There could be explosive new revelations about Donald Trump and his team’s connections to Russia during his presidential campaign coming to light.
Roger Stone and Carter Page, two close advisors to Trump during his presidential campaign, who have all been publicly linked to Russia and in Stone’s case, to Wikileaks disclosures about Hillary Clinton, offered today to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and asked that it be at a session open to the public.
At the very least it will open the door to a deeper investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia and Russia’s illegal efforts to sway the American election.
The offers made in a letter to Committee chairmen Devin Numes (R-Ca) and Adam Schiff (D-Ca.), which were leaked to the press, come on the same day that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort also agreed to voluntarily testify before the committee.
Stone’s attorney said the longtime political operative is coming forward without being served a subpoena in an effort to clear his name. “I demand the right to face my accusers,” Stone wrote in his letter, according to CNN. “I will deconstruct their lies and spank them like children.”
Stone, Carter, Manafort and others reportedly are under investigation for colluding with the Kremlin, or their agents, during the Presidential campaign. On Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed there was an investigation when he appeared before the House Intelligence Committee – but he did not name any names of those who are being probed.
However, Stone’s name was mentioned at the hearing by some of the Democrats on the committee, including Shiff.
In his letter, Stone accused Shiff and other Democrats of, “engaging in demagoguery, red-baiting, fear-mongering, half-truths, and innuendo.”
At the hearing, Schiff asked Comey about Stone, who appeared to have advance knowledge of Wikileaks posting stolen emails about Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Stone even boasted on Twitter last August, “@Hillary Clinton is done. Wikileaks.”
The information hacked from Clinton’s campaign manager appeared days later.
Stone denies knowing when Wikileaks would release the stolen emails but did admit he had communicated with Wikileaks founder Julian Assage through an intermediary.
“They don’t tell me what they’re going to release,” Stone told The Daily Caller last October. “My comments have been about the gravity about what they are releasing and the accuracy.”
Stone also has been implicated because during the campaign he used Twitter to contact a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who U.S. intelligence has identified as working for a Russian government. Stone denies he knew Guccifer was a Russian agent.
Page said in his letter he wants to, “set the record straight,” about the period he advised Trump on foreign policy.
Page wrote that he wants to respond to, “false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by certain politically-motivated suspects in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other Americans.”
Page said he was never a Trump campaign insider: “I was never paid by the Trump campaign and never made any financial contributions to that movement, with the negligible exception of purchasing a few Make America Great Again hats and a ‘Veterans for Trump’ button.”
Page also said he did not receive any compensation related to the sale last December of a nearly 20 percent stake n Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft. Page has been seen by critics as a key link between Trump and Russian President Putin, who organized the sale of state-owned Rosneft for over $10 billion.
The complex deal involved Middle Eastern countries and others. Some buyers have never been revealed,
While all of the witnesses are volunteers, their presence under oath – whether it is done in public as they wish or behind closed doors – will provide an opportunity for the Congress-people to ask the tough questions and probe for answers to exactly how Russia came to be involved in hacks and activities designed to help elect Trump and to defeat Hillary Clinton.