Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide whose name became national news when it was revealed that the FBI put him under a special kind of foreign surveillance during the final months of the 2016 election, has filed a defamation suit against the Democratic National Committee and Perkins Coie, the law firm that funded the creation of the famous “dossier.” In the lawsuit, Page accuses the DNC and Perkins Coie of smearing his name and reputation with mud, in addition to putting him in the FBI’s crosshairs thanks to the opposition research compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
“The slanderous statements made and libelous documents directly exposed Dr. Page to public hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy,” reads the lawsuit. “[The materials] injured him severely in all his occupations, and tended to scandalize both his colleagues and friends.”
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday night, Page said the lawsuit was about more than collecting financial damages from the defendants.
“There have been so many lies and you look at the damage it did to our democratic systems and our institutions of government back in 2016,” Page said. “And I’m just trying to get some justice.”
Page’s name figured heavily into Steele’s dossier, where he is named as Donald Trump’s back channel to Russia. Steele wrote that it was Page who recommended that Kremlin hackers release the stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks as a way of getting them to the public without direct involvement from the Trump campaign or Russia. The dossier goes further, alleging that Page met secretly with two top Russian officials, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, in a trip to Moscow in the summer of 2016. Page says no such meeting ever took place.
The dossier was used not only to inform media stories that treated it as a fact that Page was some kind of Russian spy; it was also used by the FBI to secure a FISA warrant against the Trump associate. Though that warrant was renewed multiple times, the FBI has never brought a single charge against Page for his actions during the election. Furthermore, the FBI itself has come under fire for relying a little too heavily on the unsubstantiated dossier to get the warrants. Critics have said the Bureau did not make it clear enough that the dossier was political research bought and paid for by Democratic Party interests.