Tuesday, February 6, 2018

MFIA Clinic Seeks FISA Court Records in Carter Page Case

On February 5, 2018, the Yale Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion on behalf of New York Times reporters Adam Goldman and Charlie Savage and the New York Times Company seeking publication of all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) orders authorizing surveillance of Carter Page, as well as the warrant application materials upon which those orders were issued.

Page served briefly as a foreign affairs advisor to the Trump Campaign in 2016. Recently, Page reentered the public spotlight when President Donald Trump declassified a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memorandum (the “Nunes Memorandum”). The memo disclosed the existence of multiple FISC orders authorizing the surveillance of Page after his departure from the Trump campaign.

The New York Times reporters and The New York Times Company seek to disclose those orders to facilitate the ongoing public debate over the propriety of the surveillance orders and the related investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The release of the Nunes Memorandum has fueled intense debate over the motivations and factual bases underpinning the investigation of Mr. Page. The orders would provide context for verifying the legitimacy of the government’s ongoing investigations, especially given the partial account already revealed by the Nunes Memorandum.

The Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic is a legal services clinic dedicated to increasing government transparency, defending the essential work of news gatherers, and protecting freedom of expression through impact litigation, direct legal services, and policy work. The clinic is an initiative of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and is funded by the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression.