Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate who was the target of a secret surveillance warrant during the FBI’s Russia investigation, says in a federal lawsuit he was the victim of “unlawful spying,” reports the Associated Press. Page alleges omissions and errors by FBI and Justice Department officials in applications they submitted in 2016 and 2017 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to eavesdrop on Page on suspicion that he was an agent of Russia. “Since not a single proven fact ever established complicity with Russia involving Dr. Page, there never was probable cause to seek or obtain the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] Warrants targeting him on this basis,” the lawsuit says.
Page has received death and kidnapping threats and has suffered economic losses and “irreparable damage to his reputation,” he says. The lawsuit echoes some conclusions of a Justice Department inspector general report that found significant problems with the probe. Former Justice Department leaders who were involved in signing off on the surveillance have testified they wouldn’t have done so had they known of the extent of the issues. The FBI has initiated more than 40 corrective steps aimed at improving the accuracy and thoroughness of applications. Page accuses the FBI of relying excessively for information on Christopher Steele, a former British spy whose 2016 research into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was funded by Democrats. It says the FBI failed to tell the surveillance court that Steele’s primary source had contradicted information that Steele had attributed to him, or that Page had denied to an informant for the FBI having “any involvement with Russia on behalf of the Trump campaign.”