While admitting to having met a “junior attaché” of the Russian government, former Trump aide, Carter Page has refused to provide documents and other evidence to help the Senate committee investigating the Russian campaign to influence last year’s presidential election.
Page issued a scathing, nine page letter this weekend to the Senate intel committee, accusing them – including trump supporter, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) – of engaging in “gangster tactics” with a “bitter” investigation, and mocked them for having no dignity in their effort to investigate the matter.
Something tells me he doth protest too much.
If there isn’t anything to hide, you’d assume that cooperating with a Senate intelligence committee investigation isn’t asking too much. Page was not central to the campaign apparatus, but the man seems incredibly transparent about his lack of transparency, and it raises more questions.
After it was revealed in unrelated court documents that he was “US Person 1” in conversations with three suspected Russian agents, he ran to Anderson Cooper to profess his innocence. Then, during that interview, Page clammed up, when asked follow up questions about what he knew and when.
The three Russian agents were Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev, and Victor Podobnyy. These contacts partially factored into the FBI securing a FISA warrant last summer to surveil Page and his movements. The FBI’s suspicions occured several months before Donald trump volunteered information that Page was brought on board by his campaign team as a foreign policy advisor.
In a rambling, 6,000 word defense, he cited sources ranging from Maya Angelou to Rolling Stone magazine, and suggested the government had committed crimes in “unmasking” his name. He failed however to disclose details about these “innocent” and “brief” encounters, and refused to dig further into it, because it would take “hundreds of hours…” on a “brief” encounter.
While the FBI has never accused Page of working on behalf of the Russian government, and even the aforementioned agents thought he was “dumb,” such peripheral information could likely assist investigators in looking further into why Russia wanted to influence the election, and how close to the campaign they actually got with knowledge of their intentions.
Because Page has now twice, and publicly denied cooperation, both Senators Burr and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) indicated they may subpoena the records.
Whoever is giving this guy PR advice needs to take a vacation. That, or Page has something.
Somewhere, someone knows something that even the most persistent free press in the world cannot uncover, and regardless of how anyone voted last year, we deserve answers. Collusion or just convenient beneficiary, we need to know to avoid it in the future. Why would a former campaign manager, foreign policy advisor, house intel chair, Attorney General and National Security Advisor all deny or obfuscate facts? If these contacts are innocuous, why not disclose them? Either trump was surrounded by the most clueless, inept people in politics, or there was a select group who wanted to make sure he’d win against the worst nominee in Democratic Party history, by any means necessary.
There are too many question marks to avoid getting answers, and the lack of cooperation should alone cause us to demand them even more.