Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, a former volunteer foreign policy advisor to President Trump. The highly redacted documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests show how the FBI was able to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant for a year of his life.
The wiretap was applied for and granted in October 2016, shortly before the end of the presidential campaign. Approved applications last for 90 days. The Department of Justice requested and received three renewals, for a total of one year of surveillance. Despite claiming to the court in 2016 that “the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government,” the government has yet to charge Page with breaking any of the serious laws it alleges he knowingly transgressed.
Here is what the highly redacted FISA applications show us thus far.
The Dossier Provided an Essential Part Of Application
As members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committee previously reported, a salacious and unverified dossier was essential to the government’s case for spying on Page. The information from the dossier is presented to the court as if it’s believable.
For instance, the application states, “the FBI has learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials during this trip.” The only way it learned that was through the dossier. Steele’s claim that Page had a “secret meeting with Igor Sechin, who is the President of Rosneft [a Russian energy company] and a close associate to Russian President Putin” to lift sanctions is included.
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