Carter Page, a one-time Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, has sued the Democrat National Committee (DNC) over the discredited Steele dossier used to surveil him, Fox News reports.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois’ Eastern Division, Page’s legal team warn the move is the “first of multiple actions in the wake of historic” wrongdoing by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA).
“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” said John Pierce, a lawyer for Page. “Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state.”
“This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high,” he added. “The rule of law will prevail.”
The suit also names Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign and the DNC, along with parties alleged to have been behind the dossier’s funding.
Fox News reports:
Page is now represented by Pierce, the global managing partner of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP. They filed in Illinois because they allege the relationship with the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, was “orchestrated” through law firm Perkins Coie’s Chicago office.
Page’s lawsuit does not specify the amount sought, instead seeking “compensatory, special and punitive damages in appropriate amounts to be established at trial.”
The suit alleges that the DNC, Perkins Coie and partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussman “used false information, misrepresentations and other misconduct to direct the power of the international intelligence apparatus and the media industry against” Page “to further their political agenda.”
The development follows the December release of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, in which it was revealed that there were 17 “significant errors or omissions” in the FISA application to surveil Page in 2016 and 2017. The Justice Department conceded last Thursday that it lacked sufficient cause to continue wiretaps against Page, adding that at least two of the four FISA warrant applications lacked “probable cause to believe that Page was acting as an agent” of the Russian government.
“In connection with an effort to counter the Trump campaign, Defendants undertook to develop opposition research regarding Trump and his campaign, including persons associated with that campaign,” reads the suit. “As part of this effort, Defendants developed a dossier replete with falsehoods about numerous individuals associated with the Trump campaign—especially Dr. Page. Defendants then sought to tarnish the Trump campaign and its affiliates (including Dr. Page) by publicizing this false information.”
Shortly after the IG report’s release, fired FBI Director James Comey conceded that the bureau’s conduct during the 2016 Russia investigation was unacceptable.
“I was overconfident as director in our procedures of the FBI and Justice have built over 20 years years. I thought they were robust enough. It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA,” Comey told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. “I was overconfident in those because he’s right, there was real sloppiness — 17 things that should have been in the application or at least discussed and characterized differently. It was not acceptable, so he’s right. I was wrong.”