July 22 (UPI) — The Justice Department on Saturday released redacted applications for surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Materials released to The New York Times and other agencies that filed a Freedom of Information Act for the documents include an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page, as well as renewal applications.
The documents, 412 pages of heavily redacted material, have been at the heart of a controversy over alleged bias at the FBI.
“The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the application said, which after redactions continued with, “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law. Mr. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for U.S. president.”
The FBI told the court that Page “established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers,” and Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”
Page, an American oil industry consultant who served as a foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump as he was campaigning for president, has been under investigation by U.S. intelligence agencies including the CIA, NSA and FBI, for alleged contact he has had with Russian officials under U.S. sanctions. He distanced himself from the Trump campaign in September 2016 while under scrutiny.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued a warrant to allow the Justice Department to surveil Page in the summer of 2016 based on evidence he was working as a Russian agent.
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.
A pair of dueling memos about the FISA warrant became the focus of attention for the House intelligence committee in January and February of this year. One written at the direction of committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., accuses top law enforcement officials of relying on an unsubstantiated dossier by former British spy Christopher Steel to get the FISA warrant. Trump OK’d the release of that memo in early February.
Trump declined to release another memo by ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a rebuttal of the Nunes memo. The president said there were security concerns with some of the information in that memo.