Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page testified privately before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday about his role in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, and for the first time, he acknowledged that he did in fact meet with Russian government officials during his summer 2016 trip to Moscow. Page had previously denied this claim. More importantly, Page has supplied proof that he informed Trump campaign officials of this at the time – meaning he just incriminated them.
The initial headlines about Carter Page’s testimony surrounded his refusal to turn over certain documents that had been subpoenaed, invoking the Fifth Amendment in the process. But now the New York Times (link) is confirming that Page did cooperate with the committee in a different way. It’s long been publicly documented that Page took a trip to Moscow during the height of the general election, while he was a Trump campaign adviser. He’s always maintained that he simply gave a speech during that trip. Now he’s admitting that he met with Russian government officials.
This means that Page coordinated with the Russian government while he was a Trump campaign adviser. Because we don’t yet know what Page specifically discussed with the Russian government, it’s not clear if this was a criminal conspiracy. However, here’s what is clear: Page read aloud the emails that he sent to Donald Trump campaign officials, informing them of the fact that he had met with Russian government officials. Those officials have since gone on to insist that they had no knowledge of any campaign conspiracy with Russia, in an attempt at downplaying the Trump-Russia investigation. This means these officials committed conspiracy to obstruct justice.
In other words, whether Carter Page broke the law or not, Trump campaign officials did break the law by lying about what he told them. The identities of those officials have not yet leaked out. Earlier this week another Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, formally confessed that he conspired with the Russian government and that he informed several Trump campaign officials about it. Among them: Sam Clovis, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, and Donald Trump himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report