Why Did the FBI Set Up Trump?

The FBI spied on the Trump campaign. The pretext was that the campaign, and possibly Donald Trump himself, was compromised by the volunteer efforts of foreign policy advisor, Carter Page. Stories diverge regarding Page, his reputation, and his involvement with the Russian government.

Some sources say energy consultant Carter Page was a shady character under FBI surveillance potentially since 2013, while others suggest he was an FBI informant or undercover agent, assisting the FBI with stopping Russian espionage efforts as late as March 2016. Nonetheless, the cover story of the FISA warrant is that in June 2016 he was compromised by or working with Russia to advance its interests. In furtherance of these spying efforts, he joined the Trump campaign. And thus the FBI’s next step was not to arrest him, nor to warn the Trump campaign, but instead to begin surveillance of Page. It first attempted to do so in June 2016, but only succeeded in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign in October 2016.

The scope of that surveillance is presently unknown. Unlike the abuses detailed in the House Intelligence Committee memo, such information might genuinely endanger national security. But we know the FBI (and NSA) have some pretty extensive capabilities and, depending on Page’s degree of access to the campaign, this surveillance would expose Trump, others on his campaign team, and the campaign strategy itself to scrutiny by the Obama administration. This is undoubtedly what Trump meant with the infamous “wires tapped” tweet in March 2017.

Even taken at face value, this is all strange. If the Russians were genuinely interfering in the election, and positioned people inside at least one of the major campaigns to do so, couldn’t the FBI have warned the campaign? After all, there are news reports that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were given broad and generic warnings about infiltration as late as July of 2016. They were each privy to classified intelligence briefings as well. Would it make sense to allow this sharing of information to continue if genuine foreign interference were afoot?

This would certainly not be a standard practice. One of the FBI’s stated counterintelligence strategies—it’s on their website—particularly for business interests is “raising public awareness and informing industry leaders.”

This is not mere lip service. In 2009, the DOJ successfully prosecuted a naturalized American citizen, Dongfang “Greg” Chung, in connection with his work as a contractor for Boeing. The press release regarding his conviction quoted the FBI director in charge of Los Angeles as stating, “FBI counter-intelligence agents and NASA received the full cooperation of the Boeing Company in building this three-year investigation, the successful outcome of which marks the first conviction by trial under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. I’m confident this milestone conviction will serve as a deterrent to would-be spies contemplating theft of precious U.S. secrets.”

If the concern were that Trump was a victim of the Russians, extensive surveillance of his campaign and its personnel would be unwarranted. He, like Boeing, could have been warned and, presumably, would have cooperated with an investigation or, at the very least, fired the shady character.

This is where, I believe, the Steele Dossier comes into play. Without the Steele Dossier, Trump and his campaign is a mere victim, no different from any other company or entity that faces foreign infiltration, which should be warned of the infiltration. But with the Steele Dossier, Trump becomes a potential co-conspirator, actively cooperating with or compromised by Russia, due to “pee pee antics” that permit blackmail and other scurrilous nonsense contained in it. Without the Steele Dossier, even with FISA surveillance of Page, there is no need also to risk Trump and the leakage of the confidential material to which he was privy. So the Steele Dossier was critical not merely to securing the FISA warrant—though apparently it was—but was also in order to do so secretly, without any notice, warning, or communication to Trump—one of two major party presidential nominees—that a person involved in his campaign presented a potential risk to national security.

If the campaign were warned, of course, the opportunity to get critical potential intelligence on the campaign, its strategy, and any potential (but totally unknown) wrongdoing by Trump would disappear. And this is why the memo and the underlying warrant are so damaging to the reputation of everyone involved in their procurement. Not only was a hatchet job dossier paid for by the Clinton Campaign and used to get a FISA warrant without bothering to tell the FISA court this important fact of its provenance, but, more important, this hatchet job justified keeping Trump himself in the dark about the ongoing surveillance and threat posed by a member of his campaign team.

Further, the warrant and the underlying Steele Dossier permitted endless speculation and politically motivated character assassination of Trump for alleged Russian Collusion through to the present. Yet there was no Russian Collusion. There was Page—who may have colluded—and there was the Trump Campaign, which knew nothing about this. We know this because, after months of surveillance that continued through the transition, there is still no evidence of collusion, let alone of a crime, involving the Russians and Trump. And, more important, we know the only reason he was surveilled for such was because of the totally unbelievable and Clinton-campaign-financed Steele Dossier.

Taken together, this was an entirely inappropriate and likely unprecedented use of national security surveillance assets against a presidential candidate. But why was it done? After all, right up until election night, almost everyone thought Hillary would win, and that includes most of those involved in this caper: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Rod Rosenstein.

The likely answer is more sinister still, revealed by the “insurance” talk of supposed lovers Peter Strozk and Lisa Page. If Trump won, this would be an opportunity—they figured—to discover something illegal. After all, with mountains of malum prohibitum rules and regulations on everything from campaign finance to taxes and how you dispose of freon, one would expect almost anyone would run afoul of some picayune law or another, which would become known only with constant surveillance.

In the absence of that, if Carter Page were not merely a target but an infiltrator, he—or someone similarly situated—could seek to create crimes where none were present. Consider the infamous briefing that took place involving “Kremlin lawyer” Natalia Veselnitskaya with Donald Trump, Jr. All of the emails concerned with setting that up at least hint at her Russian government connections in a very open and obvious way, i.e., a way that would get picked up by FISA warrants, NSA surveillance, and God knows what other spying capabilities the government has. Yet with all of these attempts, some quite clumsy, it does not appear anything happened.

