The Justice Department launched an internal investigation on Wednesday into how the FBI got permission to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Republicans have been pushing for some kind of investigation since February, after a GOP memo was released accusing the Justice Department and the FBI of tricking a federal judge so that they could surveil Carter Page.
The FBI watched Page, who was a foreign policy adviser to Trump, for almost a year beginning in October 2016. A judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court has to give the FBI permission if it wants to spy on a US citizen it thinks might be working with a foreign government.
Republicans and Democrats have been fighting over the surveillance of Page since February, when Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) released a memo with his accusations that the FBI wasn’t honest with a FISA judge. Democrats responded with a memo that said that law enforcement officials had acted honestly, and disputed most of the Republican claims about deception.
At the heart of the fight is the Steele dossier, a report compiled by a former British intelligence operative that claimed Page had met with Russian officials during a July 2016 trip. The dossier said that Page was trying to help Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
The Justice Department’s independent watchdog issued a cryptic press release Wednesday afternoon, saying that it was opening an investigation into surveillance of an unnamed person. A Justice Department official confirmed to Vox that the person is Page.