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Thursday, 12 October 2017 10:30

A former Trump adviser refuses to cooperate with a Senate probe. Here’s what happens next.

Written by  Randall D. Eliason

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page reportedly has informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that he will not agree to turn over documents or be interviewed and will assert his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

What the committee does next may have implications not only for its own inquiry but also for the criminal investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The committee has conducted closed, voluntary interviews of a number of Trump campaign advisers, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, as part of its probe of possible Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. Investigators are interested in Page because of reports that he had meetings with high-level Russian officials last year while he was working for the Trump campaign.

In light of Page’s reported refusal to cooperate, the committee’s logical next step would be to subpoena him. Unlike a request for a voluntary interview, a subpoena would compel Page to appear. If investigators believe Page may be trying to stonewall, a subpoena is the way to call his bluff. There’s a chance that Page would agree to testify once he was actually before the committee. In fact, there are some conflicting reports that Page has denied taking the Fifth and would be willing to testify at a public hearing — although perhaps not in a closed session.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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