A former Trump campaign associate who was wiretapped by the FBI sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 21, demanding that the government provide him with the opportunity to review, before it is made public, the forthcoming inspector general’s report on potential surveillance abuses in his case.
In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, Carter Page accuses the DOJ of violating his privacy rights by failing to grant him the opportunity to review the report before the document is published.
The DOJ Office of Inspector General is expected to soon release a voluminous report examining potential surveillance abuses tied to secret court warrants that the FBI obtained to spy on Page.
Page additionally alleges that the DOJ violated his privacy rights by disclosing copies of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to the New York Times prior to giving him an opportunity to review the documents.
In addition to requesting damages and the prosecution of the officials involved, Page is asking the court to order the DOJ to hand over all of the documents he has long sought to review and amend.
“The DOJ, its employees and officers, including those in the affiliated agency of the FBI under their jurisdiction, acted intentionally or willfully in violation of Dr. Page’s privacy rights,” the lawsuit states.
“As a result of the DOJ’s violations of the Privacy Act, Dr. Page has suffered adverse harmful effects, including, but not limited to, mental distress, emotional trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, and lost or jeopardized present or future financial opportunities.”
Page filed a formal Privacy Act request in May 2017. The request remains unfulfilled.
The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the government from releasing information on individuals to the public without written consent. One of the provisions also empowers citizens to review and request amendments to records that the government holds in its possession.
While the lawsuit asks the court to order the DOJ not to release the report until Page has a chance to review it, Page clarified that he isn’t seeking such a delay.
“There is actually no need for delay,” Page wrote in an email to The Epoch Times. “For example, I was in D.C. for five straight days last weekend—Thursday morning through Monday night, October 17–21. And I had asked DOJ to meet that Thursday, 10/17. If they had followed the law and granted me permission for review like I have been requesting for many months, I would’ve worked on my review intensively last Saturday and Sunday. They could have received it by the time they returned to the office on Monday morning. But instead, they just continued stonewalling me so I had no choice [but] to sue. Bottom line: I’m not trying to delay anything, but will keep doing everything possible to ensure that it’s actually accurate this time.”
The FBI obtained a FISA warrant and began surveilling Page in October 2016. The FISA warrant application described Page as an agent of Russia. The government didn’t charge Page with a crime.
The FBI obtained the warrant as part of its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. The application relies heavily on the dossier of political opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump. Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier by paying second- and third-hand sources with ties to the Kremlin. The FISA warrant application fails to mention that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the dossier.
Some of the claims in the dossier that cast Trump and his associates in a negative light have been debunked, while the rest remain unverified despite intense scrutiny by the media, Congress, the special counsel investigation, and privately funded research.
The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation evolved into the special counsel probe by Robert Mueller. The special counsel’s office finished its investigation earlier this year, concluding there was insufficient evidence to establish that anyone colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The Epoch Times has previously reported that the process for securing the FISA warrants was riddled with abnormalities and oversight failures.
In an Oct. 24 letter to lawmakers, Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote that the voluminous report will be minimally redacted.
The headline and lead sentence of the article have been adjusted to more accurately reflect the nature of Page’s lawsuit.