The FBI’s Russia investigation began in the summer of 2016 when investigators learned that a Trump campaign foreign policy aide, George Papadopoulos, had been importuned by Russian intelligence operatives in London. They offered him “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and “off-the-record” meetings with Russian officials.
Counterintelligence officers began to look into what was going on. By October, they were focusing on Page, who had left the Trump campaign earlier in the year after he, too, had served as a foreign policy aide.
In the new document from that month, the FBI not only argues that Page might have been conspiring with the Russians, it wrote that it believed he was a full-blown Russian agent.
…In the filing, investigators cited a number of reasons they believed it, including the FBI’s past experience in dealing with Page — who had been targeted for recruitment by Russia’s foreign intelligence service — and then-new reports the FBI was getting from a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.
…Now that portions are public, it is clear that the FISA application does not name Trump or Clinton or Fusion GPS or Simpson or Steele nor detail the political background.
Nunes argued in February that law enforcement officials should have included these details many times but didn’t:
“In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts,” Nunes wrote. “However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.”
The Justice Department and FBI responded before the release of Nunes’ memo that, in fact, he was the one who had omitted important information about the way FISA process works — which the agencies said gave them “grave concerns.”
…Entire sections of the file, including one under the heading “Clandestine intelligence activities of the Russian Federation,” are blacked out.