The Washington Post just reported that the FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to Donald Trump as part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
According to the report, law enforcement and other U.S. officials revealed the FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case, Russia.
Page’s role as an adviser to the Trump campaign drew alarm last year from more-established foreign policy experts in part because of Page’s effusive praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his criticism of U.S. sanctions over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.
In July, Page traveled to Moscow, where he delivered a speech harshly critical of the United States’ policy toward Russia.
While there, Page reportedly met with Igor Sechin, a Putin confidant, according to a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer and cited at a congressional hearing by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Officials said some of the information in the dossier has been verified by U.S. intelligence agencies, and some of it hasn’t, while other parts are unlikely to ever be proved or disproved.
The officials spoke about the court order on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe, the Post reported.