The central figure in the controversy over the FBI’s exploitation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump praised the House Permanent Select Committee for its four-page memorandum detailing FBI FISA abuses.
“The brave and assiduous oversight by Congressional leaders in discovering this unprecedented abuse of process represents a giant, historic leap in the repair of America’s democracy,” said Carter W. Page, an American citizen, a former Navy officer and a foreign policy volunteer for the Trump campaign.
Page was also a senior national security aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D.-N.Y.), who helped the senator in his effort to disband the CIA.
According to the memo, the Justice Department and the FBI secured a surveillance warrant from the FISA court to monitor Page Oct. 21, 2016. Because Page is a citizen, the warrant was good for 90 days, and could only be extended upon new findings of probable cause.
The probable cause the DOJ and FBI presented to the FISA judge drew heavily from the so-called “Steele Dossier,” an opposition research file on Trump developed by Christopher Steele, a veteran of British intelligence service, on a contract with Fusion GPS.
Steele was paid $160,000 by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary R. Clinton’s presidential campaign, through the Democratic-aligned law firm Perkins Coie, according to the memo. Steele met with Fusion GPS at the Washington offices of Perkins Coie, where the dossier was discussed.
The memo also describes how the FBI used Steele as a source until he worked with Mother Jones magazine for an article posted Oct. 31, 2016–and how this cooperation with the magazine led the FBI to stop paying Steele a source.
In September 2016, Steele told Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
Not only was this bias reported to the FISA court, but the court was never told that Ohr’s wife Nellie worked for Steele’s client Fusion GPS.
Page, who is traveling in Europe, told Big League Politics he was jammed up by the attention the memo’s release has brought.
“Now that a few of the misdeeds against the Trump Movement have been partially revealed,” he said. “I look forward to updating my pending legal action in opposition to DOJ this weekend in preparation for Monday’s next small step on the long, potholed road toward helping to restore law and order in our great country.”
Page’s legal action is the 400-page defamation lawsuit against media outlets that ran false stories about his interactions with the Russians, based on the dossier.
Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is suing the Buzzfeed website and Fusion GPS because of stories about him found in the dossier that Buzzfeed posted and asserted were true.