Trump claims 'illegal' spying after warrant papers unveiled

Little doubt’ FBI & DOJ misled courts in Carter Page probe – Trump on FISA files

Release of the documents comes just over a week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller, probing possible collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton's campaign to steal documents, which were then publicly released.

"The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government", the application said, which after redactions continued with, "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 USA presidential election in violation of US criminal law. Mr. Page is a former foreign policy adviser to a candidate for USA president".

However, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on July 21 that "these documents provide clear evidence of 'Russia's coordination with Carter Page, ' a high-ranking Trump campaign official, 'to undermine and improperly and illegally influence the 2016 United States presidential election'".

The FBI released documents part of an investigation into whether Page conspired with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 United States election. "This is many, many people over two administrations, four judges appointed by Republicans, over and over, believing that you were an agent of a foreign power".

The documents' release comes nine days after 12 Russians were charged with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 USA elections.

Democrats also argue the FBI's interest in Page predated its knowledge of the opposition research dossier and say it was not the dossier and the Page FISA warrant that prompted the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russia, but rather an earlier conversation that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had with an Australian diplomat about alleged Russian dirt on Clinton.

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A page-long footnote in the warrant application lays out the FBI's assessment of Steele's history and the likely interest of his backer, adding that despite the political concern, the bureau believed at least some of his report to be "credible".

On three separate occasions, officials from the Department of Justice - including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - renewed the FISA application. Separately, he suggested his campaign was "spied upon illegally".

Mr Page has not been charged. "I've never been anywhere near what's being described here", he said.

Page has denied being an agent of Russian Federation, which he repeated Sunday to CNN, saying, "No".

In April, the DOJ said they were "processing for potential redaction and release certain [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] materials related to Carter Page", after watchdog group Judicial Watch and several other organizations filed similar lawsuits.

He added: "To call me an advisor, I think is way over the top", before host Jake Tapper interjected to cite a 2013 letter written by Page in which he called himself "an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin".

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