FBI questioned Carter Page – with no lawyer! – 5 times in March
Keep in mind this happened just before Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Carter Page did confirm contact with the FBI a month and a half ago on MSNBC, but given tonight’s hot story at WaPo, something tells me the Russiagate saga is about to get much more interesting.
FBI agents have repeatedly questioned former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page about his contacts with Russians and his interactions with the Trump campaign, according to people familiar with the investigation.
Over a series of five meetings in March, totaling about 10 hours of questioning, Page repeatedly denied wrongdoing when asked about allegations that he may have acted as a kind of go-between for Russia and the Trump campaign, according to a person familiar with Page’s account.
The interviews with the FBI are the most extensive known questioning of a potential suspect in the probe of possible Russian connections to associates of President Trump. The questioning of Page came more than a month before the Russian investigation was put under the direction of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
Page said the accusations against him are lies spread by supporters of Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama, aimed at weakening the Trump administration.
Because it is against the law for an individual to lie to FBI agents about a material issue under investigation, many lawyers recommend that their clients not sit for interviews with the bureau without an attorney present. Page said he spoke without an attorney and wasn’t concerned about the risks because he told the truth.
In April, The Washington Post reported that Page had been the subject of a foreign intelligence surveillance court order beginning in the summer of 2016.
The FBI’s questioning of Page came during a tumultuous time for Trump and the Russia probe. On March 20, FBI Director James B. Comey publicly confirmed that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.’’
A few days after that statement to Congress, Trump separately asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians, according to officials. Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.
So, the two most likely possibilities are that Carter “No Lawyer Necessary” Page is an idiot, or he has flipped on Team Trumputin. Or maybe both.
That’s right, George – we’re going to need a lot of popcorn.