Allegra Kirkland

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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White nationalist Richard Spencer is slated to give his first speech since the fatal rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday at the University of Florida, and with tensions running high, the Gainesville community is grappling with conflicting approaches on how to respond.

The university administration and a coalition of student groups are encouraging people to steer clear of an event they say is intended to provoke, while many other students and Florida residents plan to publicly rally against Spencer’s message, insisting it can’t go unchallenged.

“Our sole focus is to help divert attention from his assembly tomorrow,” said Bijal Desai, a University of Florida student and member of #TogetherUF, a coalition of student groups organized in the wake of Charlottesville to fight racism and hate on campus.

To draw eyes away from a man seen making Nazi salutes at a karaoke bar in a recently surfaced video, #TogetherUF organized counter-programming that includes a “virtual assembly” with cameos from celebrities like actor Kal Penn and WWE fighter Titus O’Neil, as well as a fundraiser to boost donations for the school’s student affairs crisis fund.

School officials including university president Ken Fuchs have pushed that approach, which allows people to address Spencer’s message while avoiding his physical event. After initially refusing Spencer’s request to rent space at UF for September, citing the violence in Charlottesville and the white nationalist’s “repugnant” rhetoric, Fuchs agreed to let Spencer hold the event at a later date under threat of legal action.

First Amendment experts have told TPM that Spencer would likely have prevailed if he took legal action against the university, due to a combination of court precedent, the difficulty of preemptively proving that a speaker will provoke violence, and strong free speech protections on state school campuses.

Now that the speech is happening, Gov. Rick Scott (R) has declared a state of emergency in the county where UF is located, while the school itself is shelling out some $500,000 in security costs. University officials and police have released a flood of information on the rules for the hundreds of counter-protesters who are expected to mobilize outside the school’s Philips Center during Spencer’s talk. Adding to that already chaotic atmosphere, university officials say over 200 journalists have requested credentials to cover the speech.

Spencer’s appearance was orchestrated by Cameron Padgett, a grad student at Georgia State University who says he has taken it upon himself both to organize Spencer’s speaking appearances at major public universities across the country and to help take those schools who refuse to host the white nationalist to court.

Padgett is also expected to assume an on-the-ground role helping distribute the 700 tickets that have been issued for Spencer’s UF speech. Spencer’s nonprofit organization, the National Policy Institute, elected not to use the Phillips Center box office after a local brewery offered to provide students with free beer in exchange for their tickets.

A coalition of protesters that includes both UF students and outside groups plans to hold a “No Nazis at UF” rally outside the facility, in the protest zone cordoned off by police. Black Lives Matter Tampa, Atlanta Antifascists, UF pro-immigrant group Chispas and the Young Democratic Socialists of America’s UF chapter are expected to be out in force at the event, which one organizer said he believes will draw “thousands.”

“We hope we can follow the example of Boston and San Francisco where when they came out and spoke, the protesters showed up en masse and everyone went home safe and was aware that there were more of us than there were of them,” Mitch Emerson, an Orlando organizer working on UF’s protest, told TPM, referring to other recent “free speech” and far-right events.

Emerson said that simply ignoring the event is not an option for him and for many of his fellow protesters, as he says the media would have covered the speech regardless and they “don’t want people to think Gainesville doesn’t have a problem” with Spencer.

The university couldn’t provide an estimate of how many counter-protesters it expects on Thursday. UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes told TPM the school is “prepared for many and we’re hopeful for few.”

Spencer, for his part, is characteristically thrilled by the attention, firing off tweets comparing his arrival to that of a hurricane and noting with relish where the news of his speech stacks up with other stories.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as part of its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The subpoena comes a week after Page said that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to avoid turning documents over to the committee, citing concerns that the requested information was out of the bounds of lawmakers’ mandate and part of an effort to lead him into a “false testimony/perjury trap.”

Spokespeople for the Senate Intelligence Committee told TPM they had no comment.

Asked about a potential subpoena, Page sent TPM a text message that said he was busy “dealing with more relevant matters today (such as my defamation case in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of NY, cited herein), rather than being bothered by the latest damaging lies and leaks.”

