Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia investigators in letter

Page: I'm a victim of civil rights violations
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Story highlights

  • Carter Page is a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign last year
  • Senate investigators request information from him in a letter and Thursday he responded

(CNN)Carter Page brushed back the Senate intelligence committee in a letter Thursday, telling members that if they want details about his communications with Russians, they'll need to ask former President Barack Obama.

The former foreign policy adviser for Donald Trump's campaign, who is being scrutinized by both congressional and FBI investigators, berated the Senate intelligence committee's requests in an April 28 letter provided to CNN for details about his communications and schedule a time to be interviewed by Senate investigators.
The Senate panel has also asked for records of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump adviser Roger Stone as part of its probe. And the panel, sources said, is prepared to subpoena them for the records if necessary.
    Instead, Page, who has been strangely outspoken, wrote in his response that he was confident evidence would prove he was a target of surveillance by Obama -- evidence, he said, that would likely induce "severe vomiting" when it comes out.
    "I suspect the physical reaction of the Clinton/Obama regime perpetrators will be more along the lines of severe vomiting when all the facts are eventually exposed regarding the steps taken by the U.S. Government to influence the 2016 election," Page wrote.
    In a joint statement from the committee's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, and ranking Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, the investigation's leaders said their committee will "continue to pursue its inquiry into issues surrounding Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election."
    "Three days ago, Carter Page told Fox News he was cooperating with the committee's investigation into Russian activities surrounding the 2016 Election," the statement said. "Today we have learned that may not be the case."
    Warner and Burr later added, "Mr. Page has indicated in correspondence to the committee that he looks forward to working with us on this matter, and that our cooperation will help resolve what he claims are false allegations. For that to happen, Mr. Page must supply the requested documents to the committee."
    Federal investigators believe Page was being cultivated as a Russian asset by a Russian spy -- whether Page knew it or not -- a charge Page has vehemently denied.
    The Senate letter to Page is the latest sign that its Russia investigation is plowing ahead, now moving to the phase of calling in high-profile witnesses.
    In his three-page reply, Page wrote that he believed Senate investigators would have better access to his communications than he would because of the alleged surveillance by the Obama administration.
    "But please note that any records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities will be miniscule in comparison to the full database of information which has already been collected under the direction of the Obama Administration during last year's completely unjustified FISA warrant that targeted me for exercising my First Amendment rights, both in 2016 as well as in years prior," Page wrote.
    FBI Director James Comey said again this week that Trump was definitely not a target of surveillance by Obama. And House investigators rebutted House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' claim that Trump aides were victims of incidental collection.
    The White House has distanced itself from Page since it became clear he was a key target for investigators.
    But Page clearly did not play a central role in Trump's campaign, unlike other targets including former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
    California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the House intelligence committee, says he believes there was collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians, based on classified intelligence he has reviewed.
    Asked by CNN's Brianna Keilar if he believes there is "fire" behind the smoke of the allegations, Swalwell, responded, "Yes, I do. And I've seen the evidence on the unclassified and classified side, and I think the best thing we can do on our committee is to follow that evidence."
    When pressed on what made him sure that there was collusion, Swalwell said: "It's the evidence I've reviewed on the classified side. But also, you don't have to be a lawyer and you don't have to have access to classified information to see the behavior of people like Carter Page and Roger Stone."
    Several individuals associated with the Trump campaign "denied having meetings with Russians and then when confronted, finally had to fess up or step aside," Swalwell said, naming Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from any Justice Department investigations into the Trump campaign in March after it emerged that he had failed at his Senate confirmation hearing to disclose two pre-election meetings with Russia's ambassador to Washington.
    "These do not appear to be coincidences, they appear to be a convergence," Swalwell said.