The FBI omitted from its application to spy on Carter Page the fact that Russian spies had dismissed the former Trump campaign adviser as unreliable – or as one put it, an “idiot” – and therefore unworthy of recruiting, according to congressional sources who have seen the unredacted document.
The potentially exculpatory detail was also withheld from three renewals of the wiretap warrant before a special government surveillance court. The warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court allowed the FBI to spy on Page and others he was in contact with for almost a year, the sources also confirmed.
The FBI was aware of Russians’ skepticism that Page knew anything of value or was a significant player because the bureau had recorded them voicing such doubts in a wiretap, from an earlier espionage case involving three Russian spies working undercover for the Kremlin in New York.
The FBI cited that 2013 case, minus the disparagement of Page, in its applications to the FISA court. They have been made public only in redacted form, professing evidence that Page was “recruited” by Russian intelligence and had “coordinated” with the Russian government. But “that’s a mischaracterization of the facts in the case,” a congressional source said.
Does the FISA Court have contempt power?
MORE CORRUPTION ISSUES FOR ANDREW GILLUM: Sloppy redaction shows large deposit into candidate’s account. Reason: Pay the bills. “The deposit came during the FBI investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee and just days before Gillum took a now-scrutinized overseas trip with his friend and lobbyist, Adam Corey. On May 5, less than a week after the deposit, Gillum went to Costa Rica with his wife, Corey, and several other couples. His campaign said Tuesday in releasing the documents that Gillum paid cash to someone in the group for his and his wife’s share of a villa. The campaign has not said who received the money. Corey’s lawyer has said that he did not receive payment from Gillum.”