Page was referring to a 400-plus page complaint he recently filed against several news organizations for publishing what he described as “highly-damaging, life-threatening” reports about his contacts with Russian officials.


Page previously told TPM he was eager to testify publicly before the committee, but is not willing either to offer private testimony or provide documents. Page believes that U.S. intelligence agencies have obtained all the information they need to know about him through a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, which the FBI reportedly took out to monitor Page’s communications shortly after he left the Trump campaign.

Page has not retained legal counsel to help him navigate the congressional and federal Russia investigations so far.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked for documents and testimony from the son of former national security adviser Michael Flynn that it has not received yet, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Of interest is Michael G. Flynn’s work as chief of staff and travel companion to his father at the elder Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Flynn’s attorney, Barry Coburn, declined NBC’s request for comment.

That same work, which included providing administrative support for a well-compensated lobbying contract for a businessman close to Turkey’s government, made Michael G. Flynn a “subject” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to NBC’s previous reporting.

Flynn’s son, who is known for promoting conspiracy theories, has dismissed reports that he is part of the investigation as “fake news” and a “nothingburger.”

The Turkey lobbying work and the Flynns’ 2015 trip to Russia prompted both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees to issue subpoenas for Flynn Intel Group earlier this year.

Both congressional and federal investigators also are interested in determining whether the Flynns played any role in a GOP operative’s efforts to get hold of Hillary Clinton’s private emails. That operative, the late Peter W. Smith, cited the support of Flynn, Flynn’s son and Flynn Intel Group in efforts to recruit cybersecurity experts and hackers to track down the emails, claiming they were working “in coordination” with him.

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Congressional investigators are digging into a Republican operative’s efforts to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private emails from Russian hackers and his claims to be carrying out that hunt on behalf of members of the Trump campaign, CNN reported Monday.

The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are both reaching out to individuals recruited by the late Peter W. Smith, a veteran Chicago-based opposition research, for inside knowledge about how exactly his email hunt worked. Smith himself was found dead in an apparent suicide weeks after after the Wall Street Journal first reported on his email campaign.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is also probing Smith’s work and whether, as he claimed, he was working “in coordination” with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or other high-level Trump campaign officials.

An anonymous source told CNN that British security analyst Matt Tait told the House committee that he believed Smith had close ties to Flynn, former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon and White House aide Kellyanne Conway. Tait went public with Smith’s efforts to recruit him in a June blog post for Lawfare, where he wrote that it was “apparent that Smith was both well connected within the top echelons of the campaign” and that he displayed a “reckless lack of interest in whether the emails came from a Russian cut-out.”

Indeed, Smith himself told the Journal that he “knew the people who had these were probably around the Russian government.”

The House panel has also interviewed Smith’s former assistant, law student Jonathan Safron, while Senate investigators have contacted Eric York, a separate security expert Smith reached out to for assistance in obtaining and verifying Clinton’s emails, according to CNN.

Conway and Bannon have previously denied any knowledge of this plot. Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, declined CNN’s request for comment.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has also requested an interview and documents from far-right blogger Chuck Johnson, who told CNN he had done neither and would refuse any requests for a closed-door interview. Johnson recently joined pro-Russia congressman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) for a trip to meet with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, where they discussed their shared assessment that Russia played no role in providing Clinton campaign emails to Assange’s publication during the campaign.

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A young black man photographed wielding an improvised flamethrower in front of a group of white nationalists at an August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was arrested Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Virginia resident Corey Long, 23, was charged with disorderly conduct for his use of the makeshift flamethrower and with assault and battery for a separate skirmish that occurred during the tumultuous event, Charlottesville police spokesman Lt. Stephen Upman told the newspaper.

An Associated Press photo of a shirtless Long aiming a lighted spray can at a crowd of Confederate-flag wielding white nationalists went viral in the days after the rally, inspiring think pieces and circulating widely on social media.

