House GOP weighs contempt against key witness in Federal Bureau of Investigation probes

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Page, whose 2016 anti-Trump text messages with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok have become the stuff of conspiratorial Republican hysteria, defied a Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify in a closed-door setting before the committees on Wednesday.

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.

In a statement, Mr. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said Ms. Page "has no excuse" for her failure to appear, saying she has known for months the two committees were interested in her testimony.

Rep. Jim Jordan said Page's unwillingness to testified showed a "double standard". Her attorney said Page hadn't been given enough information about the committees' intended line of questioning.

Page exchanged text messages critical of Donald Trump with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, who will testify publicly before the panel on Thursday.


Page and Strzok worked on the investigation of Clinton's private emails and the Russian Federation probe.

It's unclear if GOP lawmakers will actually hold a contempt vote if Page continues to defy the subpoena.

The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for Page's testimony earlier this week. Jeffress accused the panels of using unnecessary "bullying tactics" to push Page into an interview immediately, especially when "she has offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month". "As a result, Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time".

Other GOP members of the Judiciary Committee slammed Page's refusal to appear, with Ron DeSantis of Florida calling it "pathetic" and Jim Jordan of OH said she was "once again showing the double standard".

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


The Judiciary and Oversight panels have already spent much of the summer holding hearings and interviews critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department. "We expect them to agree to another date so that Lisa can appear before the Committees in the near future".

In a letter Jeffress sent to the Judiciary Committee on June 28 that was obtained by The Associated Press, she raises another issue.

The Judiciary and Oversight panels have already spent much of the summer holding hearings and interviews critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department. When he returns to Capitol Hill for Thursday's hearing he will be speaking publicly about the messages for the first time.

Strzok had a leading role in the Clinton probe and was removed from the Mueller investigation after the texts were discovered a year ago.

Aiming to discredit the probe, Trump and supporters in Congress have charged that Mueller's team is stacked with Democrats and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been opposed to him. A recent Justice Department Inspector General report discussed the text messages, acknowledging that they were evidence of political bias, but only showed concern that Strzok may have been willing to act on that bias while carrying out official duties.


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