The FBI believed that a former Trump campaign advisor had ties to Russia as it sought to influence the 2016 US presidential election, top-secret documents released to US news organizations revealed on Saturday.
The heavily redacted 412-page release made public on July 21 pertains to Carter Page and consists of an original 2016 FBI request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant to wiretap Page and several renewal requests.
“The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government,” the initial FBI application says before it is blacked out and continues: “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in violation of US criminal law.”
Page has denied being a Russian agent, and he has not been charged with any crime. He left the Trump campaign in September 2016 after reports surfaced about his meetings with Russian contacts.
Release of the documents comes just over one week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller, probing possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton’s campaign to steal documents, which were then publicly released.
On July 21, Page accused the government of “civil rights abuses” and said on Twitter that the surveillance documents showed the government’s “complete ignorance” regarding Russia.
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