Long, who the Times reported was released on bond after appearing before a magistrate, is the second black counter-protester to be charged last week in connection with the rally. A neo-Confederate group leader apparently made use of a Virginia statute to pursue a felony “unlawful wounding” charge for DeAndre Harris, a 20-year-old black man who was viciously beaten by a group of white nationalists in a parking garage.

Long is being represented by Malik Zulu Shabazz, former chairman of the New Black Panther Party, according to the Times.

Shortly after the rally, Long told the Root that he acted in self-defense in firing off the flamethrower, doing so after a white man shot at the ground in his direction.
“At first it was peaceful protest,” Long told the publication. “Until someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.”

That person appears to be Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard and Baltimore resident Richard Wilson Preston. Preston is seen in a video taken by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Virginia chapter shouting “Hey, nigger!” just before drawing a pistol and firing into the crowd in Long’s direction. He was arrested in August for discharging a firearm within 1,000 yards of a school—a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.

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NEW YORK—New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) announced Friday that he is teaming up with his Democratic counterparts in some dozen states to sue to block President Donald Trump’s “reckless and cruel” move to end crucial subsidies that the Affordable Care Act provides to insurers.

“People will suffer and people will die” if the Trump administration’s “unlawful” decision stands, Schneiderman warned in a press conference at his downtown Manhattan office.

The New York Democrat is joining a federal lawsuit that will be filed in the Northern District of California Friday arguing that the government is legally required under the Affordable Care Act to continue to make the payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, that allow insurers to keep out-of-pocket costs down for low-income individuals.

Roughly 730,000 New York residents receive some $900 million in cost-sharing reduction payments, according to Schneiderman’s office.

The Trump administration’s announcement late Thursday that it will halt the subsidies threatens to throw the individual insurance market into turmoil. The state attorneys general are seeking a temporary restraining order that would require the government to continue making these payments going forward, including the next one due Oct. 18.

As Schneiderman pointed out, the Washington, D.C. district court judge overseeing a separate, related lawsuit—House vs. Price—acknowledged that the loss of these payments would directly lead to an increase in premiums and in the number of insured individuals nationwide. He and other state attorneys general were permitted to intervene in that case this summer in what Schneiderman said was a recognition on that judge’s part that she “could no longer rely on the Trump administration to provide proper defense for the Affordable Care Act.” That case has been on pause as the new administration and the House GOP decided on a new way forward.

Though Trump hasn’t been shy about his desire to watch Obamacare “implode,” Schneiderman said the president’s willingness to take such significant steps to undermine the law “with no warning or even a plan to contain the fallout is breathtakingly reckless.”

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Kentucky are among the states joining New York and California in the lawsuit.

These states all have Democratic attorneys general, but a number of Republican lawmakers on Friday expressed grave concern about what will happen to residents in their states when these payments are gone—something that could happen as early as next week.

Update: The lawsuit the attorneys general are bringing has been filed in the U.S. District Court of California for the Northern District. It alleges that Trump is in violation of the Affordable Care Act, Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution’s Take Care clause. Nineteen states are on the lawsuit. Read the lawsuit below:

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An odd statute tucked into the Virginia state code has led to a rather mind-boggling situation in which a neo-Confederate leader appears to have gotten a young black man who was brutally beaten in a Charlottesville, Virginia parking garage at August’s “Unite the Right” rally arrested this week on an assault charge.

In the Old Dominion, a resident may file a complaint with police and bring it to a magistrate to make the case that there’s probable cause to seek a warrant; for a felony charge, either the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office or police must sign off after reviewing the facts of the police report.

Local legal experts, as well as the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, say that process played out rather unusually in the arrest of 20-year-old DeAndre Harris.

“I’m perplexed,” said Josh Bowers, a criminal law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, noting that in most jurisdictions only police have the power to initiate the arrest process.

Bowers said this manner of legal recourse reminded him of the pre-Revolutionary War justice system, much of which was carried out by private individuals. He said the statute makes it easy for a person to use “the authority of the state to settle scores or promote private biases,” as exemplified in the case against Harris.

