Carter Page, an energy investor under scrutiny by the FBI in the Trump-Russia probe, is asking the Senate intelligence committee to provide information from Obama administration-ordered wiretaps and surveillance on him.
“Since their colleagues in the intelligence community already have most of the same personal information which was reportedly sucked up during the Obama administration’s domestic political intelligence operation, I’m hoping that the Senate provides me the same information in time to proceed with the next steps in the current fishing expedition,” Mr. Page told The Washington Times. “Let’s see what happens.”
Mr. Page made the comment after the committee sent him an April 28 letter asking for an exhaustive list of any contacts and communications he has had with Russian officials or business people since mid-2015. There is no request for any specific meeting.
Mr. Page portrays himself as a Navy veteran and patriotic American caught up in an FBI and congressional “fanciful witch hunt.” He and his Global Energy Capital have done business with Russians for more than a decade. He was once posted in Moscow for Merrill Lynch banking.
He signed onto the Donald Trump campaign as minor volunteer surrogate and Russia adviser in the early stages of an erratic organization looking to fill key roles.
The campaign severed ties with him in late summer after stories surfaced about suspected links to Vladimir Putin oligarchs. Press reports said the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and stole embarrassing emails that were released later by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
It appears that some of the gossip about Mr. Page came from a notorious dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele and was circulated in Washington by Democrat-linked investigative firm Fusion GPS. The 35-page dossier became public on Jan. 10 on the BuzzFeed website.
The dossier made two sensational charges against Mr. Page: that he met and cut deals with two Kremlin-connected men when he traveled to Moscow in July and that he delivered a public speech covered by the news media. The dossier also said he conspired with Paul Manafort, a one-time Trump campaign manager, to work with Russian agents to hack the Democrats.
Mr. Page calls both accusations fabrications, as have other targets named in the anti-Trump dossier. He said he has never met with the two men identified in the dossier and knew nothing about the hacking of Democratic Party computers until stories appeared in the press.
Mr. Manafort also has said the charges are false.
Mr. Page has said repeatedly that he wants to testify in public before the House and Senate intelligence committees. They are investigating Russian interference in the Nov. 8 election and whether Trump associates and Moscow coordinated the hacking.
Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat, said in an April 28 letter to Mr. Page that they to question him in a closed session.
The letter asked for an expansive list of “all meetings between you and any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests” from June 16, 2015, to Jan. 20, 2017. It also asked for a list of any meetings between Russians and Trump campaign associates, complete with dates, locations and people present. (Mr. Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.)
The committee also asked for lists of all of Mr. Page’s financial holdings and real estate connected to Russia. It also wants any emails and text messages.
Thus, Mr. Page is finding that his entire business career is under investigation.
There is no request for information about any specific meeting, person, financial holding or email.
Mr. Page wrote back on May 4, saying the FBI likely has the same information since it has had him under surveillance for months on suspicion of being a foreign agent.
Mr. Page has denied that charge, too, saying much of the investigation was based on the discredited dossier.
In a court case, the FBI referred to an American who was a recruitment target by Russian agents. Mr. Page acknowledged to CNN that he was the anonymous person but said he was never recruited.
In his letter to the committee, Mr. Page said: “As previously noted, I remain committed to helping the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in any way that I can. But please note that any records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities will be minuscule in comparison to the full database of information which has already been collected under the direction of the Obama Administration during last year’s completely unjustified FISA warrant that targeted me for exercising my First Amendment rights, both in 2016 as well as in years prior.”
FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which authorizes wiretaps.
“As a starting point for this latest step in the witch hunt which you suggested per the cumbersome chores defined in your attached letter,” Mr. Page said, “I would request that you please begin by sharing the same information which you currently have as per the identical list of requests (points 1 through 5 in your letter). Based on the database of my personal information already collected during the Obama Administration’s domestic political intelligence operations which reportedly began at some point last year, it seems clear that many of the weighty task you assigned will have already been largely completed.”
Mr. Page added: “I greatly appreciate your assistance and remain confident that our cooperation will help resolve all of the false allegations which led to this fanciful witch hunt in the first place, particularly the 2016 Dodgy Dossier from London.”