Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page filed a whopping 8-count lawsuit against the Department of Justice and the FBI on Friday, seeking no less than $75 million in damages for being “unlawfully surveilled” during the 2017 Russia hoax investigation.
The lawsuit, filed in the D.C. District Court, seeks compensation for “multiple violations” of Page’s “Constitutional and other legal rights in connection with unlawful surveillance and investigation of him by the United States government.”
The 59-page complaint lists defendants including FBI Director James Comey, Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, and the team of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Also included are former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to falsifying an email to hide Page’s past service as a source to the CIA, and FBI Agents Joe Pientka, Stephen Somma and Brian Auten, The Federalist reports. Other defendants were identified as John Doe 1-10 and Jane Doe 1-10.
Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker, was unknowingly wiretapped by the FBI for a year, suspected to be a Russian agent. The suspicions were based on allegations in the famous Russia hoax dossier. After an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, there was no evidence establishing “that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”
The first four counts of the complaint allege claims under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with one count seeking damages for each of the four FISA court orders the defendants obtained against Page. FISA provides a private right of action to allow “an aggrieved person…who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance or about whom information obtained by electronic surveillance of such person has been disclosed” to sue those responsible, according to The Federalist.
Page’s attorneys also note that it is a criminal offense, within FISA, to illegally “engage in electronic surveillance under color of law.”
“Since not a single proven fact ever established complicity with Russia involving Dr. Page, there never was probable cause to seek or obtain the FISA Warrants targeting him on this basis,” the lawsuit says.
The fifth count alleges a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which states that the United States is liable for civil wrongs “in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances,” meaning Page can sue the government for misconduct just as he could any normal citizen.
This count seeks damages for the individual defendants who “committed an abuse of process because they acted with an ulterior motive in using the FISA warrant process to accomplish an end unintended and not permitted by law, to wit, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign by unlawfully invading the privacy of Dr. Page without probable cause.”
In the sixth count, Page alleged a Bivens claim, named after the Supreme Court case. In Bivens, the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff is entitled to damages from the individual government actors responsible for violating his or her Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures, when the defendants act wilfully, knowingly, or with a reckless disregard for the truth: Crossfire Hurricane in a nutshell.
The final two claims seek a remedy for Page under the Privacy Act. The first seeks to force the Department of Justice to update Page’s “individual records.” The final, also under the Privacy Act, seeks damages for the emotional distress he suffered while he was “falsely portrayed as a traitor to his country,” as well as for court costs and attorney fees.