Carter Page says real Russian probe starts now

The "real Russia investigation" starts now, according to Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide who was caught up in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's probe of the 2016 presidential election.

"What happened this past weekend is really just a sideshow," Page told Hill.TV's "Rising" hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on Wednesday, referring to the summary of Mueller's conclusions delivered by Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP DOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote MORE to Congress.

"This is really the start of the real Russia investigation," he said.

Page referenced efforts from the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, which wants to investigate the FBI's handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email server and the origins of Mueller's Russia probe.

"There were some criminals that did totally unconscionable behavior," Page said. "People within the government, but also within the [Democratic National Committee], which funded this, and a lot of their operatives/highly paid consultants."

"There was a lot of money flows going on behind the scenes, and so again, we're at the very start of this investigation. We're really in the initial days and hours," he said. 

Page announced in October that he had filed a defamation suit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over the dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. 

The document claims that Page communicated with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

The dossier was first funded by Republicans seeking opposition research on President Trump and later by Democratic presidential nominee Clinton's campaign and the DNC.

— Julia Manchester