In order to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the FBI used the contentious “Trump dossier” to obtain a warrant from the FISA court, CNN reported on Tuesday.
“U.S. officials tell CNN that last year the FBI used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to get approval to secretly monitor Trump associate Carter Page,” Even Perez reported. “Now those sources say that FBI Director James Comey has cited the dossier in some of his briefings to Congress in recent weeks as one of the sources of information that the bureau used to bolster its investigation.”
“This includes approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act known as FISA, to monitor Page’s communications,” he continued. “But to obtain permission to target Page, the FBI and the Justice Department would have to present probable cause that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power. Including possibly engaging in clandestine intelligence gathering for a foreign government.”
“Comey and other top Justice Department officials would have had to sign off on that request,” Perez added. “Last year, Page was identified by the Trump campaign as an advisor on national security matters, though he has since said that he had limited interaction with the campaign as a volunteer.”
Even though the US intelligence community had been trying to distance itself from the allegations in the dossier, Comey’s decision to use the dossier and its contents to obtain the warrant has led many to believe that dossier may not have been discredited as initially believed.
Explaining Carter Page’s reaction to the allegations of possible collusion during a trip to Russia, Perez said, “Page says that he took the trip independently, and that he expressed his own views and overall he’s disputed that anything was illegal in his interactions with Russians.”
In a statement to CNN, Page suggested that he was moving forward with a lawsuit against the surveillance by the government.
“I look forward to the Privacy Act of 1975 lawsuit that I plan to file in response to the civil rights violations by Obama administration appointees last year. The discovery process will be of great value to the United States, as our nation hears testimony from them under oath, and we receive disclosure of the documents which show what exactly was done in 2016.”
Claims of possible surveillance by the Obama administration have been under investigation since President Trump alleged that Obama had Trump Towers wiretapped before the election. Following the initiation of investigations, Susan Rice, former national security advisor to Obama, admitted that there had been “unmasking” of US persons related to Trump’s presidential campaign. She, however, denied any criminal activity.