"“No matter its motives, the FBI became a tool of anti-Trump political actors,” Cox tweeted Sunday. “This is unacceptable in a democracy and ought to alarm anyone who wants the FBI to be a nonpartisan enforcer of the law.”"
2/5/2018, "N.Y. GOP's Cox introduced Carter Page to Trump campaign," Albany Times-Union, Dan Freedman, Washington
"Forget about “joined at the hip.” In New York, whether it’s Albany or
the five boroughs, the social and political worlds are metaphysically
one and the same.
So it was no surprise that when a Naval
Academy grad and aspiring foreign-policy player named Carter Page asked
New York Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox to help him gain entrée to
the Trump presidential campaign, Cox was only too happy to oblige.
Page, of course, is now one of the central figures in the crossfire
between President Donald Trump and Democrats on Capitol Hill led by
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer over special counsel Robert
Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation.
On Friday, Trump and House Republicans
released a controversial memo alleging the FBI obtained a warrant to
intercept Page’s communications based on evidence from what the GOP
lawmakers view as a tainted dossier authored by former British
intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
The memo accuses the FBI and Justice
Department officials of failing to notify the court that Steele had
expressed distaste for Trump and his dossier research was underwritten
in part by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton
Democrats including Schumer have countered
that the GOP memo is contradictory and incomplete. House Intelligence
Committee members on Monday approved public release of the Democrats’
As was the case with the GOP memo, the White House now has five days to approve or disapprove release.
Page took two trips to Russia in July and
December 2016, and met Russian government officials. He had been picked
up on an unrelated FBI wiretap in 2013 of Russian officials who saw Page
as a useful dupe.
It remains to be seen whether Page is at the
heart of Trump campaign contacts with the Russian government in a plot
to swing the 2016 election away from then frontrunner Hillary Clinton or
an innocent small-timer destined to be an answer to a future trivia
But for Cox, referring Page to the Trump
campaign manager at time in late 2015, Corey Lewandowski, was a courtesy
extended to someone he knew from the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen.
John McCain of Arizona in New York.
Page, 46, a 1993 Naval Academy graduate and
Ph.D. who heads his own energy capital investment firm, is a member of
the New York City-based Council of Foreign Relations, as is Cox, 71, the
son-in-law of President Richard M. Nixon and veteran of Republican
politics in the state.
Cox “is a New York fixture, like the street
signs,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant. “He
might as well have a street named after him.”
Cox said he viewed Page as knowledgeable on
Russia and foreign policy matters in general who was going out on his
own after having been with the investment firm Merrill Lynch, which
collapsed in 2008 at the onset of the great recession.
In lengthy testimony before the House
Intelligence Committee last November, Page recalled sending Cox an email
expressing an interest in “volunteering” and getting back a positive
Page said he “always had an admiration for
President Trump” from “just watching him, and the successes he's had in a
matter its motives, the FBI became a tool of anti-Trump political
actors,” Cox tweeted Sunday. “This is unacceptable in a democracy
and ought to alarm anyone who wants the FBI to be a nonpartisan
enforcer of the law.”"