Report: FBI Used Dodgy Dossier to Justify FISA Warrant on Carter Page
The FBI last year used the controversial "Trump/Russia dossier" as part of its justification to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page, CNN reported on Tuesday. The unverified dodgy dossier is the work of former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, who was working for Trump's political opponents. According to CNN, the dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks to "bolster" the FBI's investigation.
This includes approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor the communications of Carter Page, two of the officials said. Last year, Page was identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser on national security.
Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated.
The dossier first came to light when CNN reported that a summary of it had been presented to President Obama and President-elect Trump back in December by top US Intelligence officials.
Comey's briefings to lawmakers stand in contrast to efforts in recent months by the bureau and US intelligence agencies to try to distance themselves from the dossier.
US law enforcement and intelligence officials have said US investigators did their own work, separate from the dossier, to support their findings that Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.
The dossier alleges that Page met senior Russian officials as an emissary of the Trump campaign, and discussed quid-pro-quo deals relating to sanctions, business opportunities and Russia's interference in the election. Page has denied meeting the officials named in the dossier and says he never cut any political deals with the Kremlin.
During the campaign, he traveled to Russia in July, where he gave a lecture critical of US policy toward Russia. That trip drew the attention of the FBI and raised concerns about Page's contacts with suspected Russian operatives, according to US officials briefed on the matter. Page has said he made the trip independent of the Trump campaign and his speech reflected his own views.
Carter Page, an investment banker, lecturer, and foreign policy analyst, was an unpaid national security adviser to the Trump campaign for about six months in 2016. He has vigorously denied engaging in any improper interactions with Russian officials, calling any contact he might have had with "Russian operatives" during his tenure as a Trump adviser "less than incidental." Page said on The O'Reilly Factor last week that there were "no negotiations" whatsoever with any Russians he met during that time period.