Page, whose 2016 anti-Trump text messages with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok have become the stuff of conspiratorial Republican hysteria, defied a Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify in a closed-door setting before the committees on Wednesday.
Lisa Page, an ex-FBI lawyer who was romantically involved with former lead Trump-Russia investigator Peter Strzok, will not yet appear before the committee as she has not been told what topics will be discussed and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not given her documents to review, her attorney Amy Jeffress told Politico.
The private conversations raised serious questions over the FBI's handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as well as the probe into Russian collusion during the 2016 election. Both were removed from the Mueller probe a year ago after the Justice Department's internal watchdog made the special counsel aware of the anti-Trump text messages.
Strzok is expected to testify at a two public House hearings on Thursday, but some reports suggest that Page could be a no-show at her planned closed-door deposition on Wednesday. "Lisa also cooperated fully with the OIG investigation and appeared voluntarily for multiple interviews, including after she left the FBI".
The summary said Republicans asked questions like, "I don't mean to embarrass you, but is Lisa Page someone that you do or at some point in time did love?" and, "So what I'm trying to establish through all of that is, was Lisa Page someone that you cared about deeply at the time you were sending these messages?" 'She was a part of a mess that they have uncovered over at DOJ.
He is scheduled to appear again in a public hearing Thursday morning.
"As a result", he concluded, "Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time".
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a member of the Oversight Committee, said Page's action was "indefensible".
"A subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional, it's mandatory", Ryan said.
The two exchanged text messages saying "we'll stop" a Trump presidency, a report by the FBI Inspector General found.
"Americans across the country are alarmed at the bias exhibited by top officials at the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and it is imperative Congress conduct vigorous oversight to ensure that never happens again". Trump wrote that Page is an "Ex-FBI LAYER", which is not a thing. The pair exchanged texts sharply critical of Donald Trump when he was running for president in 2016.
Strzok was already interviewed privately by lawmakers on the two committees for 11 hours June 27.
As the committees have investigated bias at the Justice Department, they have focused much of their ire on Strzok.
House Republicans have engaged in a war of words and threats against the Justice Department for withholding information about the Trump-Russia investigation.