3. Carter Page
Carter Page worked for the Trump Campaign from January 2016 to September 2016. He was formally and publicly announced as a foreign policy advisor by the candidate in March 2016. Page had lived and worked in Russia, and he had been approached by Russian intelligence officers several years before he volunteered for the Trump Campaign. During his time with the Campaign, Page advocated pro-Russia foreign policy positions and traveled to Moscow in his personal capacity. Russian intelligence officials had formed relationships with Page in 2008 and 2013 and Russian officials may have focused on Page in 2016 because of his affiliation with the Campaign. However, the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Before he began working for the Campaign in January 2016, Page had substantial prior experience studying Russian policy issues and living and working in Moscow. From 2004 to 2007, Page was the deputy branch manager of Merrill Lynch 's Moscow office. There, he worked on transactions involving the Russian energy company Gazprom and came to know Gazprom 's deputy chief financial officer, Sergey Yatsenko.
In 2008, Page founded Global Energy Capital LLC( GEC), an in ~ advisor firm focused on the energy sector in emerging markets.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. The company otherwise had no sources of income, and Page was forced to draw down his life savings to support himself and pursue his business venture. Page asked Yatsenko to work with him at GEC as a senior advisor on a contingency basis,[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
In 2008, Page met Alexander Bulatov, a Russian government official who worked at the Russian Consulate in New York. Page later learned that Bulatov was a Russian intelligence officer,[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
In 2013, Victor Podobnyy, another Russian intelligence officer working covertly in the United States under diplomatic cover, formed a relationship with Page. Podobnyy met Page at an energy symposium in New York City and began exchanging emails with him. Podobnyy and Page also met in person on multiple occasions, during which Page offered his outlook on the future of the energy industry and provided documents to Podobnyy about the energy business. In a recorded conversation on April 8, 2013, Podobnyy told another intelligence officer that Page was interested in business opportunities in Russia. In Podobnyy 's words, Page" got hooked on Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could... rise up. Maybe he can...[ I] t' s obvious that he wants to earn lots of money.'' Podobnyy said that he had led Page on by" feed[ ing] him empty promises'' that Podobnyy would use his Russian business connections to help Page. Podobnyy told the other intelligence officer that his method of recruiting foreign sources was to promise them favors and then discard them once he obtained relevant information from them.
In 2015, Podobnyy and two other Russian intelligence officers were charged with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. The criminal complaint detailed Podobnyy 's interactions with and conversations about Page, who was identified only as" Male-1.'' Based on the criminal complaint 's description of the interactions, Page was aware that he was the individual described as" Male-l.'' Page later spoke with a Russian government official at the United Nations General Assembly and identified himself so that the official would understand he was" Male-I'' from the Podobnyy complaint. Page told the official that he" did n't do anything''[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
In interviews with the FBI before the Office 's opening, Page acknowledged that he understood that the individuals he had associated with were members of the Russian intelligence services, but he stated that he had only provided immaterial non-public information to them and that he did not view this relationship as a backchannel. Page told investigating agents that" the more immaterial non-public information I give them, the better for this country.''
b. Origins of and Early Campaign Work
In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign officials. Page told the Office that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate Trump improve relations with Russia. To that end, Page emailed Campaign officials offering his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, prepared talking points and briefing memos on Russia, and proposed that candidate Trump meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
In communications with Campaign officials, Page also repeatedly touted his high-level contacts in Russia and his ability to forge connections between candidate Trump and senior Russian governmental officials. For example, on January 30, 2016, Page sent an email to senior Campaign officials stating that he had" spent the past week in Europe and ha[ d] been in discussions with some individuals with close ties to the Kremlin'' who recognized that Trump could have a" game-changing effect... in bringing the end of the new Cold War.'' The email stated that''[ t] hrough[ his] discussions with these high level contacts,'' Page believed that" a direct meeting in Moscow between Mr[.] Trump and Putin could be arranged.'' Page closed the email by criticizing U.S. sanctions on Russia.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
On March 21, 2016, candidate Trump formally and publicly identified Page as a member of his foreign policy team to advise on Russia and the energy sector. Over the next several months, Page continued providing policy-related work product to Campaign officials. For example, in April 2016, Page provided feedback on an outline for a foreign policy speech that the candidate gave at the Mayflower Hotel, see Volume I, Section IV.A .4, infra. In May 2016, Page prepared an outline of an energy policy speech for the Campaign and then traveled to Bismarck, North Dakota, to watch the candidate deliver the speech. Chief policy advisor Sam Clovis expressed appreciation for Page 's work and praised his work to other Campaign officials.
c. Carter Page 's July 2016 Trip To Moscow
Page 's affiliation with the Trump Campaign took on a higher profile and drew the attention of Russian officials after the candidate named him a foreign policy advisor. As a result, in late April 2016, Page was invited to give a speech at the July 2016 commencement ceremony at the New Economic School( NES) in Moscow. The NES commencement ceremony generally featured high-profile speakers; for example, President Barack Obama delivered a commencement address at the school in 2009. NES officials told the Office that the interest in inviting Page to speak at NES was' based entirely on his status as a Trump Campaign advisor who served as the candidate 's Russia expert. Andrej Krickovic, an associate of Page 's and assistant professor at the Higher School of Economics in Russia, recommended that NES rector Shlomo Weber invite Page to give the commencement address based on his connection to the Trump Campaign. Denis Klimentov, an employee ofNES, said that when Russians learned of Page 's involvement in the Trump Campaign in March 2016, the excitement was palpable. Weber recalled that in summer 2016 there was substantial interest in the Trump Campaign in Moscow, and he felt that bringing a member of the Campaign to the school would be beneficial.
