Carter Page on Friday sued the Justice Department, the FBI and former FBI Director James Comey for $75 million, insisting he was unlawfully surveilled as part of the 2017 special counsel investigation into so-called Russian collusion.
The 59-page lawsuit, filed Friday in Washington, DC, the federal court additionally sues former FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe and FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
Also named as plaintiffs are former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who this year pleaded guilty to falsifying an e-mail that was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to monitor Page.
The surveillance “violated federal statutes enacted to prevent unlawful spying on United States persons, as well as the Constitution,” the lawsuit says.
Page is a former Moscow-based investment banker and was a foreign policy adviser for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The FBI had a wiretap on him for a year as a suspected recruitment target of Russian intelligence agents.
The FBI’s suspicions were based in part on allegations contained in the infamous dossier prepared by Christopher Steele and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The dossier “falsely alleged unlawful communications and activities involving Dr. Page and two Russians with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the lawsuit says.
In seeking the warrants needed to wiretap Page, the FBI failed to independently investigate Steele’s allegations, the lawsuit complains.
The FBI also failed to disclose to the FISA court that Page had in fact been a CIA informant between 2008 and 2013, helping the agency “in combatting intelligence-related activities pursued by Russia and other foreign countries against the United States’ interests,” the lawsuit says.
“To persuade [the FISA court] that there was probable cause to believe that Dr. Page was a Russian agent, the Defendants provided false or misleading information” to the court, the suit says.
Page was ultimately exonerated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller’s report found “numerous links” but no criminal conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
“The investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” the Mueller report said last year.
A report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz further concluded that the FBI made 17 significant omissions or outright errors in its applications to the FISA court to surveil Page.
The IG said that despite the multiple errors, he found no evidence of political bias by the FBI when it opened the collusion probe.
Earlier this month, McCabe conceded before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would not have signed off on surveilling Page if he knew in 2017 what he knew now.