Trump administration releases Carter Page wiretap documents

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington Wednesday

The heavily redacted 412-page release made public on July 21 pertains to Carter Page and consists of an original 2016 Federal Bureau of Investigation request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to wiretap Page and several renewal requests.

Aligning with President Donald Trump, Republicans alleged in a memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that the FBI's surveillance of Page amounted to an abuse of power-an abuse Republicans don't typically care about when the privacy rights of ordinary Americans are at risk.

"The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government", the initial FBI application says before it is blacked out and continues: "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law".

"It's really spin", he said. "It's literally a complete joke and it only just continues..."

Several news organizations, including CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Hill received copies of the FISA documents by filing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

The warrants describe a trip Page took to Russian Federation in 2016 to speak at the New Economic School.

"And: "[Page] has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers". Page allegedly met with Igor Sechin, President of Rosneft and close to Putin. He first reached out to the Trump campaign in 2015 before meeting Mr Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, in January 2016.

Among the evidence presented was a controversial dossier compiled in 2016 by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Trump declassified the documents past year. Yes, the Dirty Dossier, paid for by Democrats as a hit piece against Trump, and looking for information that could discredit Candidate #1 Trump.

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It contains 412 pages of heavily redacted material which includes the surveillance applications, their later renewals, and warrants surrounding the investigation into Mr Page.

He tweeted Sunday that the Russian Federation investigation is "an illegal Scam!" Mr Trump has labelled the investigation a "witch hunt".

The documents show that former FBI Director James Comey and former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe certified the requests to wiretap Page over several 90-day periods. All four judges were nominated by Republican presidents.

The surveillance of Page became a contentious matter between Republican and Democratic lawmakers earlier this year.

But Trump's tweets did not address the fact that the FISA application revealed its sourcing at length and was approved by a judge, before being renewed three more times by three other judges. "An illegal Scam!" Trump's follow up tweet on Sunday morning said. "I also don't believe it proves anything about collusion", Rubio said. I don't think it's part of any broader plot.

In response, Tapper quoted from a letter written by Page in August 2013 in which he described himself as having "had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin" in preparation for the G-20 summit of the world's leading and emerging economies.

He also said if the Obama administration funneled campaign research toward surveillance, the American people deserve to know. There is redacted line followed by "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election in violation of USA criminal law". This included his seeming support for Crimea as a Russian territory, support for lifting sanctions on Russia and an attempt to make sure the GOP would not promise to arm Ukraine against Russian intrusion. Page has denied being an agent of Russian Federation, which he repeated Sunday to CNN, saying, "No".

Page said the claim that Divyekin offered compromising material on Hillary Clinton was "preposterous".

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