Ex-Trump Adviser Carter Page Will Finally Testify Before Congress

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page will finally testify before a congressional committee next week, ending a months-long battle over his testimony.

Page, an energy consultant who served in a volunteer role on the campaign for several months beginning last March, will appear before the House Intelligence Committee next Thursday in what’s called an “open hearing in a closed space.”

That means that Page will testify behind closed doors but that a transcript of the session will be released at some point. A House committee source says that the transcript will be released three days after the interview.

The agreement follows Page’s decision earlier this month to invoke his constitutional privileges in response to a request from the Senate Intelligence Committee. That panel, which is also investigating possible campaign collusion, sought a closed-door interview with Page and also requested financial documents and communications stretching back to 2010.

Page, who volunteered for an open hearing before the Senate earlier this year, balked at the latest request, saying that he wanted to testify in an open setting. He also said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment privileges to avoid turning over documents. He said that doing so would set him up for a “perjury trap.”

The committee has since subpoenaed his testimony and documents.

Page is a central focus of the congressional investigations — as well as one being led by federal investigators — because of his appearance in the infamous anti-Trump dossier published by BuzzFeed in January.

In the document, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele alleges that during Page’s well-publicized visit to Moscow last July, during the campaign, he met in secret with Russian government officials as part of a collusion effort on behalf of the Trump campaign.

The dossier also alleges that Page was working under the command of then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Steele, citing anonymous sources, also alleged that Page came up with the idea of releasing hacked Democratic National Committee emails in order to agitate supporters of Hillary Clinton’s primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But Page, who met with the FBI for a total of 10 hours earlier this year, has denied all of the allegations. He says he did not meet in secret with the people the dossier says he met with. And Page says he has never met Trump or Manafort.

In addition to putting Page in the public spotlight, the dossier may also have made him the target of surveillance by the U.S. government. The FBI reportedly cited the dossier in an application it filed last September for a Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. The warrant was granted just after Page left the campaign.

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