FBI releases documents on former Trump adviser surveillance


The FBI believed that a former Trump campaign advisor had ties to Russian Federation as it sought to influence the 2016 USA presidential election, top secret documents released to U.S. news organizations revealed on Saturday. The agency also told the court that "the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government".

The previously top-secret document is the first such release by the DOJ in the 40 years since the surveillance law was enacted.

The formerly classified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications were released after advocacy groups and news organizations, including The New York Times and USA Today, sued for disclosure. The release of the document comes in the wake of a lengthy partisan disagreement in congress over allegations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation abused its powers when seeking to secretly monitor someone who was once associated with the Trump campaign - though the campaign later distanced itself from Page.

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The FBI "believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election in violation of USA criminal law", the FISA application read. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online.

The surveillance of Page became a contentious matter between Republican and Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. "The FBI believes the Russian government's efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Trump's] campaign", the application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said. The documents, meanwhile, remained out of public view.

The source appears to be Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier. Democrats, on the other hand, refuted this claim in their memo, saying that this was not at all why the Yahoo News article was referenced. But the FISA application shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department believed Steele to be a "reliable" source. It is highly unusual for documents related to FISA wiretap applications to be released.

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Ms Pelosi added that the Republican's should stop trying to hinder the investigations "for the sake of our national security and our democracy".

Schiff 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 created to to (sic) interfere with the Special Counsel's investigation".

After the FISA documents were published, President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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