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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

And there is more

A secret court orderThe FBI suspected Carter Page was working as an agent for Russia

Investigators are reported to have obtained a warrant to monitor Donald Trump's former foreign-policy adviser
IT SEEMED a little strange when, in an interview with the Washington Post in March of 2016, Donald Trump named Carter Page as a foreign-policy adviser. No one in the world of international relations seemed to have heard of him; even among expats in Moscow, where Mr Page spent a few years with Merrill Lynch before starting his own energy consultancy, he was scarcely remembered. Fairly soon Mr Trump’s campaign began to disavow him. The White House will doubtless do so even more vigorously after news that investigators strongly suspected he was working as an agent of Vladimir Putin’s government.

Citing anonymous sources, the Post now reports that last summer the FBI and the Justice Department sought and received a warrant to monitor Mr Page’s communications from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). To accomplish that, they had to persuade a judge that there was “probable cause” to believe Mr Page was acting as a foreign agent. Court records already in the public domain show that a man subsequently identified as Mr Page interacted with a Russian spook, who was posing as a diplomat, in New York in 2013 (Mr Page says only publicly available material was exchanged). He made an interestingly timed visit to Moscow last July, during which he made a speech that was highly critical of American foreign policy (he says the visit was unrelated to the campaign). He has acknowledged speaking briefly with the Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention.

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