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By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Politico is reporting that Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, informed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he will not be cooperating with any requests to appear before the panel for its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and would plead the Fifth, according to a source familiar with the matter. Page is denying that claim, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he does indeed plead the Fifth. He referenced trying to avoid a perjury trap.
Some background on Page is in order here. He is a globe-trotting 46 year-old American investment banker. He has built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company. Page’s resume includes a stint in the US Naval Academy, working in arms control at the Pentagon and a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Over his career, he’s earned three graduate degrees, including a PhD from SOAS University of London.
In 2000, Page moved into investment banking, getting a job at Merrill Lynch’s capital-markets group in London. After impressing a colleague with his relationship with Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian billionaire, Page was sent to help open the firm’s Moscow office in 2004. One of the Ukraine’s richest men, Victor Pinchuk is the son-in-law of former pro-Russian Ukrainian President and longtime Communist Party boss, Leonid Kuchma. Pinchuk was also a big donor to Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton‘s Clinton Foundation. While in Moscow, Page developed close relationships with executives at Gazprom, the former Soviet gas ministry that was partially privatized in the 1990s. At that time, Putin was consolidating his control of Russia’s economy and in 2005 the government became a majority shareholder.
Page’s background at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pentagon’s arms control would have made him a prime target for Russian intelligence recruitment or influence. And in fact, Page has admitted to being recruited in 2013, although he denies ever being turned by the Russians. Color me doubtful on that point. The fact that Carter Page has been so close to KGB/FSB-connected Gazprom should be very concerning to US intelligence agencies. Page’s urging of closer ties to Russia and the easing of sanctions is completely in accordance with Russian foreign policy goals.
President Trump has distanced himself from Carter Page, but he has a close connection with him and has defended him in the past and just recently. The Daily Caller claims that Page was introduced to Trump and his people by Corey Lewandowski. Who in turn says he does not know Page, but he certainly does and Lewandowski also claimed that Page was never a part of Trump’s campaign team and again, he was. He was a foreign policy consultant to Trump.
Page seemed eager for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s attention earlier this year, when he showed up of his own volition to the panel’s secure office spaces on Capitol Hill to drop off a document he created alleging that he was the target of a smear campaign by Hillary Clinton’s aides. Clinton and her associates, Page alleged in his document — which he also shopped around to news organizations — were committing a hate crime against him by planting false stories about his ties to Russia, Page said. He was being targeted, he wrote in the document, because he was a Catholic male. That’s a ridiculous assertion and Page’s ties to Russia are easily verifiable. He has had several meetings with Putin himself.
Page has been asked by Senate investigators to turn over records pertaining to Russian contacts and communications for the past seven years. He was mentioned in the bogus Russian dossier as well. The truth is that Page has deep ties in Russia and makes a lot of money there. I don’t think that President Trump truly knows just how deep Page’s Russian ties go. Along with Manafort, I believe that Page is a Russian agent and I’m not alone in that belief.
So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don't want him to testify. He blows away their….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
…case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing "the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan…" Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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