Investigative Issues: Excerpt From 'Abuse and Power' by Carter Page
At long last, the FBI wanted to have a discussion with me. When I worked as an informant, they had called in advance for meetings; now they sprung on me unexpectedly on the afternoon of March 9, 2017, in the ornate, art deco lobby of the Empire Hotel in Manhattan. Two agents, both men, showed me their badges, and we walked around the corner near an empty conference room to have a slightly more discreet conversation. The agents asked me to meet them the next day.
I could have brought a lawyer, but I chose to stick with my plan—wagering that a spirit of openness would help them see what a sham this entire Witch Hunt had already become. I still had hope that the whole debacle might be written off by the FBI, which I imagined might have originally misunderstood what it was dealing with.
The next day, the FBI booked a suite at the Andaz Hotel across Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library in Manhattan. I called them upon my arrival at the reception on East Forty-First Street. The two famous stone lions staring at me from across the busy thoroughfare had appropriate names for what would be required over the coming days and years. Legendary mayor Fiorello La Guardia nicknamed them “Patience” and “Fortitude” (though they were originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, after major donors to the library).
An agent came down to bring me up to the suite that afternoon. For only this first long meeting, there were three agents in attendance for my interrogation—the two men I’d met the day before and a woman. At first they spoke in friendly tones, but like gladiators in a ridiculous modern equivalent of the Forum Boarium from ancient Roman times, they came at me from every direction in a relentless onslaught. But I was by then adept at verbal sparring, with months of practice with TV conspiracy theorists under my belt. I had heard most of their questions many times before. And as had long been reported throughout those recent months and at the risk of stating the obvious, I immediately gave the agents extensive background information on the Democrats’ role behind the Steele Dossier. A day earlier, I had provided them with a letter that detailed the facts I had recently sent to Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
If any of these larger investigations were to have any purpose at all, there should have been some shred of truth to the fraudulent accusation that I had met with the two Igors or some other sanctioned individuals. I also must have had conservations with these gentlemen or some other Russian operatives about some kind of a “quid pro quo” relationship between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. When I honestly answered “no” to all of these outrageous preliminary questions, it seemed obvious that there wasn’t much more to discuss.
Read the full excerpt from “Abuse and Power: How an Innocent American Was Framed by an Attempted Coup Against the President” (Regnery Publishing).