House Judiciary Committee Republicans on Tuesday released numerous pages of records from in 2015’s closed-door interview with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, exposing brand-new details about the bureau’s controversial internal conversations relating to an “insurance coverage” versus then-candidate Donald Trump.
Page first went into the spotlight in December 2017, when it was exposed by the Justice Department inspector general that she and then-FBI Unique Representative Peter Strzok exchanged numerous anti-Trump text. The 2 were included in the FBI’s preliminary counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling and prospective collusion with Trump campaign partners throughout the 2016 election, and later served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
LISA PAGE TESTIMONY: COLLUSION STILL UNPROVEN BY THE TIME OF MUELLER’S SPECIAL COUNSEL CONSULTATION
Among their texts was one worrying the so-called “insurance coverage policy.” Throughout her interview with the Judiciary Committee in July 2018, Page was questioned at length about that text– and essentially validated this referred to the Russia examination while describing that authorities were proceeding with care, concerned about the ramifications of the case while not desiring to address “total breakneck speed” and risk burning sources as they presumed Trump wouldn’t be elected anyhow.
Even more, she confirmed investigators just had a “paucity” of evidence at the start.
Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., kicked off that section of questioning by asking about the text sent from Strzok to Page in August 2016 which checked out: ” I desire to think the course you tossed out in Andy’s [McCabe’s] office– that there’s no chance he gets elected– however I’m scared we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance coverage in the not likely occasion you pass away before you’re 40.”
The former FBI lawyer explained how the FBI was trying to strike a balance with the examination into the Trump campaign– which representatives called “Crossfire Hurricane.”
LISA PAGE ‘COOPERATIVE,’ ‘RELIABLE,’ LAWMAKERS STATE AFTER 5-HOURS CLOSED-DOOR SESSION
” So, upon the opening of the crossfire typhoon investigation, we had a number of discussions up through and consisting of the Director routinely in which we were searching for an answer to the question, right, which is, exists somebody associated with the [Trump] campaign who is working with the Russians in order to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” Page stated. “And given that it is August, we were very knowledgeable about the speed and sensitivity that we needed to run under.”
Page continued that, “if the response is this is a man simply being puffery at a meeting with other individuals, terrific, then we do not need to worry about this, and we can all carry on with our lives; if this is, in truth, the Russians have coopted a private with, you know, maybe wittingly or unintentionally, that’s extremely grave, and we require to know that as rapidly as possible.”
Page explained that the text showed their “continuing check-in” regarding “how rapidly to operate.”
NEW STRZOK-PAGE TEXTS EXPOSE OTHERS WERE ‘LEAKING LIKE MAD’ IN LEAD UP TO TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE
“[W] e don’t need to go at an overall breakneck speed due to the fact that so long as he doesn’t end up being President, there isn’t the same hazard to nationwide security, right,” Page discussed, while saying that if Trump were not chosen president, the bureau would still investigate.
” But if he becomes President, that completely changes the game due to the fact that now he is the President of the United States,” Page informed legislators. “He’s going to immediately start getting classified instructions. He’s going to be exposed to the most sensitive tricks imaginable. And if there is someone on his team who wittingly or unsuspectingly is dealing with the Russians, that is extremely major.”
Page explained, however, that those involved did not believe Trump would beat Clinton: “So this shows: Let’s be reasonable, let’s not, you know, toss the cooking area sink at this since he’s most likely not going to be elected, therefore then we don’t have quite as horrific a nationwide security hazard than if we do if he gets chosen.”
Page also spoke with how little information the bureau was beginning with, stating the FBI ” knew so little” about whether the accusations were “true or not true,” and had “a paucity of proof due to the fact that we are simply beginning down the course” of vetting the claims.
She later on said that all they needed was an accusation, and declared “it is totally common, especially in a counterintelligence examination, that you would just have– you would have a percentage of proof” in introducing a probe.
The transcripts were launched as Mueller continues his examination, which Trump assaults as a “witch hunt” on a routine basis but might have an effect on where congressional Democrats choose their own investigations– or whether they pursue impeachment, something Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come out against for the time being.
MCCABE SAYS HE DOESN’T RECALL DISCUSSING INFAMOUS ‘INSURANCE COVERAGE POLICY’ WITH STRZOK, PAGE IN 2016
Page, who served a short information on Mueller’s group, went back to her post at the FBI in 2017, and eventually left the bureau in Might2018 Strzok was gotten rid of from Mueller’s team after the texts were found and was reassigned to the FBI’s Person Resources Division prior to being fired in August 2018.
Previous FBI Deputy Director McCabe, on the other hand, just recently said he did not remember ever going over the “insurance coverage policy” with Strzok or Page.