Lisa Page, the former FBI attorney whose anti-Trump text messages have fueled President Donald Trump’s contention that the bureau’s Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” against him, intends to defy a congressional subpoena demanding her testimony on Wednesday, Page’s lawyer says.
Page’s attorney, Amy Jeffress, said the House Judiciary Committee — which issued the subpoena on Saturday — failed to provide her with enough detail about the nature of lawmakers’ questions and that the FBI had so far refused to provide key documents for her to review.
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“As a result, Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time,” Jeffress said in a statement.
The decision scrambles House Republicans’ efforts to get Page’s testimony ahead of a public hearing Thursday with Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence agent who was on the receiving end of Page’s texts and shared his own anti-Trump sentiment with her.
By obtaining Page’s testimony in a closed-door deposition on Wednesday, committee Republicans would be armed with material to grill Strzok the next day. But now they may not get that chance.
Strzok and Page have become the object of Trump allies’ contention that bias against Trump fueled the Russia probe. Trump himself tweeted about the pair — believed to have had an affair — as he flew to Brussels on Tuesday morning.
“I am on Air Force One flying to NATO and hear reports that the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting cold feet on testifying about the Rigged Witch Hunt,” he tweeted.
Strzok testified for 11 hours behind closed doors last month in an interview with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Jeffress indicated earlier in the week that Page, too, had already testified before a different congressional committee, but she declined to identify which one.
Page’s refusal to testify could set up a showdown with top GOP lawmakers that could have legal implications. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) quickly issued a statement promising to use Congress’ full arsenal of legal tools to compel Page’s testimony.
“It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide,” Goodlatte said.
The Virginia Republican said Page was aware of the committee’s interest in her testimony for months and has “no excuse” for refusing to appear.
“We will use all tools at our disposal to obtain her testimony,” he said.
Other Trump allies in Congress piled on, with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) calling her decision “indefensible,” and top conservative Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) saying it was evidence of a “double standard” in Washington.