Former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is opening up about his interactions with Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper, alleging in a new book that the FBI “systematically” excluded relevant information about their encounters from the controversial FISA application that the agency filed as part of its investigation into the campaign’s ties to Russia.
“My conversation with Halper was chock-full of such exculpatory evidence; it was systematically excised from the record. The FBI wanted to conduct surveillance on me, and the leaders of Crossfire Hurricane were willing to toss aside facts from sworn testimony in their continuing efforts to build their case,” Page writes in his new book, “Abuse and Power.”
Released on Tuesday, the book portrays Halper as an apparent confidante who sought to deceive Page. It also echoes Republicans’ longstanding description of Page as an “innocent American … framed in an attempted coup against the president.” It’s likely to give President Trump additional ammo for his claim that Department of Justice officials wrongly spied on his campaign.
That accusation gained steam earlier this month when former FBI agent Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court about Page’s status as a government informant. “That’s just the beginning, I would imagine. This… what happened should never happen again,” Trump previously said at the White House.
Besides Page working for the CIA, other information, including potentially exonerating details, are required as part of the FISA application process. In his book, Page recalls how he specifically told Halper, who has been revealed as an FBI informant, that he never met with the two former Russian officials — Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin — mentioned in the salacious Steele dossier, which informed DOJ’s probe into the campaign.
“As I told Halper, I had never met either of them. In fact, I told him I didn’t even know who Divyekin was. When the FBI submitted sworn testimony before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that must approve all FISA surveillance applications, the FBI claimed I did not ‘provide any specific details to refute, dispel, or clarify the media reporting’ regarding my contacts with the two Igors,'” Page writes.
“There was no mention of my answer to Source 2 [Halper], nor did the application, presented as sworn testimony before this secret court without any opportunity for review or any semblance of due process rights, disclose that I had denied having any knowledge about the WikiLeaks hack of the Democratic National Committee.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“Abuse and Power” also describes how Halper’s interactions with Page as he sought to “entrap” the former campaign adviser.
He writes: “In December, Halper invited me to lunch at the Cosmos Club, a prestigious social club for the Washington elite. Other meetings continued throughout the months that followed, including in January 2017, when Halper made a special trip from his home in Virginia to visit me for coffee at my hotel a few blocks from the White House. We would continue our conversation at the Cosmos Club again on April 6, 2017.”
“By that time, I was subject to nearly constant attacks from the media and federal authorities. I told the professor about the crush of media and death threats that were pouring in. Halper was well aware of these challenges. Portraying himself as a kind and sympathetic supporter who understood the life-threatening risks I continued to endure, his benevolent generosity with his time and hospitality didn’t seem out of place. After becoming an international pariah, I appreciated someone from the Washington establishment who would still dare to speak with me.
“Over fifteen months after first visiting his house, I began to realize that there had been something odd about Halper’s continued eagerness to talk. Far from the kind soul that he had portrayed himself to be, Halper was out to entrap me. It had never occurred to me to question his motives.”