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Old 07 November 2017, 08:39 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Icon05 The paranoid Carter Page transcript: What in Godís name did I just read?

Carter Pageís testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the transcript of which was released Monday night, was like trying to read a magic eye painting. It is the sort of thing a lawyer ó or, really, any person concerned with your welfare ó would tell you not to say to a congressional committee. Yet, here we are. For anyone who doesnít want to curl up with 243 pages of testimony and footnoted letters, here is pretty much how the thing went, severely condensed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.0e480f8da1bc
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Old 07 November 2017, 09:14 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Damn, he is clearly the Turnip's doppelganger.
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Old 07 November 2017, 10:53 PM
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I don't remember hearing him talk like this during the few news shows I've seen him appear on, so I'm not quite convinced he didn't answer the committees questions like he did on purpose.

~Psihala
(*To quote a mad scientist character from my childhood, "I can be pretty stupid when I want to be.")
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Old 07 November 2017, 11:06 PM
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I wondered if it was a charade, as well. But this quote from Wikipedia makes it sound like he’s always been...odd.

Quote:
In 1998, Page joined the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm, but left three months later. In 2017, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer recalled on his Twitter feed that Page's strong pro-Russian stance was "not a good fit" for the firm and that Page was its "most wackadoodle" alumnus.[21]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Page
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Old 08 November 2017, 11:56 AM
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Part way into reading the possibly-exaggerated summary I thought I'd have a go at the transcript itself to get (at least an idea of) the full picture. I started reading the initial letter that Page sent to the Congressional Committee after being asked to testify. Wow, he does come on a bit strong.

Then I got to this line, which comes without context in the letter as well, and literally burst out laughing. The underlining and bold is Page's own:

Quote:
Whereas I have never done anything wrong in Russia, [...]
Hmm, yes, I see what the OP writer means when he says it's the sort of thing that a lawyer might advise you not to say. Let alone put in writing in a letter to an official investigatory committee, underlined and in bold.

This looks like an entertaining read!

(eta) And in the next paragraph of the letter, Page makes it clear that he wants everybody to hear and / or read his testimony, to reveal the real truth and show how little he has to hide. So no need to feel bad about doing so.
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Old 08 November 2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
I wondered if it was a charade, as well.
Never mind the talk, read the letter that's in the first few pages of the testimony. It's unhinged, frankly. I've not even finished it yet.

As an example, he breaks down his comments into repeated sections about the Russian government and the US government. These are headed:

"A) Russian Government (the so-called "Putin regime")"

and

"B) U.S. Government (the Clinton/Obama regime)"

Earlier on, he said that while waiting for an interview at RT (which was Russia Today), somebody said to him that the WikiLeaks emails that had just been released looked interesting, and it was a shame that there was no way to sort through them effectively. He takes this to mean that "it seems unlikely that Russian entities such as this television network were in any way directly involved in the WikiLeaks cyber activity". Um, yes, I don't think anybody was saying that RT had hacked any servers... and why is somebody talking about how many emails there were evidence one way or the other for that anyway? Why even bring it up, there?

I won't go on (as I've not read much further myself yet, and there would be too much to summarise like this anyway), but it doesn't look to me as though he's putting any of it on. He might possibly be trying to overwhelm people with information, I suppose. But I'd take it at face value.

It's also clear that the OP writer is not exaggerating!
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Old 08 November 2017, 02:23 PM
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Now that I've got into the transcript itself, I do feel a bit sorry for the guy. It must be infuriating to be interrogated to that depth by lawyers and have every statement you make thrown back to you for "clarification" when you were trying to be comprehensive, or for not being comprehensive enough when you were trying for "clarity". Especially if you don't get why it is that the lawyers are asking for "clarification" way beyond the point when it would already be clear to anybody who wasn't a lawyer trying to pick holes in what you're saying.

He really could have done with having a lawyer of his own with him! He gets very confused about the Fifth Amendment a bit later, and ends up letting the person questioning him state that he's deliberately withholding incriminating evidence, when I'm fairly sure he was trying to say the opposite. A lawyer would surely have stopped that bit. (I'd have been asking my lawyer what the point of the Fifth Amendment was, if invoking it means that you're automatically taken to be withholding incriminating evidence. Surely it should be a legally neutral action?)
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Old 08 November 2017, 02:56 PM
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When you take the Fifth, you acknowledge that the information you are withholding may incriminate you. In an adversarial system, the opposition naturally interprets the "may" to mean "will."
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Old 08 November 2017, 03:23 PM
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Still a good example of why you need a lawyer to counter that interpretation!

The transcript gets funnier later on, when people start reading out to him parts of emails he sent that appear to directly contradict his statements earlier. Since I'm sure he can't have been lying under oath, presumably that means the statements he made in the emails weren't true...!
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Old 08 November 2017, 03:47 PM
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Judge

In theory, of course, when you take the Fifth, the jury/judge/whoever are not supposed to infer anything in particular from it. In practice, though... (and particularly in a proceeding like this, which is more political than judicial)
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Old 08 November 2017, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Schiff: What is a scholar? You keep describing yourself as a scholar, but I am not sure that word means what you think it means.
Did Schiff just paraphrase Princess Bride? I hope it was deliberate.

Does anyone know if Page has been linked to the sovereign citizen movement? Because several of his statements, especially the "law of the sea" one, are very reminiscent of their creed. Not to mention they seem to tend towards the guano end of the spectrum too.
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Old 08 November 2017, 04:13 PM
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There's a reason you don't usually see lawyers representing themselves.
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  #13  
Old 08 November 2017, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Did Schiff just paraphrase Princess Bride? I hope it was deliberate.
That's not a quote from the actual transcript - it's from the parody version in the OP. (The transcript of what Page actually says is mostly more sensible, except when he's given free rein for a bit; most of the silly stuff comes in the various letters he sent to the committee beforehand. I liked the one where he said he wasn't going to give them any more information and invoked the Fifth Amendment, and then ranted on for four closely-typed pages anyway.)

His main mistake in what they've actually questioned him about so far as I've read seems to have been to claim in emails to the committee he was on in Trump's campaign that he'd received "insights and outreach" from senior administrators and members of the Russian presidential team, and had a "private conversation" with the Russian deputy prime minister about Dvorkovich's support for Trump, when he's now saying that the "private conversation" was basically just saying hello, and all these insights were from listening to public talks and speeches, and from his basic background knowledge. The charitable explanation is that he was exaggerating in the emails to the committee to make himself look more important - which I don't suppose is a crime, but which I bet he's regretting now. But he did imply or even directly state in the emails that he did some of the things he's now denying...

He certainly seems to think that he's at the centre of everything, which is understandable if he's been having a hard time lately, but probably not a good idea. I doubt he's really as big a deal in all this as he seems to think. If and when they get Donald Trump Jr. up and start asking him similar questions, that will be interesting!

As for his own letters, it's easy to get the impression from them that he's far keener on the Russian government as-is than on the US government!
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  #14  
Old 08 November 2017, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
That's not a quote from the actual transcript - it's from the parody version in the OP.
I have to admit, Iím a little disappointed.
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