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Admin Releases Page Documents          07/22 10:41

   The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of documents once deemed 
top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime adviser to Donald Trump's 
presidential campaign.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration on Saturday released a set of 
documents once deemed top secret relating to the wiretapping of a onetime 
adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

   The New York Times reported that the documents involving former Trump 
campaign adviser Carter Page were released to the Times and several other media 
organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain 
them. The FBI later posted the documents to its FOIA website online.

   The materials include an October 2016 application to the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page as well as several renewal 
applications, the Times reported. It is highly unusual for documents related to 
FISA wiretap applications to be released.

   While the documents were heavily redacted in places, the Times reported that 
visible portions of the documents show the FBI telling the intelligence court 
that Page "has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government." 
The agency also told the court that "the FBI believes Page has been the subject 
of targeted recruitment by the Russian government."

   Page has denied being a Russian agent.

   After a redaction, the Times reported that the application to wiretap Page 
included a partial sentence: "... undermine and influence the outcome of the 
2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law."

   The surveillance of Page became a contentious matter between Republican and 
Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. Republicans alleged the FBI had abused 
its surveillance powers and improperly obtained the warrant, a charge that 
Democrats rebutted as both sides characterized the documents in different ways. 
The documents, meanwhile, remained out of public view.

   House Democrats were quick to say that the documents bolstered their 
arguments.

   "For more than a year, House Republicans have bullied the Department of 
Justice and FBI to release highly sensitive documents to derail the Special 
Counsel's and other legitimate national security investigations and cover for 
the President," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. "For 
the sake of our national security and our democracy, these vital investigations 
must be allowed to continue unhindered by Republican interference. The GOP must 
cease their attacks on our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and 
finally decide where their loyalty lies."

   Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is the ranking member of the 
House intelligence committee, said the documents underscore the "legitimate 
concern" the FBI had about Page's activities. Yet Schiff said the materials 
shouldn't have been released during an ongoing investigation because of 
national security. He blamed Trump for making public House Republicans' initial 
memo about the FISA applications, a move by Trump that the congressman called 
"nakedly political and self-interested, and designed to to (sic) interfere with 
the Special Counsel's investigation."


(KA)

 
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