Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s multiple cable news appearances this week have been highly unorthodox, considering he’s either a target, subject or key witness in the scandal. One would expect him to remain quiet. However, just one day after testifying privately before the House Intelligence Committee in the Trump-Russia scandal, Page appeared on CNN today to discuss the matter. He appeared to give away a crucial detail.
It’s been widely reported that while Page did helpfully answer some questions during House Intel Committee hearings yesterday, he invoked the Fifth Amendment when refusing to turn over relevant documents that had been subpoenaed. He explained his refusal by accusing the committee of leaking such documents to the media. He contrasted that to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Carter Page’s exact words about Mueller’s team were that “They’ve been very professional, they don’t leak.” In reality there have been various leaks regarding Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; it’s simply never been clear whether those leaks were coming from Mueller’s team, or from others. For instance if Mueller requests a document from a target of the investigation, that target could leak the request to the media. There is no way for anyone on the outside to know whether or not Mueller has leaked anything. Page could only have an opinion on the matter if he’s been cooperating with Mueller’s team, and they haven’t leaked anything he’s given them.
So it appears that Carter Page has just slipped up and admitted that he’s been cooperating with Robert Mueller all along – something he was surely supposed to have kept secret. Mueller already has the confirmed cooperation (and guilty plea) of Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and the apparent grand jury cooperation of Trump campaign official Sam Clovis. Now it appears Mueller may have the cooperation of Carter Page as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report