Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Thursday began his scheduled testimony before the House Intelligence Committee by bashing the panel itself.
He released his opening statement that singles out Democrats for reading charges against him from a Democratic Party-funded dossier.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democratic, was especially harsh on Mr. Page at the televised March hearing with then-FBI Director James B. Comey. Mr. Schiff read unverified allegations against Mr. Page from former British spy and dossier writer Christopher Steele.
Mr. Page, a former volunteer Trump adviser who runs an energy investment firm in New York and worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow in the 2000s, called Mr. Schiff’s and other Democrats’ dossier-quoting as “extensive misinformation.”
“Whereas my name was so thoroughly tarnished during your Committee’s March 20, 2017 discussion with James Comey about the Dodgy Dossier on national television,” he said. “I also request in the interest of time that my short biography be submitted for the record.”
If there is one person besides President Trump who was thoroughly trashed in the dossier, it was Mr. Page.
Mr. Steele, who paid Russian sources with Democratic Party money, made allegations that Mr. Page:
- While on a publicized speaking appearance in Moscow in July 2016, met with two Kremlin connected figures who have been sanctioned by the U.S.
- Agreed to a brokerage fee in exchange for pushing the end of U.S. sanctions.
- Told an “ethnic Russian” he was working to swing Bernie Sanders voters to Mr. Trump’s side.
- Worked hand-in-hand with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort to have Russia interfere in the 2016 election, including hacking Democratic Party computers.
Mr. Page has said the charges are fiction. He never met the two men in Moscow; he did not discuss or receive a brokerage fee; he did not have a discussion about Mr. Sanders; He has never met Mr. Manafort.
Referring to himself in the third person in his submitted biography, Mr. Page said, “He never was asked to obtain nor was he provided negative information about anyone, including Mrs. Hillary Clinton, by any Russian person or entity.”
Mr. Page served on the same campaign advisory panel as George Papadopoulos. Special counsel Robert Mueller disclosed this week that Mr. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent about his contacts with Russian-connected people during the campaign. Mr. Mueller said he is cooperating with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The panel met one time, with candidate Trump attending.
The FBI obtained a eavesdropping warrant against Mr. Page in the summer of 2016 on suspicion he worked as a agent for Russia.
The Annapolis graduate and former Navy officer said he was never a foreign agent. He called the monitoring unjustified and questions whether it was based on the dossier.