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Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin(reuters_tickers)
By Jonathan Landay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Thursday delivered subpoenaed documents he described as "irrelevant and unnecessary" to two congressional committees investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Page, an oil industry consultant with numerous contacts in Russia, told Reuters in a text message that he delivered the documents to the Senate and House intelligence committees.
“Just dropped irrelevant and unnecessary documents off for the Witch Hunt,” Page said in his text. “On to bigger and better things now.”
Page delivered the documents two weeks after acknowledging in an appearance before the House panel that he had not provided all relevant documents sought by a subpoena, including emails in which he and another former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, were included.
According to a transcript of his testimony released last week, Page said that he had not turned over the emails because he assumed that the committee “most likely would have received them from others already.” He agreed to submit them.
Under subsequent questioning, Page first cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as a reason for withholding documents relevant to the committee subpoena.
He then said that, “Nothing would directly incriminate me,” but added that he was concerned about discrepancies between documents he withheld and materials collected by a government eavesdropping operation under a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last month to a charge of lying to the FBI about his efforts to arrange a meeting during the 2016 campaign between then-Republican candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Papadopolous also agreed to cooperate with the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Russia denies interfering in the 2016 campaign. Trump denies there was any collusion between his campaign and what U.S. intelligence agencies charge was a Russian influence operation that was intended to sway the vote to Trump over his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Dan Grebler)