Trump alleges “illegal” surveillance following Carter Page warrant

Trump alleges “illegal” surveillance following Carter Page warrant
President of the United States, Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

United States President Donald Trump has alleged that the FBI used “illegal” spying to wiretap his former campaign adviser Carter Page.

Trump claims that documents relating to the surveillance of Mr Carter show that the US intelligence agency deliberately misled the courts in order to obtain a warrant.

However, political figures from both sides of politics contradict the President’s assertion, saying that the documents do not reveal any wrongdoing by the FBI.

The papers have been the focus of American politics for the last few months, with Republicans suggesting that the FBI had misrepresented their evidence in order to obtain a warrant for Mr Carter they would have otherwise been denied. The FBI was investigating the alleged meddling by the Russian government in President Trump’s election campaign, allegations that Donald Trump has sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin in denying.

The claim was first made in a string of tweets by Trump in which he targeted his democratic election rival Hillary Clinton, saying that the wiretapping was purely “for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton”.

Mr Page has so far denied any collusion with the Kremlin and has not been charged with any felony.

Republicans supporting Trump have alleged that the FBI has abused its intelligence gathering powers by obtaining a warrant to wiretap Mr Page improperly. Mr Trump has also gone as far to call it an “illegal scam”.

Until Saturday, the documents had remained unobtainable by the public until they were released under the Freedom of Information Act.

In the documents, which were heavily redacted, the FBI told the court that Mr Page has been “collaborating and conspiring” with the Kremlin. They went on to say that the FBI was confident that the efforts of the Russian government “are being coordinated with Page” while also citing that “other individuals” connected to the President’s election campaign were also under scrutiny.

The papers were part of an application for a warrant to the foreign intelligence surveillance court, which agreed on monitoring Mr Page. It also included applications filed after Mr Trump became President.

The documents also cited that Mr Page was a candidate for “targeted recruitment” by Russian officials.