President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee “don’t want” Carter Page, an early foreign-policy adviser to his campaign, to testify as part of the committee’s probe into Russia’s election interference.
“So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don’t want him to testify,” Trump tweeted. “He blows away their case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing ‘the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan. … ‘Witch Hunt!”
“Fox and Friends” had reported minutes earlier that Page sent a letter to the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Mike Conaway, and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff on Monday, telling them he had learned from committee staff that his “previously scheduled appointment” to testify before the committee had been postponed.
Reached for comment, Page forwarded the letter to Business Insider.
“I have learned from your Committee staff on this Memorial Day holiday that I might not be immediately afforded the opportunity to address the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan, et al, as per our previously scheduled appointment for next week,” the letter read. “In the interest of finally providing the American people with some accurate information at long last, I hope that we can proceed with this straight dialogue soon.”
Comey and Brennan testified before the committee earlier this month in separate sessions, where they reaffirmed that the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during the election were being scrutinised by the US intelligence community.
It is unclear if Page’s testimony had been originally scheduled, however. Page wrote a letter to the committee last week indicating that he would testify in an open session sometime in early June, but he
told Business Insider at the time that he and the committee were “still working out the details” of when he would appear.
Spokespeople for Conaway and Schiff did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Page, who worked in Moscow for seven years in the early 2000s as a junior investment banker for Merrill Lynch, also indicated in his letter to the committee last week that he prepared “extensive evidence” for the lawmakers to review per their “recent request.”
It is unclear what kind of documents the House requested that Page provide. Its Senate counterpart sent a letter to Page late last month asking him to provide extensive information about any contact he had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business interests between June 2015-January 2017.
Page volunteered to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence committee in March. But he said earlier this month that the committee’s requests were “groundless,” “outrageous,” and “would cover redundant, highly irrelevant information collected in further violation of my civil rights given the unjustified FISA warrants which already targeted me last year.”
The FBI obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act last summer to monitor Page’s communications, The Washington Post reported in April. The FBI reportedly is investigating Page’s trips to Moscow and contact with at least one Russian official last year.
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