Anti-Trump FBI Lawyer Lisa Page raised the ire of Congressional Republicans when she defied a subpoena to appear for a deposition on Wednesday but has since backed down after being threatened with “handcuffs.” (RELATED: Ex-FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Will Defy Congressional Subpoena).
Page, who along with her lover, FBI agent Peter Strzok exchanged countless anti-Trump text messages, some of which referred to him in vulgar terms, and others which discussed ‘stopping’ his Presidency and implementing an “insurance policy” in case he wins, was sent a letter from the Justice Department seven months ago requesting an interview. (RELATED: Anti-Trump Agent Peter Strzok Escorted From FBI Building).
She claimed that wasn’t enough time to prepare.
The couple worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Strzok had to be ‘reassigned’ after the text messages were discovered and gave the appearance of politically motivated bias.
“Several FBI employees Who played critical roles in the investigation sent political messages,” IG report says.
It cites Lisa Page text to Peter Strzok: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 14, 2018
Page’s lawyer, Amy Jeffress, cited a lack of time to prepare for an interview as the reason she would not comply with the subpoena.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) didn’t particularly agree with that line of reasoning, even suggesting the use of “handcuffs” to make her testify.
If it requires handcuffs to get Lisa Page, an employee of the fed govt, to abide by a Congressional subpoena to testify & answer questions then so be it. Working for the FBI is a great privilege, but Page doesn’t become her own branch of govt in charge of her own set of fed laws.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) July 11, 2018
Zeldin later suggested Page be “held in contempt” and that she should be “brought to Capitol Hill by force if necessary,” as anybody who defied such an order to testify would have been.
Page’s refusal to testify in Congress shows even more contempt for the American people, accountability & transparency, than it shows contempt of Congress. This former top FBI official & Strzok accomplice should be held in contempt & brought to Capitol Hill by force if necessary.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) July 11, 2018
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Page’s actions “very disturbing” and reminded her that appearing before Congress is “not optional.”
“She was a part of a mess that they have uncovered over at DOJ. She has an obligation to come testify,” he said.
Paul Ryan said he is willing to hold Lisa Page in contempt of Congress if she continues defying a subpoena to answer questions about anti-Trump text messages https://t.co/LRSlQ5nB89
— POLITICO (@politico) July 12, 2018
President Trump tweeted Thursday morning, suggesting that the Attorney General get involved and do something about the FBI lawyer’s defiance.
“I see that FBI Lover/Agent Lisa Page is dodging a Subpoena & is refusing to show up and testify,” he said. “What can she possibly say about her statements and lies.”
“So much corruption on the other side,” Trump added. “Where is the Attorney General?”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte added his own warning.
“I think it’s very important for her to understand that,” Goodlatte said. “And she should comply with it and she should comply with it now, before she’s held in contempt of Congress.”
Apparently, the threat of contempt and being hauled before Congress in handcuffs was enough to make Page see the light.
She has agreed to a private “behind closed doors” meeting on Friday.
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) July 12, 2018
“Late last night, through her attorney, Lisa Page did agree to appear for a private interview on Friday,” Goodlatte said.
“That is an important and positive development because we have been trying for seven months to talk to Lisa Page,” he added, rebutting claims that she didn’t have time to prepare.
Strzok is testifying Thursday morning.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Page says anything during her Congressional testimony, or if she will plead the 5th to avoid admitting that her anti-Trump bias impacted her job at the FBI.