DOJ Admits Lack of Probable Cause in Surveillance of Carter Page

The Department of Justice has admitted that it lacked sufficient evidence in two of the four FISA applications to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department now believes it should have discontinued its secret surveillance of one-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page far earlier than it did, according to a new court filing unsealed Thursday.

The Justice Department made that determination in a December letter to the secret court that oversees surveillance of suspected foreign spies, acknowledging it may have lacked probable cause to continue wiretapping in the last two of the four surveillance applications it sought against Mr. Page.

The government began the surveillance in late 2016, after he left the Trump campaign, and continued monitoring him until late 2017—ultimately obtaining a warrant and three subsequent renewals. The last two applications were submitted in April and June of 2017. It now has concluded there was “insufficient predication to establish probable cause” in the last two renewals, which authorized about six months of surveillance on the former adviser.

Probable cause is the legal standard to obtain a secret warrant against suspected agents of a foreign power from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret judicial panel that approves such warrants.

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