A magistrate issued a warrant for “unlawful wounding” against Harris on Monday at the request of a man Harris’ attorney identified as Harold Ray Crews, an attorney who chairs the neo-Confederate League of the South’s North Carolina chapter. Harris turned himself in to Charlottesville Police on Thursday and was released on bond.

Lloyd Snook, a Charlottesville-based criminal defense attorney, said that the Commonwealth Attorney’s office is “typically” asked to approve warrants. But that doesn’t appear to have happened in this case.

“We did not have anything to do with it,” a spokeswoman for the Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office told TPM in a Thursday phone call, drawing out the pauses between each word. “And we’re after the fact like ‘Hey!’”

Charlottesville police have acknowledged that one of their detectives responded to and “verified the facts” of the complaint filed against Harris, allowing a magistrate to issue the warrant. But that officer apparently was not Det. Sgt. Jake Via, who’s been overseeing the investigation into the parking garage incident.

“We were not expecting this,” Via told the Washington Post earlier this week. “We were expecting to do our own investigation into the man’s allegations.”

Charlottesville police spokesman Lt. Steve Upman told TPM he could not provide further information on why Via, who was most familiar with the case, wasn’t asked to approve the warrant or notified that it was issued.

Local defense attorneys were baffled. Dave Heilberg, a former assistant Commonwealth attorney for Rockingham County, noted that there has already “been quite a police investigation of this incident,” which took place nearly two months ago.

“Why wouldn’t that magistrate send it to that officer?” he asked.

Cheryl Thompson, regional supervisor for the magistrate’s office that covers Charlottesville, told TPM her office was “barred from discussing pending or concluded proceedings” and referred questions to Kristi Wright, the director of Virginia’s Department of Legislative and Public Relations. Wright did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.

In a statement, Harris’ attorney, S. Lee Merritt, accused the magistrate of allowing Crews “to exploit the judicial system by bypassing CPD and presenting incomplete and misleading evidence directly to a magistrate” without “a proper investigation.”

Crews has not responded TPM’s repeated requests for comment this week.

Both Crews’ and Harris’ versions of events hinges on just a few minutes of a melee captured in photos and on video. Video shows a man that Merritt identifies as Crews trying to stab a friend of Harris’ with a pole bearing a Confederate flag. Harris can be seen swinging back with a large flashlight, and is promptly kicked to the ground and beaten with a shield and wooden batons by six white nationalists, leaving him with grave bodily injuries.

Merritt maintains that a cranial injury Crews sustained that day occurred during a “completely separate subsequent incident” that occurred after Harris had already been hospitalized.

Crews and his white nationalist defenders have flooded the Internet with other videos they claim shows Harris attacking Crews first and wounding him in the head.

When asked how the police decided to sign off on the warrant against Harris, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office pointed to the video evidence.

“They have to look into it briefly,” the spokeswoman said. “I think the understanding was that was out there on the web; you can go look for it and probably would find it.”

Three of the men accused of beating Harris have already been arrested and charged with “malicious wounding”; all three were arrested only after being identified by internet sleuths who combed the video and photos of the parking garage attack.

For Harris, the next step is a Friday arraignment, followed by a preliminary court hearing in mid-December.

But in the meantime, the League of the South and other white nationalists who marched with guns and armor to “Unite the Right” are celebrating the arrest and charges against this “young negro male,” pointing to it as proof that the media unfairly painted them as the aggressors in Charlottesville.

As Bowers, the UVA law professor put it, Harris, who now faces up to five years prison and a $2,500 fine, is being “doubly attacked” by the same people who left him with fractures, cranial lacerations and internal bodily injuries.

“Being the subject of an arrest warrant is a profoundly unnerving thing,” Bowers said. “It has reputational wounds, it puts Mr. Harris back in a spotlight he may reasonably want to avoid. He’s dealing with injuries, and now he’s subjected to a new form of injury altogether.”

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In August, heavily armed white nationalists in matching uniforms roved the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, knocking down crowds of counter-protesters and chanting Nazi slogans. Now the city is taking a stand of its own.