Page was eager to accept the invitation to speak at NES, and he sought approval from Trump Campaign officials to make the trip to Russia. On May 16, 2016, while that request was still under consideration, Page emailed Clovis, J.D. Gordon, and Walid Phares and suggested that candidate Trump take his place speaking at the commencement ceremony in Moscow. On June 19, 2016, Page followed up again to request approval to speak at the NES event and to reiterate that NES" would love to have Mr. Trump speak at this annual celebration'' in Page 's place. Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded the same day, saying," If you want to do this, it would be out side[ sic] of your role with the DJT for President campaign. I am certain Mr. Trump will not be able to attend.''
In early July 2016, Page traveled to Russia for the NES events. On July 5, 2016, Denis Klimentov, copying his brother, Dmitri Klimentov, emailed Maria Zakharova, the Director of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Information and Press Department, about Page 's visit and his connection to the Trump Campaign. Denis Klimentov said in the email that he wanted to draw the Russian government 's attention to Page 's visit in Moscow. His message to Zakharova continued:" Page is Trump 's adviser on foreign policy. He is a known businessman; he used to work in Russia.... If you have any questions, I will be happy to help contact him.'' Dmitri Klimentov then contacted Russian Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov about Page 's visit to see if Peskov wanted to introduce Page to any Russian government officials. The following day, Peskov responded to what appears to have been the same Denis Klimentov-Zakharova email thread. Peskov wrote," I have read about[ Page]. Specialists say that he is far from being the main one. So I better not initiate a meeting in the Kremlin.''
On July 7, 2016, Page delivered the first of his two speeches in Moscow at NES. In the speech, Page criticized the U.S. government 's foreign policy toward Russia, stating that" Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.'' On July 8, 2016, Page delivered a speech during the NES commencement. After Page delivered his commencement address, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and NES board member Arkady Dvorkovich spoke at the ceremony and stated that the sanctions the United States had imposed on Russia had hurt the NES. Page and Dvorkovich shook hands at the commencement ceremony, and Weber recalled Dvorkovich made statements to Page about working to ether in the future.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. 571
Page said that, during his time in Moscow, he met with friends and associates he knew from when he lived in Russia, including Andrey Baranov, a former Gazprom employee who had become the head of investor relations at Rosneft, a Russian energy company. Page stated that he and Baranov talked about" immaterial non-public'' information. Page believed he and Baranov discussed Rosneft president Igor Sechin, and he thought Baranov might have mentioned the possibility of a sale of a stake in Rosneft in passing. Page recalled mentioning his involvement in the Trump Campaign with Baranov, although he did not remember details of the conversation. Page also met with individuals from Tatneft, a Russian energy company, to discuss possible business deals, including having Page work as a consultant.
On July 8, 2016, while he was in Moscow, Page emailed several Campaign officials and stated he would send" a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I 've received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential Administration here." On July 9, 2016, Page emailed Clovis, writing in pertinent part:
Russian Deputy Prime minister and NES board member Arkady Dvorkovich also spoke before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and a desire to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the vast range of current international problems. Based on feedback from a diverse array of other sources close to the Presidential Administration, it was readily apparent that this sentiment is widely held at all levels of government.
Despite these representations to the Campaign,[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY]. The Office was unable to obtain additional evidence or testimony about who Page may have met or communicated with in Moscow; thus, Page 's activities in Russia-as described in his emails with the Campaign-were not fully explained.
d. Later Campaign Work and Removal from the Campaign
In July 2016, after returning from Russia, Page traveled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. While there, Page met Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak; that interaction is described in Volume I, Section IV.A .6. a, infra. Page later emailed Campaign officials with feedback he said he received from ambassadors he had met at the Convention, and he wrote that Ambassador Kislyak was very worried about candidate Clinton 's world views.[ REDACTED-GRAND JURY].
Following the Convention, Page 's trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russia foreign policy drew the media 's attention and began to generate substantial press coverage. The Campaign responded by distancing itself from Page, describing him as an" informal foreign policy advisor'' who did" not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign.'' On September 23, 2016, Yahoo! News reported that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating whether Page had opened private communications with senior Russian officials to discuss U.S. sanctions policy under a possible Trump Administration. A Campaign spokesman told Yahoo! News that Page had" no role'' in the Campaign and that the Campaign was" not aware of any of his activities, past or present.'' On September 24, 2016, Page was formally removed from the Campaign.
Although Page had been removed from the Campaign, after the election he sought a position in the Trump Administration. On November 14, 2016, he submitted an application to the Transition Team that inflated his credentials and experiences, stating that in his capacity as a Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor he had met with" top world leaders'' and" effectively responded to diplomatic outreach efforts from senior government officials in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa,[ and] the Americas.'' Page received no response from the Transition Team. When Page took a personal trip to Moscow in December 2016, he met again with at least one Russian government official. That interaction and a discussion of the December trip are set forth in Volume I, Section IV.B .6, infra.