'FBI lovers' lawyer refuses to testify on alleged anti-Trump bias
14 July, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Kristen Ingram
Republicans on Capitol Hill say they're considering holding former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page in contempt after she did not appear for an interview Wednesday under subpoena, but her lawyer maintains she's more than willing to cooperate and House leaders have resorted to "bullying" tactics.
If Page doesn't agree to either of these options, the chairmen of the two panels, Judiciary's Bob Goodlatte and Oversight's Trey Gowdy, told her lawyer that she would face contempt of Congress proceedings.
On Wednesday, though, Jeffress said that the Justice Department granted her access to the material "after 11 pm last night".
Page exchanged text messages critical of Donald Trump with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, who is testifying publicly Thursday. "Total disgrace!" the president tweeted Monday.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Trump said the text between Strzok and Page amounted to "treason" and had exposed an Federal Bureau of Investigation plot against him. Trump wrote that Page is an "Ex-FBI LAYER", which is not a thing.
Jerrold Nadler of NY, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the party's ranking member on the Oversight panel, said the Republicans' focus on Page and Strzok was meant to undermine the Russian Federation investigation now being run by Special Council Robert Mueller.
"She has known for months that the House judiciary committee has sought her testimony", he said in a July 10 statement, adding, "She has no excuse for her failure to appear".
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he was "very disturbed" by Page's refusal to show up and indicated he is willing to hold her in contempt of Congress.
There was no immediate response to that from Jeffress. She mentions a referral sent to the FBI by several GOP lawmakers in April that recommends a criminal investigation of several current and former DOJ employees, including Page.
Page also briefly served on Mueller's investigative team until the revelations of her texts with Strzok.
In a statement, Amy Jeffress said her client did not have enough time to prepare and had asked the the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees to schedule another date.
Strzok and Page both worked under former FBI Director James Comey during the FBI's investigation of Clinton's emails. If a majority is in favor of contempt, the full House would then vote on a resolution. Representative Darrell Issa of California complains that responses by the Justice Department in recent years to such congressional referrals haven't been adequate anyway. He said that "has given people like Lisa Page the belief they can thumb their nose at this body".
House Republicans have been nevertheless aggressively pushing for interviews - including by serving Strzok with a subpoena for public testimony Thursday after declining to release a transcript of his closed-door testimony last month as his lawyer and Democrats demanded.
Most recently, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fended off such accusations from top Republican Reps.
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