Page Accuses Senate Of Holding ‘Show Trial’ On Russia In Bizarre 9-Page Letter

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Onetime Donald Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page on Sunday appeared to walk back his promise to cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election in a bizarre nine-page missive.

In the letter to committee Chair Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice-Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA), Page said he would testify in an open hearing but refused to commit to their request that he turn over all records of his communications with Russian officials and businessmen.

Taking a conspiratorial tone, he accused the senators of carrying out a “show trial” and charged that the Obama administration used “Big Brother methods” and “gangster tactics” in their efforts to uncover the extent of Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential race.

The Senate Intelligence Committee sent letters on April 28 to Page and several other former Trump campaign allies requesting records of their meetings, emails and phone calls with Russian operatives, as well as any business holdings there. Page first responded Thursday, saying that he was unfairly subjected to surveillance by Obama officials and that the evidence proving it would induce “severe vomiting” once the facts were made public, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

Sunday’s letter went even further. Page alleged that the Obama administration committed two “preliminary felonies” by leaking information about his ties to Russian officials. He charged that the Obama administration “unlawfully disclosed” his identity in a court filing documenting his 2013 meeting with a Russian spy, where he handed over documents related to the energy business. He also accused the Obama administration of illegally leaking classified information stemming from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant against him after he left the Trump campaign last summer.

Page called these alleged leaks “abuse” and said they contributed to his feeling that he should be able to come before the Senate and testify in open session, rather than do the “forced labor” of turning over all of the requested documents.

Burr and Warner have said they are open to issuing subpoenas if the Trump campaign associates do not comply.

In the letter, Page confirmed he has a legal team working with him to respond to the investigation. He’s already been remarkably eager to speak to the press for someone subject to both FBI and congressional investigation.

He also partially responded to the committee’s question about whether he had financial investments or real estate holdings in Russia, saying he divested shares of Russian oil company Gazprom in August and has no other stake in the country.

“Please please note that I purchased 200 American Depository Receipts of PJSC Gazprom in June 2008 for $5,909.00,” Page wrote, saying he divested his stake in August 2016 for $798.98, ending up with a net loss of $5,110.02.

He blamed the “complete disaster that the Clinton/Obama regime made of U.S.-Russia relations” for Gazprom’s tanking stock price during their tenure, which he said led to the loss.

Page’s outlandish letter also refers to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, known for encouraging extrajudicial killings of drug users in that country, as a “capable leader.”

Sorting out what Page calls the “civil rights abuses” committed by the Obama administration will help “essential allies” like Duterte “again feel safe in visiting the United States,” he writes.

Former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, on the other hand, is branded a “de facto anarchist” in Page’s letter. Yates is scheduled to testify about Russia’s election interference before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Monday.

Read Page’s full letter below, via the Daily Caller:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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