wiretap warrants against Page. The Justice Department subsequently deemed two of the four warrants against Page to be invalid. (RELATED: Carter Page Sues DNC Over The Steele Dossier)
Simpson and Fusion GPS had a direct hand in collecting the faulty information that the FBI used to justify surveilling Page.
The firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. During his investigation, Steele provided his information to the FBI, which included the materials in surveillance applications submitted to the FISC. Simpson arranged meetings for Steele with reporters to share information from the dossier.
One of those meetings led to the publication of a Yahoo! News article on Sept. 23, 2016, that revealed Steele’s allegations against Page, a former Naval officer.
In the dossier, Steele accused Page of working as a liaison between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin as part of a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation.” Steele also accused Page of coming up with the idea of using WikiLeaks to release emails that Russians hacked from the DNC.
Page has vehemently denied the allegations. The special counsel’s report and the IG report largely discredited the claims.
According to the IG report, Steele’s main source for the dossier said that the former spy embellished or misrepresented much of the information in the salacious document, including details about Page. Steele himself told FBI agents on Oct. 3, 2016, nearly three weeks before the FBI began surveilling Page, that one of the dossier’s main sub-sources was a “boaster” and “embellisher.”
Despite the red flags, the FBI never told the FISC about the questions raised about Steele’s sources.
Simpson has staunchly defended the dossier, even as it has crumbled under the weight of the special counsel and IG reports.
Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, also accused Page of making false statements about a visit he made to Moscow in July 2016, which is a central piece of the dossier.
“He made many, many misstatements about who he met with, why he went there. It’s funny that he hasn’t actually been prosecuted for that. I think because he’s made so many confusing comments it’s not clear he knows what the truth is himself,” Simpson said.
He did not provide evidence to back up his claims that Page lied.
Page sued the DNC and its law firm, Perkins Coie, Thursday. Perkins Coie partner Marc Elias is who hired Fusion GPS.
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