Charlottesville officials, businesses, and neighborhood associations filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday suing the organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally as well as the militia groups that guarded them for “unlawful paramilitary activity.”

Pointing to thousands of dollars in lost business and legal and security costs, the terror felt by Charlottesville residents, and the defendants’ pledge to return to the city many more times, the plaintiffs asked the court to intervene so that “roving paramilitary bands and unaccountable vigilante peacekeepers” would be forbidden from taking over their city again.

Relying on an obscure provision of the Virginia Constitution, the plaintiffs asked the court to recognize that there is no “protection under the law” for armed men who stated their intention to commit violence to flood the streets of a city, nor for unauthorized militia groups to take on the role of “peacekeepers.”

Virginia law specifies that “in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

The suit names 22 white nationalist groups, leaders and private militia groups as defendants, including the rally’s primary organizer Jason Kessler, the Traditionalist Worker Party, Vanguard America, League of the South and the Pennsylvania Lightfoot Militia.

These groups’ penchant for self-promotion and habit of describing their activities in militaristic terms has come back to bite them. Much of the case is built around their quotes to the press and on social media about the “command structures” they used, their extensive preparations for the rally and their eagerness to commit violence.

The suit quotes Eli Mosley, head of white nationalist group Identity Evropa, as saying that he runs his team “as a military organization” and warning police that he would send in “at least 200 people with guns” if they did not let ralliers enter Emancipation Park to collect equipment left behind.

It also quotes Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Richard Preston as threatening to “shoot that fucking nigger” while brandishing a pistol, which he then allegedly fired at a counter-protester.

The lawsuit explicitly notes that both peaceable right to assemble and gun ownership are protected activities, but that serving as “members of a fighting force” unsanctioned by the government is not.

“In Charlottesville today, as through centuries of American tradition, the government alone retains a monopoly on the organized use of force,” it reads.

The suit describes in detail the heavy weaponry that white nationalists brought to the rally, including semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifles, body armor and Kevlar helmets, as well as the way group leaders issued commands to their subordinates to smash their shields into clergymembers and other counter-demonstrators.

“The Alt-Right Defendants did not come to Charlottesville merely to espouse their controversial ideas in a public park,” the complaint reads. “They came to coerce and terrorize.”

It is separate from another lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Charlottesville by eleven residents injured during the chaotic rally. That suit names a number of the same groups, including Vanguard America and League of the South, as defendants, and seeks monetary damages and a ban on similar paramilitary-style white nationalist rallies.

Read the full complaint below:

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One of the most enduring and shocking moments from the white nationalist march on Charlottesville this summer was the parking garage beating of counter-protester DeAndre Harris by a crowd of khaki-clad white nationalists, who swarmed around the 20-year-old with flagpoles and shields.

One of the hate group leaders involved in that clash successfully persuaded a local magistrate on Monday to issue an arrest warrant for Harris on a felony charge of “unlawful wounding,” complicating an ongoing police investigation into the men who attacked the counter-protester.

Both Harris’ lawyer and the League of the South, a neo-Confederate organization, say Harold Ray Crews, the group’s North Carolina chairman, pursued the warrant. In order to do so, he took advantage of a quirk in the judicial system, according to a Charlottesville police detective and Harris’ lawyer.

After trying to file a compliant with police, Crews apparently went to the magistrate’s office, which requires only a police report based on the complainant’s testimony and the determination of probable cause to issue a warrant. In a statement, S. Lee Merritt, Harris’ attorney, Merritt attributed the charge to a “successful campaign” by the League of the South to “manipulate the Charlottesville judiciary and further victimize Mr. Harris.” He denied that his client was involved in causing the head injuries Crews sustained.

Charlottesville police detectives and Merritt have expressed surprise that local authorities issued the warrant at all.

“This is the first time I’ve seen this situation happen,” Merritt told TPM.

In a Wednesday phone call, Merritt told TPM that Crews and his fellow League of the South members have been discussing pressing charges against Harris on their podcast, “Southern Nationalist Radio,” “for quite some time,” but that he did not expect “a magistrate to sort of decide to independently run with it.”

