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Carter Page Takes to Twitter to Weigh in on FISA Warrants in the Most Bizarre Way Possible


Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has been throwing himself into legal battles on Twitter over the holiday weekend, most recently with CNN legal analyst Asha Rangappa. Of course, Page himself is not a lawyer, which could explain some of his legal arguments. Page has been complaining about how the FBI used warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor him, even though he claims he’s done nothing wrong.

Enter Rangappa, a Yale Law School professor and former FBI Special Agent, who explained that one thing has nothing to do with the other, and that FISA is not meant to get evidence of criminal activity, rather–as its name would sugges–foreign intelligence.

Page, who is not an attorney but represented himself when he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee, responded by claiming that Rangappa’s description of FISA practices was essentially the same as calling for the demise of Brown v. Board of Education. You know, the Supreme Court decision that ended school segregation.

How did Page make such a leap? He quoted words from Chief Justice Earl Warren‘s opinion in that case, specifically: “deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.” Of course, while Brown was an Equal Protection case, and Page is claiming that his rights were violated, these are two very, very different situations. It’s unclear why Page didn’t just refer to the 14th Amendment itself. Of course, as Rangappa later pointed out, the 14th Amendment has nothing to do with FISA issues.

This whole thing appears to stem from when President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday about how there was no hearing regarding the FISA warrant on Page, despite the fact that the court’s standard procedures do not typically involve hearings. In fact, when hearings before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) do take place regarding FISA warrants, it’s because the government asks for them because the court imposed restrictions on them. The targets of the warrants are not involved.

The argument for why the lack of a hearing does not pose a due process issue is because FISA warrants are not tools used for criminal investigations. Page was not the subject of a criminal investigation, and he has not been charged with any crimes. Rangappa later discussed in a Twitter thread how the FISA process works, and why certain standards under FISA are different than those of criminal investigations because they are separate systems with separate purposes.

Page had previously taken issue with USC Law Professor Orin Kerr‘s tweets about the justice system. Kerr wrote, “If you’re upset that they issued a warrant to monitor Carter Page without holding a hearing, you might be interested in some other amazing details about how the system works.” He went on to give examples for how it’s legal for cops to pull over people who are speeding, even if the decision to target that particular driver is in bad faith. For example, if a Trump-hating cop pulls over a car with a pro-Trump bumper sticker for speeding, that’s allowed if the car was indeed speeding.

This may have led to Page’s police-state claim that he later directed towards Rangappa, after she snarkily chimed in.

[Image via The Hill screengrab]

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