A former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, Carter Page, just informed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he will not be cooperating with any requests to appear before the panel for its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Page has declared that he would plead the Fifth, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Page is a former naval-officer who then became an energy consultant. He came under scrutiny last year after reports came to light that he had met with high-level associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2016. Page denied that those meeting ever happened and the Trump campaign distanced themselves from him soon after the meetings were revealed.
Page also faced criticism earlier in the year after it was revealed that he once came under a focus by the FBI for his contact with a Russian intelligence official in New York City in 2013. Page was never charged with a crime, and the association took place years before starting advising Trump.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking documents and testimony from Page and other Trump associates. It is putting together all the Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential race. Russian officials held several high-profile meetings with several in the Trump team, including the president’s son-in-law and son, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr.
It is not yet clear if the committee has officially requested Page to testify. Page has not responded to a request for comment. His refusal to comply may likely delay his appearance before the Senate panel.
This refusal from Page is a reversal from his previous request. He was eager for the committee’s attention earlier this year when he showed up of his volition to the panel’s secure office spaces on Capitol Hill. Page dropped off a document he created alleging that he was the target of a smear campaign by Hillary Clinton’s aides. In Page’s report, he claimed that Clinton and her associates were committing a “hate crime” against him by planting false stories about his ties to Russia. He maintained that he was being targeted because he was a Catholic male.
How do you think Page’s refusal to comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee is going to affect the investigation?