A key figure from the “Russiagate” controversy warned that sources may never trust the FBI ever again.
Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer whose anti-Trump text messages became fodder for Republicans to allege a “coup” against President Trump, reacted with outrage after the declassification of bureau documents led to the exposure of a source who was guaranteed confidentiality.
“If Congress needed this 302 for oversight, DOJ/FBI could have made it available without handing it over to be leaked,” she said in a tweet Saturday. “If true, this cld get people killed, and they don’t care. No source will trust the FBI, and they don’t care. They are doing generational harm, and they don’t care.”
If Congress needed this 302 for oversight, DOJ/FBI could have made it available without handing it over to be leaked. If true, this cld get people killed, and they don’t care. No source will trust the FBI, and they don’t care. They are doing generational harm, and they don’t care https://t.co/CSHs8V5X7U
— Lisa Page (@NatSecLisa) July 25, 2020
Page was reacting to a New York Times report that confirmed Igor Danchenko, a 42-year-old Russian-trained lawyer who was born in Ukraine, was the primary source in former British spy Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier. Documents declassified at the order of Attorney General William Barr and released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham included notes from a dayslong interview the FBI had with Steele’s source. His name was blacked out, but clues left in the document led to his identification.
Danckenko, who contradicted some of the claims in Steele’s dossier, including the allegation of a “well-developed conspiracy” between President Trump and Russia, had agreed to talk to investigators in 2017 about the dossier on the condition that the bureau keep his identity secret to protect himself, his sources, family, and friends in Russia safe.
Graham has been fighting with the bureau to interview the FBI officials who spoke with the key source for Steele’s dossier as part of his panel’s inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation.
“I don’t know how he was exposed,” the South Carolina Republican said about Danchenko. “I didn’t see anything in the memo exposing who he was. I mean, you can believe these websites if you want to — I don’t know. I know this: It’s important for the country to understand what happened here.”
Page left the bureau in May 2018 amid a political firestorm sparked by the revelation that she exchanged text messages with then-FBI agent Peter Strzok in 2016 and 2017 that were heavily critical of Trump.
Last week, Strzok, through his lawyer, criticized Graham after the senator unveiled declassified documents that he said showed the “corrupt nature” of the Russia investigation.
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