Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

House panel subpoenas ex-FBI lawyer Page for interview

House panel subpoenas ex-FBI lawyer Page for interview

The two exchanged thousands of text messages, expressing in many of them a strong bias against then-candidate Donald Trump and in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, while the couple played major roles in FBI investigations of both candidates during the 2016 presidential election.

Former FBI agent Lisa Page is defying a congressional subpoena and will not appear before a closed-door session of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

In a letter to the committees' chairmen, they said an inquiry originally billed as reviewing the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server "has morphed into a partisan, abusive, and improper inquisition of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of President Trump's campaign and its connections to Russian Federation". Both were removed from the Mueller probe past year after the Justice Department's internal watchdog made the special counsel aware of the anti-Trump text messages.

In a statement released by Page's lawyer Tuesday, she claims that she has not been given sufficient time to review materials relating to her case, and she blamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.

Page and Strzok became the center of the controversy about alleged political bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department after their text messages were released.

There was, however, one crucial document Page lacked before her planned appearance-the testimony of Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok. "Despite proper service of your client with a subpoena directing her to appear, she did not", he said.

"We will use all tools at our disposal to obtain her testimony", Goodlatte said.

Attorney Amy Jeffress told Fox News that Page would not appear on Capitol Hill on Wednesday because they did not have enough time to prepare.

Page's lawyer said the committee issued the subpoena on Saturday, July 7, and would have been asking her about material her lawyer said she had not yet been shown.

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"As a result", he concluded, "Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time".

The two committees' "bullying tactics here are unnecessary", she added.

Page was schedule to testify before Congress Wednesday.

Republicans have said they disagree with that conclusion, which will likely be a significant focus of Thursday's public hearing.

But her lawyer Amy Jeffress said in a statement that Page could not appear without first having access to Federal Bureau of Investigation documents that the committees already possessed, and that they had ignored her efforts to find a later date for the deposition.

Strzok is scheduled to appear for a public hearing later this week, according to reports.

Page and Strzok tried to explain their texts away, saying their views didn't affect their work.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have rejected suggestions of bias against Trump, and have assured Congress that Mueller is conducting his probe appropriately. The texts disparaged President Trump, calling him an "idiot" and "loathsome".

House Republicans have engaged in a war of words and threats against the Justice Department for withholding information about the Trump-Russia investigation.

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