Political News

House Russia investigators interviewing Carter Page behind closed doors

Posted October 27, 2017 12:38 p.m. EDT

— Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page is coming to Capitol Hill next week for an interview before the House intelligence committee, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Page, whose testimony has been sought by several congressional panels investigating Russian election meddling, has been scheduled for a Thursday hearing with the House intelligence committee.

It's still unclear whether Page plans to answer the House committee's questions. The Senate intelligence committee has issued a subpoena to Page after he told the committee earlier this month that he would plead the Fifth Amendment to keep from turning over a "vast array" of documents the panel requested, which he argued was "beyond the charter" of its probe.

Page did not respond to CNN questions about his House hearing.

The November 2 House intelligence hearing for Page was listed on the committee's website as "open in a closed space." A committee source told CNN that means the hearing will be held in the panel's closed spaces in the Capitol, without the public or media present. But it will be an unclassified hearing, and the transcript could be released in the future, the source said.

Frequently, the House intelligence panel has allowed witnesses who have pled the Fifth to do so without physically coming to the committee spaces, a Democratic committee aide told CNN last week. But the committee did require two partners of Fusion GPS --- the firm that funded the opposition research dossier on President Donald Trump --- to appear to invoke their constitutional right not to answer the committee's questions.

The congressional Russia investigators have been seeking testimony from Page for months now, as the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser has gone back and forth with the panels.

In a May letter, Page told the Senate intelligence committee that he had "brief interactions" several years ago with a Russian official he described as a "junior attaché." In the same letter, he attacked the "bitter" Senate investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and the Russians as a "show trial."

After he was subpoenaed by the Senate intelligence panel, Page told CNN: "I'm cooperating with everyone in DC who wants my help" to end this "witch hunt."

Page has demanded that the government release his communications that were picked up during surveillance operations. The FBI obtained a warrant to monitor Page on suspicions he knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, according to an April report from The Washington Post. Page has disputed the idea he ever collected intelligence for the Russians.