Trump administration releases Carter Page wiretap documents

DOJ releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide Carter Page

DOJ releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide Carter Page

Carter Page was the subject of a "targeted recruitment" by the Russian government, according to the late Saturday release of previously top-secret documents used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to obtain a wiretap warrant for the former Trump campaign aide.

The materials released by the DOJ include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal applications, the New York Times reported.

The FISA application to surveil Page has been a point of contention for lawmakers in Congress. Republicans have repeatedly claimed the warrant constituted FISA abuse, while Democrats have rejected those allegations. The agency also told the court that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government".

"This application targets Carter Page", the application said.

"After a redaction, the Times reported that the application to wiretap Page included a partial sentence: ". undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 USA presidential election in violation of US criminal law". Republicans who saw the full classified documents have previously alleged that surveillance of Page was improperly based on information gathered by Christopher Steele, a former British agent who gathered intelligence on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russians. The documents, meanwhile, remained out of public view.

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Republicans have denounced the FISA documents as evidence of abuse by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department targeting the Trump campaign. But they also said the bureau believed the information cited in the application "to be credible" because that person provided reliable information in the past.

After the FISA documents were published, President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

In March 2017, before news of the FISA warrant became public, Page sent a letter to the Senate intelligence committee saying he may have been wiretapped during the time he spent at Trump Tower for the campaign.

The documents released said "the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that the Russian Government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with" Trump's campaign.

He blamed Trump for making public House Republicans" initial memo about the FISA applications, a move by Trump that the congressman called "nakedly political and self-interested, and created to to (sic) interfere with the Special Counsel's investigation'.

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