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Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Files Suit Over 'Spying'

He says federal officials crossed the line
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2020 3:20 PM CST

(Newser) – 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 that he was the victim of "unlawful spying." The suit from Carter Page alleges a series of omissions and errors made 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, the AP reports. "Since not a single proven fact ever established complicity with Russia involving Dr. Page, there never was probable cause to seek or obtain the FISA Warrants targeting him on this basis," the lawsuit says, using the acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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The complaint largely echoes findings from a Justice Department inspector general report that found significant problems with the four applications. Former FBI and Justice Department leaders who were involved in signing off on the secretive surveillance have since testified they wouldn't have done so had they known of the extent of the issues, and the FBI has initiated more than 40 corrective steps aimed at improving the accuracy and thoroughness of applications to the court. In the lawsuit, filed Friday in Washington's federal court, Page accuses the FBI of relying excessively for information on Christopher Steele, a former British spy whose research during the 2016 campaign into Donald Trump's ties to Russia was funded by Democrats.

(Read more Russia investigation stories.)

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