WASHINGTON – A former Trump campaign associate who was the target of a covert surveillance warrant in the FBI’s Russia investigation has said in a federal lawsuit he was the victim of “illegal espionage.”
Carter Page’s lawsuit alleges a series of omissions and errors by FBI and Justice Department officials in requests they made in 2016 and 2017 to the Foreign Intelligence Review Court to listen to the page on the suspicion that he was an agent of Russia.
“Since no proven fact has ever established any complicity with Russia involving Dr Page, there was never a probable reason to seek or obtain the FISA warrants targeting him on this basis,” said the trial, using the acronym for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Page has received death and kidnapping threats and suffered economic loss and “irreparable damage to his reputation,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Washington on Friday.
The lawsuit echoes to some extent the findings of a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice which found significant problems with the four requests. Former FBI and Justice Department officials who were involved in signing off on the surveillance have since testified that they would not have done so had they known the extent of the problems, and the FBI has launched more 40 corrective actions to improve accuracy. and the rigor of the requests.
In the complaint, Page accuses the FBI of over-relying on information about Christopher Steele, a former British spy whose research during the 2016 campaign into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was funded by Democrats. He says the FBI did not tell the supervisory court that Steele’s primary source contradicted information Steele attributed to him, or that Page denied an FBI informant that he had “any involvement with Russia on behalf of. the Trump campaign ”.
The complaint also accuses the FBI of misleading the supervisory tribunal over its relationship with the CIA, for whom Page had been an operational contact between 2008 and 2013. Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August for modifying an email to say this page had not been a source for the CIA.
The trial identifies the FBI and the Department of Justice as defendants, as well as former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other officials involved in the investigation into Russia.
Despite the problems with warrant applications, scrutiny of Page, who has never been charged with wrongdoing, has been only a small part of the overall investigation into the links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The same Inspector General report that described problems detailed in the requests also concluded that the FBI had a legitimate basis for opening the Russia investigation and found no evidence that any of its actions were influenced. by a political bias.