Charlottesville Det. Sgt. Jake Via, who is supervising the parking garage case, told the Washington Post that he, too, was “not expecting this.”

“We were expecting to do our own investigation into the man’s allegations,” Via told the newspaper.

Crews, a 48-year-old North Carolina real estate lawyer who describes himself as a “Southern Nationalist” on his Twitter bio, did not respond to TPM’s email and phone calls requesting comment. But the League of the South posted several items celebrating the pending arrest of the “young negro male” involved with “harassing their members” in the parking garage.

Crews has deep ties to the League, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, has reported that he runs their Facebook, website and a related YouTube channel that’s posted under his own name.

His allies have celebrated the arrest warrant as a victory for their side, with white nationalist blogger Hunter Wallace calling Harris’ charge the end of “another race hoax” and prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer cheering “the end of the Deandre Haris [sic] myth.”

Both Merritt, Harris’ attorney, and the white nationalists say they believe the copious video evidence of the incident will vindicate them. Video shows the man that Merritt says identifies as Crews trying to stab a counter-protester with the pole of a Confederate flag, and Harris swinging a flashlight in response. Merritt said in a statement that the flashlight “did not make significant contact” with Crews before Harris was kicked to the ground by six white nationalists who beat him with wooden sticks and a shield, leaving him with a cranial lacerations and several fractures. Photos show Harris bleeding profusely from his head.

According to Merritt’s statement, the injury Crews sustained to his head came from “a completely separate subsequent incident” involving a clash “between at least four white males,” which was also appears to have been captured in multiple photographs.

Three of the white nationalists involved in the parking garage beating have since been arrested.

As the Post reported, Commonwealth’s Attorney Warner “Dave” Chapman, a Democrat, will decide whether to prosecute the case once the warrant is served against Harris.

Merritt told TPM he is working with Charlottesville police to determine the terms of Harris’ surrender, but would not release the date out of “concerns about his safety and people knowing he’s in town.”

“He had to leave Charlottesville because he no longer felt safe in the city,” Merritt said of Harris, who was a resident of the city at the time of the August rally. “He couldn’t continue his job as an assistant school teacher because of anxiety that he gets around large crowds. He was doing a pretty good job recovering. But there’s still this angst of him being charged after being the recipient of this brutal attack. It’s set him back emotionally.”

This post has been updated.

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Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Tuesday denied a report that he informed the Senate Intelligence Committee he would refuse to appear before the panel to answer questions in its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

As Page told TPM, he remains eager to do so, but wants to testify publicly. He said he was offering to appear at a Nov. 1 open hearing on the role social media played in influencing U.S. voters.

At the same time, however, Page confirmed Politico’s reporting that he plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to avoid turning documents over to the committee.

Page told TPM that the committee asked for information on “every aspect of my life”—a request that he said goes beyond the confines of the panel’s investigation. Pointing to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant that the Washington Post reported the FBI took out to monitor his communications, Page said that intelligence agencies already had access to all the relevant information they needed to know.

“Asking for more information is by definition a false testimony/perjury trap,” Page said in a Wednesday phone call. “They’ll say, ‘You said X and Y, but we see you also see you also said X, Y and Z. It makes no sense at all.”

Page did not elaborate on how testifying publicly precluded the possibility that he could contradict the information intelligence agencies may have collected about him.

This unusual legal strategy is of Page’s own design. The former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, who is under scrutiny for his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 race, is representing himself in federal and multiple congressional investigations.

It’s unclear if the committee has formally invited Page to testify or considered his offer to appear on Nov. 1. A spokeswoman did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

Page claims to have sent lengthy letters to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees refuting any inappropriate contacts with Kremlin-linked officials and accusing lawmakers of engaging in a “witch hunt.” He also released those letters to reporters.

The energy consultant has been more forthcoming with federal investigators looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, sitting down for some ten hours of interviews with FBI agents earlier this year.

This post has been updated. 

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