Everyone presumably considered that Hillary winning the election was the more likely scenario. It seems strange to take these risks under that circumstance. But in that case, the highly politicized Obama Administration’s FBI and Justice Department would be under Clinton management. Those responsible for this “gift” may have concluded they would be rewarded. And they could have curried additional favor with Her Highness by prosecuting Trump post-election in an effort to salt the fields and permanently discredit him, his movement, his associates, and the Republican Party. Alternately, they could simply let the surveillance go unreported and unnoticed; no harm, no foul.

What no one counted on in this entire mess was that Trump would win, and that Trump was sophisticated and experienced enough not to take any of the bait. Not only did he win, but he fired Comey, saw McCabe resign under a cloud, and is now in a position—with the help of Congress—to expose fully the extent of the Deep State and its abuses of powerful law enforcement tools in the service of low, partisan ends under President Obama.

About Christopher Roach

Christopher Roach is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, Chronicles, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.

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30 responses to “Why Did the FBI Set Up Trump?”

  1. In light of everything we know now–which truthfully isn’t that much due to the muddying of the waters by both sides–it does all come down to motive. I can understand, though not approve of, the attempts to curry favor by deep state actors. It seems all are implicated here: DOJ, FBI, NSA, CIA, to anyone who watched the posturing by the various actors during House and Senate hearings in the lead up to the election. I found Brennan and Clapper equal in their obfuscation and even out right lying before both bodies.

    Post election the sheer amount of leaks damaging to the Trump administration point to a full front deep state campaign to de-legitimize the President and his team.

    So motive. Pre-election to curry favor and to do all they could to ensure Ms. Clinton got elected. Post election to throw enough mud out there that their calumny would escape discovery and prosecution.

    I am eternally thankful for the sheer stupidity of someone whose experience in counter intelligence should have made him know better to play texting games with his paramour in the DOJ. Without the ability to see behind the scenes in the criminal aiding and abetting of the Clinton investigation and the sheer one-sidedness of what was supposed to be an investigation into Russian interference in our election system, we would never have learned of the plot to bring down President Trump.

    There is too much light being shined on the whole mess for the deep state to be able to sweep this under the rug–though it appears the Democrats in the House and Senate are trying their dead level best to do so–and all of this fully supported by the Main Street Media.

    Interestingly the election of Donald Trump may single-handily saved the New York Times from collapse though it doesn’t seemed to have saved the Los Angeles Times or Newsweek. Nor has it had a beneficial effect on CNN whose ratings continue to tank.

    What may come out of all of the is a better informed electorate and the relegation of the Democrat Party to eternal minority status. A beneficial outcome indeed.

    • Aprescoup, Disqus is saying your post is no longer active. So my reply to your post is below:

      You shouldn’t be surprised. My positions on the matter are very clear and have been for quite some time. I have never been a fan of the deep state. I have always worried about who watches the watcher.

      I think what bugs you the most is my defense of Trump these past 18 months. But I still feel he is our best bet to dismantle the elitist system in higher education, in the bureaucracy, and in the banking system. I’m sure you will take his recent tax cut measures as another form of corporate welfare, however I do not see it the same way. I see it as a way to make American goods more competitive in the world market and thereby reinvigorate blue collar jobs.

    • Actually Admiral Rogers at NSA is one of the good guys and when he discovered unmasking abuses with FISA 702’s he informed the court immediately and stopped the abuses.He also visited Trump Tower to inform President elect Trump that he was being spied on by the Obama/Clinton cabal.The next day Trump moved everything out of Trump Tower to his golf resort in NJ.The NSA was being used but the head of NSA was not a party to this corruption

      • You’re right about Admiral Rogers KTK–in venting my spleen I ignored the good actors. Thanks for correcting me.

    • When you weaponize the intelligence apparatus to help win an election, and then you lose, the motive to continue the game is too strong to resist. Cheating in the election morphed to sedition. There’s plenty of evidence if you have time and interest to find and digest it. There’s more coming.

  2. The motive? The goal was for the Deep State to control the outcome of the election and, since they could not do that, to thwart it.

    Since treason, apparently, is only possible during a declared war, this would be sedition and calls for short ropes and lots of them.

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  3. They need to move quickly. If they lose Congress, this will all be buried forever.

  4. Great article. I am mad at the dems for hurting our country. They weakened us when we need to appear strong. Shame on them. Trump is my president 100%. MAGA!

    • Don’t waste your anger … that’s just Democrats being Democrats. They have a congenital defect: they lack the “shame” gene.

  5. This was part of their “Insurance Policy” to nail Trump however they could, and its blowing up in their faces badly. Obama wanted HRC and it rolled down hill from there.

    • How do you know what the context of the insurance policy means?

      • Is that like calling yourself a genius while at the honky tonk shooting pool with the boys?

      • No, it’s like calling the truth the truth. Something, apparently, you have no intimate relationship with.

      • So its your interpretation of text messages from people you dont know, gotcha.

      • People reveal themselves in their communications especially when they spell it out. Are you that dumb or just really naive?

      • But you are guessing as to what they meant by that, its not like they told you what they meant. That still doesnt mean you know what the exact meaning is to them you dont know them at all.

      • It’s that obvious, and our “top” FBI agents are idiots.

      • If he does he’s a higher form of life than the people he’s criticizing. But you bring up a good point. The need for an independent counsel/investigator to find out exactly what was meant and then proceed accordingly.

  6. Thank you councilor. I had most of it, but you connected a few more dots due to your insights. The real question now, is: ‘What happens next?’ Grab some popcorn. BTW, the FBI et. al. should learn not to stand next to a propane tank while lighting up?

  7. SECRET courts need to be ended. The Founders would be enraged if they could see this nation having descended to the point we are at right now. Judges are no more honest than anyone else are are subject to being corrupted just like many others have been before.

    The “secrecy” is what allowed the deep state to engage in this vile conduct. Hanging would be too good for them!