Hearings

Ex-Trump adviser Page rips Obama-era 'surveillance,' wants to testify in public

Pamela Browne

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has asked House lawmakers to let him testify in an open session to offer his side in the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 race – maintaining his innocence and blasting the Obama administration for putting him under “illegitimate” surveillance.

As the pace of Russia investigations intensifies on Capitol Hill, Page made his request in a 23-page letter to two House intelligence committee members.

"I tentatively look forward to testifying on the record regarding these matters before your Committee on Tuesday June 6th,” he wrote.

Page, a peripheral figure in the Trump campaign, added that he understands his testimony "might be held behind closed doors" but requests "that some form of live public access may be allowed."

The letter was sent to Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Michael Conaway, R-Texas.

Page has been a sought-after witness in the various Washington probes pertaining to Russian meddling in the campaign. Page also claimed he was put under inappropriate surveillance under the Obama administration and said he has “been in contact” with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, newly appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other Justice Department officials “regarding the multiple outstanding requests for immediate release of illegitimate FISA warrants that were allegedly filed by the Obama Administration against me in 2016."

Page insisted in the letter that "I was the primary known person allegedly put under the most intensive surveillance by the Obama Administration as part of their 2016 domestic political intelligence operation." 

The investigation into him was spurred by what Page calls the notorious anti-Trump  'dodgy dossier,' written in part by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Page wrote that he considers the investigation into him a "race to the bottom in terms of irrelevancy." 

As reported by Fox News on May 5, then-FBI Director James Comey considered the dossier so important that he insisted it be included in January’s final intelligence community report on Russia meddling. 

Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9. 

The dossier contained salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump. The classified version of the intelligence report issued at the end of the Obama administration included a summary of the document, as an attachment. Both then-President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump were presented with the findings. The New York Times cited two anonymous sources saying the bureau had offered to pay Steele $50,000 for the dossier.

In British court-filed documents signed by Steele in April, a reference to part of the dossier he prepared was described as needing “to be analysed and further investigated/verified,” according to The Guardian

Page reiterated in the letter that he never had any direct relationship or meetings with Trump despite serving as an "informal, unpaid member of one of his campaign's committee."

In bolded text, Page emphasized, "I have never done anything wrong in Russia or with any Russian person" and that he "looks forward to the release of the contents of my illegitimate FISA warrant."

Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”