Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page sues FBI, Justice Department
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page filed a $75 million lawsuit against the FBI, Justice Department and former FBI Director James Comey, claiming he was the victim of “unlawful spying" during the bureau's Russia investigation.
Why it matters: The lawsuit largely echoes a DOJ inspector general report that found errors in applications to acquire wiretap warrants on Page through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, according to AP.
Context: Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who investigated the origins of the 2016 Russia investigations, said in a 2019 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that he found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's scrutiny of Trump administration officials, including Page.
- Horowitz also determined that the FBI was justified in opening its probe after receiving a tip on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
- However, the inspector general also counted at least 17 errors in Page's FISA application, including the omission of information that may have refuted allegations he was a Russian agent.
The big picture: The lawsuit, filed Friday, accuses the FBI of relying excessively on information complied by Christopher Steele, a former British spy, and that the bureau failed to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Steele’s primary source contradicted information that Steele attributed to him.
- The suit also claims the FBI misled the court about his relationship with the CIA.
- Kevin Clinesmith, an ex-FBI lawyer, pleaded guilty in August to altering an email, saying Page had not been a source for the CIA when he was. The email was used in an application to renew a wiretap on Page.