Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page insists that he is still cooperating with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Trump-Russia ties, but there appears to be a catch.
In a letter sent out Sunday night to the committee and to reporters, Page says he would still like to testify at an open hearing. But the energy consultant is not committing to turning over records that the committee has requested of him and several other former Trump campaign advisers as part of its investigation into potential collusion between the Trump team and Russian government.
“I would like to reconfirm for you that I am still cooperating with the Committee’s investigation in the form of a future open testimony,” Page wrote in the letter, the latest in a public back-and-forth he has had with the Senate panel.
Despite reiterating his offer to testify before the committee, Page asserts that its request for documents about his meetings with Russians and Trump campaign officials is “illogical,” “groundless,” and “distasteful.”
“I am increasingly coming to understand that these proceedings have thus far followed the precedent of prior show trials, which have historically been used as a means of intimidation,” Page writes.
Page offered to cooperate with the committee in early March. On April 28, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner sent a letter asking Page to provide his communications records as well as records of any financial or real estate investments he might have in Russia. The committee also asked Page to appear on Capitol Hill for a closed meeting. (RELATED: Here’s What The Senate Intel Committee Wants From Carter Page)
Page’s initial response to the request was noncommittal. In a letter sent to the committee on Thursday, he railed against the Obama administration for obtaining a foreign surveillance warrant against him in September. The FBI obtained the warrant in September, just after Page left his unpaid outside advisory role on the Trump campaign.
Page was brought onto the Trump team in March, though White House officials say that he never met Trump and did not contribute much to the campaign.
Asked last week by The Daily Caller whether he plans to comply with the committee’s document request, Page responded: “Let’s see what happens.”
Burr and Warner raised the stakes in a press release on Friday, suggesting that the committee would seek a subpoena to obtain Page’s records.
“Should Mr. Page choose to not provide the material requested by those dates, the Committee will consider its next steps at that time,” wrote Burr and Warner, the chairman and ranking member of the committee, respectively. (RELATED: Senate Intel Might Subpoena Carter Page)
Though Page appears defiant in his latest letter, he did provide a few new pieces of information, some of which is partially responsive to the committee’s request.
Responding to a question about Page’s financial investments or real estate holdings in Russia, Page claims to have had no financial stake in the country since divesting shares of Russian oil giant Gazprom in August.
Page notes that he took a large loss on the transaction.
“In response to your question, please note that I purchased 200 American Depository Receipts of PJSC Gazprom in June 2008 for $5,909.00. In response to these gangster-style witch hunt tactics led in the U.S. Senate by Reid, I divested my stake in August 2016 for $798.98 – a net loss of $5,110.02,” Page writes.
Gazprom’s stock price fell from around $29 in June 2008 to $4 in Aug. 2016, stock market records show.
Not one to pass up an opportunity to slam President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Page blamed the Gazprom share price slide on the two Democrats.
“Given the complete disaster that the Clinton/Obama regime made of U.S.-Russia relations and the related problems they inflicted on private industry across the Russian economy, I held no other financial or real estate holdings related to Russia between June 16, 2015 and January 20, 2016,” says Page.
He also provided a new detail about a previous encounter he had with the FBI during an investigation into a Russian spy ring operating in New York City. A Kremlin operative working undercover as a trade representative attempted to recruit Page in 2013.
That recruitment attempt was reportedly cited by the FBI in its application for a surveillance warrant on Page. The bureau also reportedly cited in its warrant application an uncorroborated dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier alleges that Page met secretly with Kremlin officials and the president of oil giant Rosneft to hammer out a deal to help Trump in the election. In exchange, Page was to receive a massive brokerage fee for the placement of a 19 percent stake in Rosneft.
Page has denied the claim and refers to Steele’s report as the “Dodgy Dossier.” Critics of the dossier have noted that it would be unlikely that the Trump team would task Page with negotiating with the Kremlin on behalf of the campaign.
In his letter, Page discloses that he met with the FBI in June 2013 to discuss the spy recruitment attempt.
“During my meeting with U.S. agents at New York’s Plaza Hotel in June 2013 in support of their ongoing investigation, I spoke with them at length about my research on international political economy which I had been completing as a Fellow at the Center for National Policy in Washington,” Page writes.
Page says he was not recruited by the Russian spies and that he was unaware that they were working for the Kremlin. The spies were indicted in 2015. One was sentenced to prison in the U.S. while the other two were ordered removed from the U.S.