FBI Releases Top-Secret Wiretapping Request in Russia Probe

The FBI thought Russians were recruiting Carter Page
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2018 10:40 AM CDT
FBI Releases Top-Secret Wiretapping Request in Russia Probe
In this July 8, 2016, file photo, Carter Page speaks in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

Thought Carter Page was just a kooky dream you had? Not so: The FBI released Saturday a redacted version of its FISA warrant to wiretap the former Trump campaign advisor, the New York Times reports. "This application targets Carter Page," the document reads. "The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government." After a redaction, the October 2016 application continues with "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election in violation of US criminal law." All old news, so far—the wiretapping of Page played out in a Republican-vs-Democrat memo war in February—which may make the release itself the biggest news item. It's the first time a sensitive FISA warrant application has ever been released.

The release was triggered by Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by the New York Times and other news organizations, after President Trump declassified the applications' existence earlier in 2018. The application confirms one part of the battle over Page's wiretapping—that the FBI relied partly on information from a dossier by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, which said Page had met with top Russian representatives on a 2016 trip to Moscow. Republicans have criticized the Democratic-funded dossier, while Democrats say the FBI also got Page evidence from other sources. The FISA release is playing out along partisan lines Sunday, with Trump tweeting about a "witch hunt," Page defending himself on CNN, and Democrats saying the FBI had legitimate concerns about Page, per Bloomberg. (More Carter Page stories.)

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