Admin Releases Page Documents 07/22 10:41
The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of documents once deemed
top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime adviser to Donald Trump's
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of
documents once deemed top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime
adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
The New York Times reported that the documents involving former Trump
campaign adviser Carter Page were released to the Times and several other media
organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain
them. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online.
The materials include an October 2016 application to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal
applications, the Times reported. It is highly unusual for documents related to
FISA wiretap applications to be released.
While the documents were heavily redacted in places, the Times reported that
visible portions of the documents show the FBI telling the intelligence court
that Page "has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government."
The agency also told the court that "the FBI believes Page has been the subject
of targeted recruitment by the Russian government."
Page has denied being a Russian agent.
After a redaction, the Times reported that the application to wiretap Page
included a partial sentence: "... undermine and influence the outcome of the
2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law."
The surveillance of Page became a contentious matter between Republican and
Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. Republicans alleged the FBI had abused
its surveillance powers and improperly obtained the warrant, a charge that
Democrats rebutted as both sides characterized the documents in different ways.
The documents, meanwhile, remained out of public view.
House Democrats were quick to say that the documents bolstered their
"For more than a year, House Republicans have bullied the Department of
Justice and FBI to release highly sensitive documents to derail the Special
Counsel's and other legitimate national security investigations and cover for
the President," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. "For
the sake of our national security and our democracy, these vital investigations
must be allowed to continue unhindered by Republican interference. The GOP must
cease their attacks on our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and
finally decide where their loyalty lies."
Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is the ranking member of the
House intelligence committee, said the documents underscore the "legitimate
concern" the FBI had about Page's activities. Yet Schiff said the materials
shouldn't have been released during an ongoing investigation because of
national security. He blamed Trump for making public House Republicans' initial
memo about the FISA applications, a move by Trump that the congressman called
"nakedly political and self-interested, and designed to to (sic) interfere with
the Special Counsel's investigation."