FBI had ‘Paucity of Evidence’ for Russia Investigation, Discussed Trump ‘Insurance Policy’

DOJ told FBI not to press charges against Hillary Clinton.

The Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee released pages of transcripts from their interview with ex-FBI attorney Lisa Page, which included admissions of the FBI beginning their Russian investigation with little evidence and an insurance policy in case now-President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

Page also confirmed the DOJ told the FBI not to charge Hillary in the email investigation.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins spoke with a few Fox News hosts on Tuesday after he announced he would release the transcripts from Page’s interviews. You can view the pages here.

Collins told Sean Hannity that the transcripts would show a “two-tiered system” that reveals the corruption ran deep:

“When you have the… corrupt triumvirate of [former FBI Agent Peter] Strzok, [former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe and Page, when they have been involved from day one from the email controversy, through the original Russia investigation, through the appointment of [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, this just shows that there is a two-tiered system,” Collins said. “And, we’re going to say, we’re going to get this out and we’re going to put it in ways that people can easily understand, not a large dump, we’re going to take it methodically as we go, as we get them cleared, and we’re going to get them out to the American people.”

The transcripts came out on Wednesday. I have to say that Collins was not wrong. From Fox News:

Page first entered the spotlight in December 2017, when it was revealed by the Justice Department inspector general that she and then-FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages. The two were involved in the FBI’s initial counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 election, and later served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Among their texts was one concerning the so-called “insurance policy.” During her interview with the Judiciary Committee in July 2018, Page was questioned at length about that text — and essentially confirmed this referred to the Russia investigation while explaining that officials were proceeding with caution, concerned about the implications of the case while not wanting to go at “total breakneck speed” and risk burning sources as they presumed Trump wouldn’t be elected anyway.

Further, she confirmed investigators only had a “paucity” of evidence at the start.

Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked Page about this text she sent to Strzok (emphasis mine): “I want to believe the path you threw out in Andy’s [McCabe’s] office—that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Page told Gowdy:

“So, upon the opening of the crossfire hurricane investigation, we had a number of discussions up through and including the Director regularly in which we were trying to find an answer to the question, right, which is, is there someone associated with the [Trump] campaign who is working with the Russians in order to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” Page said. “And given that it is August, we were very aware of the speed and sensitivity that we needed to operate under.”

Page continued that, “if the answer is this is a guy just being puffery at a meeting with other people, great, then we don’t need to worry about this, and we can all move on with our lives; if this is, in fact, the Russians have coopted an individual with, you know, maybe wittingly or unwittingly, that’s incredibly grave, and we need to know that as quickly as possible.”

Page explained that the text message reflected their “continuing check-in” as to “how quickly to operate.”

“[W]e don’t need to go at a total breakneck speed because so long as he doesn’t become President, there isn’t the same threat to national security, right,” Page explained, while saying that if Trump were not elected president, the bureau would still investigate.

“But if he becomes President, that totally changes the game because now he is the President of the United States,” Page told lawmakers. “He’s going to immediately start receiving classified briefings. He’s going to be exposed to the most sensitive secrets imaginable. And if there is somebody on his team who wittingly or unwittingly is working with the Russians, that is super serious.”

Page stressed that those in the FBI in these discussions did not think Trump would beat Hillary. Honestly, who did?

She admitted the FBI had only “‘a paucity of evidence because we are just starting down the path’ of vetting the allegations.” The agents “knew so little” if any of the allegations against Trump were “true or not true.”

But she explained this is not out of the ordinary. In fact, “it is entirely common, particularly in a counterintelligence investigation, that you would only have — you would have a small amount of evidence.”

In another interview, Page told Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) “that ‘the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information.’”

In other words, go easy on her.

More from Fox News:

Page also testified that the DOJ and FBI had “multiple conversations … about charging gross negligence,” and the DOJ decided that the term was “constitutionally vague” and “had either never been done or had only been done once like 99 years ago,” and so “they did not feel they could sustain a charge.”

I Googled “Lisa Page transcripts” and came up with only a few hits. Sen. Rand Paul is 100% correct:







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