Per The Washington Post, the FBI just revealed that it “obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign.”
That Trump adviser is Carter Page, whom the FBI and Justice Department convinced a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was acting as a Russian agent.
More importantly, this court does not grant these requests lightly:
“The judges who rule on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests oversee the nation’s most sensitive national security cases, and their warrants are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Any FISA application has to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI.”
“The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.”
Since FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that Trump was the subject of an ongoing investigation regarding his campaign’s collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election, this evidence is now the clearest indication that such collusion did exist.
In their application to obtain a FISA warrant, officials said of Page:
“[T]he application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013… Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against another Russian agent. In addition… Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed.”
This is not the first indication about Page’s coziness to Russia. He raised red flags last year for his “effusive praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his criticism of U.S. sanctions over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.”
As of now, Carter Page has not been accused of a crime, and whether charges by the Justice Department will emerge remains to be seen.
In an interview, Carter said only:
“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance. I have nothing to hide.”
Regardless of Carter’s opinion, though, the FBI continues to move forward in its probe. With a disturbing number of advisers’ links to Russia being exposed almost daily, it’s only a matter of time before the entire Trump team is prosecuted for undermining the very democratic system they were sworn to protect.
What do you think?
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.