The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Saturday released documents related to the surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as part of the federal investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.
Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of “Justice” and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
Though heavily redacted, the documents show that the infamous Steele Dossier was a major component of the 2016 surveillance warrant. The dossier was also a major component in subsequent renewals.
Page served as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign before he came under scrutiny for a trip to Moscow, where he interacted with a senior Russian government official.
Darrell Issa reacts to release of Carter Page FISA documents
A redacted version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wiretap application — which had previously been classified — and several renewals were released after requests by the news media.
“The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the document states, to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”
Page has repeatedly denied being a Russian agent.
Although the essential contents of the heavily redacted documents were mostly known to the public — via Intelligence Committee memos released by Democrats and Republicans — their release follows sustained attacks against the probe into Russian election meddling by the president and his allies.
The Daily Caller reports,
The dossier is the first piece of evidence cited in the FISA application section laying out the allegations that Page coordinated with Russian government officials on election-related “influence activities.”
That section cites information from “Source #1” who alleged that during a trip to Moscow in July 2016, Page met secretly with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, as part of a collusion scheme involving the Trump campaign.
The source appears to be Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier.
Steele also alleged in the dossier that Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to exchange information with Russian operatives. Page has vehemently denied the dossier’s allegations, and says he has never spoken to Manafort. He also says he has never met Sechin and Diveykin while denying that he is a Russian agent.
FBI officials have told Congress that investigators had not corroborated the dossier’s allegations when it was cited in the FISA applications. But the FISA application shows that the FBI and Justice Department believed Steele to be a “reliable” source. Steele has been compensated for other work by the FBI, and his intelligence has been used in other criminal proceedings, the FISA application says.
“This is an unprecedented moment in FOIA transparency, as never before has a FISA warrant been processed for release,” Bradley Moss, a national security attorney who filed one of the numerous lawsuits for the Page documents, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Now, with the actual documents in hand, not political spin written by lawmakers with agendas, the American public can make their own decision on whether anything was inappropriate about the surveillance of Carter Page,” added Moss, who is deputy executive director for the James Madison Project, a government transparency group.
Reached for comment shortly after The Times published the FISA applications, Page told TheDCNF: “I’m having trouble finding any small bit of this document that rises above completely ignorance and/or insanity.”