Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, put another nail in Trump’s coffin after Carter Page admitted that he not only met with high-level officials in Russia but that he also notified his supervisors on the Trump campaign about the meeting.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA. Rep. Schiff said:
During many public appearances prior to his November 2, 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in open session, Carter Page characterized his July 2016 trip to Russia as a private one in which his interactions with Russian individuals were largely confined to the ‘man on the street.’ In his testimony, however, he was forced to acknowledge that he communicated with high level Russian officials while in Moscow, including one of Russia’s Deputy Prime Ministers. He also admitted notifying the fact of his meetings to his campaign supervisors.
Perhaps most important, Page — after being presented with an email he sent to his campaign supervisors, and which he did not disclose to the Committee prior to the interview and despite a subpoena from the Committee — detailed his meetings with Russian government officials and others, and said that they provided him with insights and outreach that he was interested in sharing with the campaign. Page’s invitation to Moscow and his July 2016 trip was paid for by Russian sponsors and followed his appointment as a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor. Page also testified that he was aware of Papadopoulos’ meeting with a professor with links to the Kremlin, even as he had been invited to Moscow by another professor with connections to the Russian government.
He also acknowledged a separate trip to Moscow in December 2016 and an early September 2016 trip to Budapest for meetings with Hungarian government officials, the details of which he would not elaborate. Additionally, Page detailed other conversations he had with senior Trump campaign officials, including now-Attorney General Sessions, making clear that senior campaign officials were informed of his Moscow trip.
We look forward to the continued cooperation of Mr. Page with our investigation, and his production of documents to the Committee in a timely manner, consistent with the revised production date of November 16, 2017 relayed to him during the interview.
There are two important takeaways from Page’s testimony. The Trump campaign knew about and had blessed Page’s trip to meet with Russian officials, which means that the plausible deniability of blaming a few rogue actors inside the campaign has gone up in smoke, and if Jeff Sessions knew about the meetings, the revelation means a whole new world of trouble for the Attorney General. The knowledge of the meetings will add another layer to the lies that Sessions has told Congress.
The Trump campaign was reaching out to Russia and trying to collude. The Russia collusion reached the highest levels of the campaign, and the White House is trying to cover-up the facts.
The Russia scandal is growing fast, and there is nothing that Trump can do to prevent it from catching him.