Republicans called in U.S. Marshals to serve former FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Wednesday after she refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena, according to Fox News.
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte accused Page of “apparently” having “something to hide.” Republicans want to question Page about her anti-Trump texts with disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, with whom she was having an extramarital affair.
Page’s lawyer claimed she “will cooperate with this investigation” even as Page defied the subpoena to appear on Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.
Page’s attorney initially agreed to comply with the subpoena, Goodlatte told Fox News, but “then turned around and immediately tried to reject it.”
“So that’s why we sent the marshals to her house, to serve the subpoena,” he explained. “They had to go back three times before they were finally able to reach her.”
Attorney Amy Jeffress told Fox News that Page could not appear before the committee on Wednesday because they didn’t have enough time to prepare. Jeffress said they would ask lawmakers to schedule another date for a closed-door interview. However, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) stated Wednesday in a tweet that contradicted this:
Page actually DID review documents at the FBI yesterday. Her failure to appear before Congress this morning had little to do with ‘preparation’–and everything to do with avoiding accountability.
Meadows called Page’s lack of compliance “indefensible”:
This statement from Lisa Page's attorneys could've been better summed up in one short sentence: "We're choosing to ignore a Congressional subpoena"
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) July 11, 2018
Rep. Jim Jordan decried the “double standard,” tweeting: “One set of rules for regular Americans, a different set for the Swamp!”
In two tweets Wednesday evening, President Trump lashed out at Page, calling her an FBI “layer” in an apparent typo, and accusing her of taking part in a “rigged witch hunt” at the FBI against him:
Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress! Wow, but is anybody really surprised! Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt, perhaps the most tainted and corrupt case EVER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
In an early morning tweet Thursday, President Trump called out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, urging him to act over Page’s refusal to comply with the subpoena.
“What can she possibly say about her statements and lies. So much corruption on the other side. Where is the Attorney General?” Trump asked.
As I head out to a very important NATO meeting, I see that FBI Lover/Agent Lisa Page is dodging a Subpoena & is refusing to show up and testify. What can she possibly say about her statements and lies. So much corruption on the other side. Where is the Attorney General? @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018
On Wednesday afternoon, the Republican chairmen of the two committees sent a letter Page and her legal team laying out three options. That includes showing up at a public hearing with Strzok on Thursday, appearing for a closed door deposition Friday or facing more legal trouble.
“Interviewing your client, Lisa Page, is an important part of this investigation,” Goodlatte and Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., wrote in the letter.
The letter lays out a timeline, stating that, if Page does not appear, the committee “intends to initiate contempt proceedings” on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
“She has been in complete defiance of cooperation with the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government committee for seven months now,” Goodlatte said. “I think it’s very important for her to understand that she should comply with it now before she’s held in contempt of Congress, which could happen as soon as Friday.”
Page’s lawyer dismissed Goodlatte’s claim that she was hiding something. “There is no basis for claims that Lisa has anything to hide or is unwilling to testify,” Jeffress said in a statement released Wednesday:
Page and Strzok both worked on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and, later, special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Both were removed from the Mueller probe last year after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog made the special counsel aware of the anti-Trump text messages.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog released in its report last month new inflammatory texts between the two, including an exchange in which Strzok wrote “we’ll stop it” in reference to a potential Trump election win.
In an impassioned (and likely scripted) speech during his testimony before a joint hearing in Congress Thursday, Strzok claimed that by “we” he meant “the American people” after Trump had insulted the family of an American military hero during the 2016 campaign.
“Any suggestion that me, the FBI, would taken any action improperly impact the electoral process I take great offense and disagreement about what it was or wasn’t,” said Strzok.