Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page says the Obama administration and career Justice Department and FBI employees possibly used surveillance warrants not only to spy on the campaign in 2016 but also on Trump’s transition team and administration.
Page told the Federalist that after he left the Trump campaign in late September 2016, he continued to communicate with individuals officially connected to the campaign.
“Yes, I stayed in touch with them – including during the transition months and after the start of the new administration,” Page said.
He confirmed that he remained in contact with Steve Bannon, who became chief executive of the campaign in August 2016 and Trump’s chief strategist in the White House.
The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland wrote that Page’s revelation “raises a much larger question: Did the FBI use the FISA surveillance orders to spy on Trump after his election?”
From October 2016 until Bannon was fired in August 2017, the FBI had authority to conduct electronic surveillance on Page, Cleveland noted.
The Justice Department and the FBI, using the bogus, anti-Trump dossier funded by the Hillary Clinton as evidence, obtained the first Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order in October 2016. Renewed three times, the order authorized the FBI to intercept Page’s communiques until late September 2017.
Cleveland observed that it’s “safe to assume that any communication device Page used would be tapped, including cell phones, text, and email.”
That means the FBI would have had access to any text and emails Page exchanged with Bannon or other members of the campaign, transition team or administration.
And, the FBI could eavesdrop on any telephone calls.
Cleveland pointed out that establishment media have downplayed the significance of the FISA warrants by arguing Page was no longer connected to the Trump campaign by October 2016, when the first warrant was issued.
But former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy has noted that when the government obtains a FISA order on a target’s communication devices “you not only get the forward-going communications, you get whatever stored communications are on his system.”
That means, Cleveland said, the FISA order allowed the FBI to obtain past communications between Page and Trump campaign officials.
Page told the Federalist that FBI investigators were interested in his early 2017 text messages with Bannon.
Cleveland noted that Robert Mueller’s report of his probe of alleged Trump-Russia collusion reveals the special counsel’s team asked President Trump whether he spoke with Bannon or other individuals with the transition team regarding “establishing an unofficial line of communications with Russia.”
Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge. She is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame.