Lisa Page was an attorney employed within the Department of Justice and FBI. She was FBI deputy director and later Acting Director Andrew McCabe's chief legal counsel. Prior to that she worked directly under Deputy Asst. Attorney General Bruce Ohr for more than five years.
- 1 DOJ/FBI career
- 2 Partisan bias
- 3 Clinton email investigation
- 4 The insurance policy
- 5 Strzok-Lisa Page text messages
- 6 Anti-Russian xenophobia
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Lisa Page was a former trial attorney with the Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Gang Section. Lisa Page investigated Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, a one-time business partner of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Lisa Page specialized in complex and international money laundering cases. Lisa Page served as Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe during the entire operation to exonerate Hillary Clinton, and later to frame Donald Trump (i.e. the "insurance policy"), and continued to serve in that capacity while McCabe served as Acting Director after the firing of James Comey.
Partisan biasTwo days after beginning an unpredicated FBI investigation into Donald Trump with no legal basis or probable cause, Lisa Page asked her cohort Peter Strzok:
Lisa Page – He’s not ever going to become president, right? Right?!
Strzok - No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.
In July 2017 Lisa Page began cooperating with the FBI internal Inspection Division (INSD) and the DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation into Obama era abuses of US intelligence services and law enforcement to harass and illegally spy on domestic political opponents.
Lisa Page provided evidence to FBI and OIG investigators in the form of the Strzok/Page text messages to exculpate herself of the charge of unauthorized media leaks regarding the FBI's Clinton Foundation investigation. The evidence proved Dep. Dir. McCabe instructed her to leak, a fact McCabe denied and subsequently was fired for lying to investigators.
During the Mueller investigation Lisa Page was on detail from the FBI's Office of the General Counsel and was fired in August 2017 for extreme bias. Lisa Page left the FBI completely in early April 2018, two weeks after Congress sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department for her, James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok. 
Clinton email investigation
Lisa Page told congressional investigators the Department of Justice was ultimately responsible for the decision not to prosecute in the Clinton case. From Lisa Page's text messages the American people learned the fix was in to exonerate Hillary Clinton for felonious gross negligence, national security breaches, and destruction of federal government documents.
Page noted that “as soon as the planning started to begin to interview some of the more high-profile witness, not just Mrs. Clinton but also Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and her sort of core team, the department wanted to change the sort of structure and the number of people who were involved.”
In particular, David Laufman, a deputy assistant attorney general and head of counterintelligence for the DOJ's National Security Division at the time, pushed extensively to be present for the higher profile interviews. As Page noted, this quickly spiraled into a problem for the FBI:
“Once we started talking about including David, then the U.S. Attorney’s Office also wanted to participate in the interviews, although they had participated in virtually none by that point. And so, then the U.S. Attorney’s Office was pushing to have the AUSAs [Assistant U.S. Attorney], who were participating in the Clinton investigation, also participate. And so now, all of a sudden, we were going from our standard two and two to this burgeoning number of people.”
Laufman felt so strongly that he went to his boss, George Toscas, the deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division, who then approached McCabe directly.
The DOJ's ongoing influence was felt in other ways as well. Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, both fact witnesses, were allowed to attend Clinton's interview as her attorneys. As Page admitted, “I would agree with you, that it is not typically appropriate or operationally necessary to have fact witnesses attend the interview.”
The decision to allow attendance of fact witnesses during Clinton's interview came from the DOJ, although Page said she wasn't certain who had made the decision. She noted that the FBI protested the move but were overridden, so the decision must have come from a senior level within the DOJ.
Mills and Samuelson laptops
Lisa Page testified: “There was a great deal of discussion between the FBI and the department with respect to whether to proceed, obtain the server which housed the bulk of Secretary Clinton’s emails, pursuant to consent or pursuant to a subpoena or other compulsory process.”
“There were, I think, months of disagreement with respect to obtaining the Mills and Samuelson laptops. So Heather Mills and—Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were both lawyers who engaged in the sorting. Once it had been identified that Secretary Clinton had these emails—I’m guessing it’s pursuant to the FOIA request, but I don’t really know—she—well, our understanding is that she asked her two lawyers to take the bulk of the 60,000 emails and to sort out those which were work-related from those which were personal and to produce the work-related ones to the State Department.
