Rosenstein OK'd surveillance of ex-Trump adviser: GOP memo

President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week.

Former campaign aide Carter Page told Politico that he's "still awaiting the facts" about the FBI's surveillance of him before he responds to a report that the Justice Department OK'd extending a warrant to do just that.

The lack of transparency around documents that could potentially show improper use of the Steele dossier might be justifiably confounding for the president, Wisenberg said.

A controversial and classified memo shows that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein okayed an application shortly after taking office a year ago to monitor a former Trump campaign associate, according to a report.

USA officials reportedly cited the infamous Russian Federation dossier in a FISA warrant taken out against Page in September 2016, just after he left the Trump campaign. The Trump administration has indicated it wants the memo to be made public, while officials at the Justice Department have urged caution.

The DOJ called efforts to release the memo "reckless" without it and the Federal Bureau of Investigation first being able to review the document to see if it harms national security.

In the memo, Republicans alleges that senior intelligence officials abused the surveillance program to target Trump's campaign as part of a political bias and failed to properly vet the application.

Page has vehemently denied the dossier's allegations and has claimed he is the victim of a witch hunt.

In seeking the warrant's renewal, Rosenstein would have had to attest that he believed there was probable cause that Page was acting as an agent of Russian Federation.

The memo says the Justice Department relied partly on information compiled by Christopher Steele when it initially persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to approve surveillance of Page, according to three anonymous sources who spoke with the New York Times. In a letter last May, Page asked Rosenstein, a former USA attorney in Baltimore, to provide documents that were used for the surveillance warrant.

The panel issued a last-minute notice of a business meeting Monday evening for "consideration of pending committee business and other matters", according to The Hill.

The Justice Department declined to comment on this report.

The FBI had been keeping an eye on Page for years and an investigation in 2013 showed that a Russian spy tried to recruit him. It has also been reported that he has testified before Special Counsel Robert Mueller's grand jury.

  • Anthony Vega