News & Politics

Republicans Praise 'Credible,' Less 'Smug' Lisa Page After Closed-Door Session

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves following an interview with lawmakers behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Republican lawmakers praised former FBI lawyer Lisa Page following a closed-door session Friday, saying she was “cooperative” and “credible” and much more forthcoming than FBI agent Peter Strzok (her former paramour). According to select committee members, Page provided new information and was less “smug” than Strzok.

Republicans were not impressed with Strzok’s testimony on Thursday, to put it mildly.

“He was not honest. He was not credible in explaining his actions, and yet he’s still on the payroll of the FBI,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said on “Fox and Friends” Saturday morning.

“Why is he still getting a paycheck from the American taxpayer? He should not be there anymore. He doesn’t have credibility and he needs to move on,” he added.

The GOP-led investigation is being run by the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

“I found Lisa Page to be more credible than Peter Strzok,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told reporters as he left the hearing, which lasted nearly five hours.

“I didn’t agree with her characterization of every text message and every piece of evidence, but we did not see the smug attitude from Lisa Page that we saw from Peter Strzok,” he added.

Gaetz also raised concerns about the intervention of FBI lawyers who were present, according to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney:

“Lisa Page is not an FBI employee, but the FBI was here providing counsel and giving her direction as to which questions to answer or not answer and there is a question as to the propriety of that before the House,” Gaetz said, according to The Hill.

According to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), however, “FBI counsel was less intrusive and seemed more permissive.”

Meadows said the American people “would be happy” with the transcribed interviews, and that Page’s cooperation spoke well of her.

“She’s been willing to help in the spirit of transparency. … We’ve certainly learned additional things today,” Meadows said, according to Fox News.

According to Meadows, Page said that the DOJ hadn’t been notifying her about their repeated interview requests.

Meadows, who was highly critical of Page earlier this week when she failed to appear before the committee,  now says she’s doing her best to help with the probe.

Rep. Ratcliffe (R-Texas) also told reporters that Page provided new information in the closed-door session yesterday:

Page, who did not answer any questions as she walked out of the session, appeared “less assertive and confident” during the session than Strzok was, a Democratic congressional source told The Hill.

She is scheduled to return Monday afternoon for more closed-door testimony.

None of the lawmakers at the hearing would provide details about the interview, but said a transcript of the conversation should be made public.