Donald Trump’s foreign policy campaign adviser Carter Page announced that he’s changed his mind and he’s no longer willing to testify before the Senate Intel Committee about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Instead he’s invoking the Fifth Amendment, which is his right. But investigators also have a right to move forward in prosecuting him. Even as we wait for the committee’s next move, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been three steps ahead throughout this investigation.
We’ve seen Mueller order the FBI to raid Paul Manafort’s house just hours after he gave testimony that was deemed unsatisfactory. It was clear that Mueller had been sitting on a warrant, and simply decided it was the right time to go ahead and execute it. This strongly suggests that Mueller already has warrants ready to go on every Trump-Russia character he can possibly get warrants on, so he can use them as needed. Now that Carter Page has suddenly decided to throw up a roadblock, we can expect Muller to knock it down in response. In fact one expert says that’s precisely what’s about to happen.
MSNBC intel analyst Malcolm Nance, who has a history of correctly predicting the next moves in the Trump-Russia scandal, tweeted this today: “I’m calling it. Page refuses turn over docs taunting ‘you have a FISA…’. Predict No-knock FBI raid on home, office, laptop in 3..2..1” (link). Nance brings up another key point, which is that the Feds have (or had) a FISA surveillance warrant on Page (link), likely making it uniquely easy to go back and get additional warrants against him.
Despite Carter Page’s strange trip to Moscow while he was a Donald Trump campaign adviser, his strange interactions with three Russian spies before the election, and the FISA warrant against him, this still doesn’t prove that Page committed any crimes. But even if he’s merely a material witness to crimes committed by other Trump campaign advisers, his sudden defiant refusal to cooperate means he’s almost certainly moved to the top of Robert Mueller’s list. It took weeks for the raid of Manafort’s home to become public. For all we know, Page’s house may have already been raided.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report