“They did so. That 30,000 is sort of the bulk of the emails that we relied on in order to do the investigative technique, although we found other emails a jillion other places. We, the FBI, felt very strongly that we had to acquire and attempt to review the content of the Mills and Samuelson laptops because, to the extent the other 30,000 existed anywhere, that is the best place that they may have existed.”
“And notwithstanding the fact that they had been deleted, you know, we wanted at least to take a shot at using, you know, forensic recovery tools in order to try to ensure that, in fact, the sorting that occurred between—or by Mills and Samuelson was done correctly.”
According to Page, the ongoing dispute with the DOJ ran from “February/March-ish of 2016” to June 2016. Page also noted one other critical factor in the investigation: “the FBI cannot execute a search warrant without approval from the Justice Department.”
Notably, Page, an experienced lawyer, thought the legal case could be made that the Mills and Samuelson laptops should be made available for forensic examination. As she noted, the frustration within the FBI came, in part, from the DOJ's “unwillingness to explain their reasoning.”
Page noted that the issue regarding the laptops rose to “the head of the OEO, the Office of Enforcement Operations, which is the unit at the Justice Department that would have to approve a warrant on a lawyer—because, of course, these were all lawyer laptops. It rose to that individual, it rose to George Toscas, over the course of this three months or so.”
“I think that even the Director [Comey] may have had a conversation with Sally Yates, the DAG [Deputy Attorney General], about it.”
Page was also critical of the State Department's handling of the affair, noting, “rather than the State Department itself conducting that analysis of whether or not there was—or whether these emails were work-related or not, deferred to Secretary Clinton to do that.”
Intelligence community Inspector General report
A congressional investigator asked, “We have information from the inspector general of the intelligence community … that there were anomalies that would suggest that there were copies of every email going to a third party. … Is this news to you today? Page claimed it was and and said it was “completely baffling to me.” She was then asked: “Why would the investigative team not have had multiple interviews with Mr. Rucker, who brought it to the FBI’s attention originally?”
Page responded by saying the following: “My understanding is that the IC IG [Intelligence Community Inspector General] did refer the existence of the server to the FBI, but that was because of the existence of classified information on that server, not because of any anomalous activity, not because of potential intrusion activity. Because it’s not my understanding that the IC IG conducted any sort of forensic analysis like that.”
The questioning continued: “So what you’re telling me, it would surprise you to know today that, if there were anomalies, that the inspector general’s forensic team found those before it was referred to the FBI?”
Page responded: “To the extent that a foreign government or even a criminal outlet had had access to Secretary Clinton’s private email server, that would have been something we cared very much about. And it’s my understanding that there was no evidence that would have supported that kind of conclusion.”
Lynch's profile in courage
Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that she would accept whatever recommendation FBI Director James Comey made about charging Clinton. Lisa Page and FBI Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok exchanged messages saying that Lynch knew in advance of the FBI's decision not to recommend prosecuting Hillary Clinton.
Strzok – Holy cow....nyt breaking [Matt] Apuzzo, Lynch will accept whatever recommendation and career prosecutors make. No political appointee input.
Strzok – Lynch. Timing not great, but whatever. Wonder if that's why the coordination language added.
Page – No way. This is a purposeful leak following the airplane snafu.
Strzok – Timing looks like hell. Will appear to be choreographed. All major news networks literally leading with "AG to accept FBI Director's recommendation."
Page – Yeah, that is awful timing. Nothing we can do about it.
Strzok – What I meant was, did DOJ tell us yesterday they were doing this, so Director added that language.
Strzok – Yep. I told Bill [Priestap] the same thing. Delaying just makes it worse.
Page – And yes. I think we had some warning of it. I know they sent some statement to [ Comey Chief of Staff James Rybicki, bc he called Andy [McCabe].Page – And yeah, it's a real profile in courage, since Lynch knows no charges will be brought.
The insurance policy
In early September 2016 Lisa Page wrote about preparing talking points for FBI Dir. James Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” The text raises questions about the extent of Obama's personal involvement in on ongoing FBI investigation.
Lisa Page told congressional investigators that John Carlin, an assistant attorney general and head of the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), a political appointee, was kept abreast of the investigative activity by Andy McCabe. Carlin was succeeded by Mary McCord (DOJ)–who would later accompany acting AG Sally Yates to see White House counsel Don McGahn about Trump's national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.
Strzok-Lisa Page text messages
Lisa Page was the designated counsel from Main Justice assigned to assist Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Known from open-sourced information, from her own released text messages, and from congressional releases, that Lisa Page was the person who provided the text messages to the FBI's internal Inspection Division (INSD) and the Inspector General. Page's account of the media leak instructions she received from Andrew McCabe conflicted with her boss, and ultimately led to the proof of McCabe's false statements. Lisa Page was the connective bridge within the "small group" conspirators joining the DOJ-NSD to the FBI's illegal operations. Page and FBI Agent Peter Strzok worked closely at the heart of the “small group” activity carrying out the orders passed down from Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, James Comey and Andrew McCabe.
Synopsis of text messagesUser:Newhere of the conservativetreehouse.com gives an accurate summary of the tone and character of the Lisa Page/Peter Strzok text messages:
The nature and tone sound like a couple of earnest, self-important, professional bureaucrats who see themselves as high-achieving stand-outs among their peers, doing the “right thing” or at least the “best” thing among some ugly office politics and broader forces. Among the two of them, they unquestionably believe themselves “the good guys,” with appropriate motives and judgment.
They are preoccupied with their professional reputations, ambitions and positioning. They spend lots of time dissecting the minutiae of day-to-day interactions and orchestrating mundane office dynamics, and often reassure each other on their respective “excellence” and superiority. All to a degree that pegs their maturity and self-awareness at a level of maybe adolescent. They interpret events and decisions around them in insular terms, like teenagers passing notes in homeroom about high school social cliques.
— They weren’t driven specifically by partisan bias. Viewing it as simple bias only minimizes the bigger problem. They were consummate professional bureaucrats, intuiting, anticipating, and expanding upon the goals of leadership, both spoken and implied. Contempt for the implicated political actors was a a given; all politicians are intellectually and morally inferior, and (in their minds) the country needs professionals like them having the tools to stand watch and “protect” the country when necessary.
— Trump was viewed as so obviously “dangerous” that extreme measures were necessary. This wasn’t a *partisan* sentiment — it was (again, in their minds) a professional judgment. Which is how they managed the cognitive dissonance of behaving as they did while seeing themselves as moral actors. These aren’t sociopaths with no consciences. They have the conscience of a common, professional technocrat. Self-delusion and self-importance that warps the moral compass (e.g., they feel aggrieved by things like being left out of a meeting, and they hyper-focus on their own “credit-seeking” vs. “team player” motivations, as if THESE are the pressing moral issues at stake . . ). They are professional technocrats like a lot of professional technocrats, who believe their jobs are singularly important, that they face pressures that are uniquely complicated — who know they hold replaceable jobs, but secretly believe themselves irreplaceable. Professionalism becomes its own ethic, from which perspective actual ethics are quaint, a luxury for academics or simpletons. This isn’t spoken or acknowledged.
— The scariest part: conduct in the the Clinton/Trump investigations wasn’t anomalous. The fact that these “professionals” behaved this way with only a faint notion of the significance of what they were doing suggests it was more business-as-usual than the biggest scandal of our lifetimes. Meaning it’s even a bigger scandal.
— They did have at least a faint notion that they had ventured well outside of “by the book” territory, but were again deluded by feeling indispensable, hand-picked by the highest echelons of bureau hierarchy, to which they aspired. Page, in particular, felt special because she was chosen by McCabe. Their moral compasses were aimed at pleasing those whose favor they sought.
— They seemed to see the FBI as white hats vis a vis DOJ. I think they truly believed that any corruption/politicization came from DOJ, and FBI jockeying/mischief was trying to set things right against all these other corrupting forces.–Page’s final “never write to me again” doesn’t seem like a hostile snub. Seems more like a signal/coded message to a friend: “We’re scr*wed. Every (wo)man for himself. I’m looking out for myself. You should too.”
Lisa Page has said,
|“|| I do always hate the Russians. Russia poses the greatest threat certainly to Western ideals of any of our foreign adversaries. And we have vast foreign adversaries. But even the threats that are posed by China or by Iran or North Korea or others don’t speak to sort of the core of Western democracy.
It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.
- Obamagate timeline 2009-2015
- Russiagate timeline 2017
- Russiagate timeline 2018
- FBI scandal
- Bruce Ohr
- James Baker (DOJ)
- Andrew Weissmann