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Washington (AFP) – A former FBI lawyer who was involved in investigations of both Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected a Congressional subpoena to testify on allegations of anti-Trump bias in those probes.
Lisa Page — whose affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok has led Trump to dub the pair the “FBI lovers” — was due to give a deposition before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees Wednesday over her role in those investigations.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said Page “has no excuse” for not appearing.
“It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide,” he said in a statement. “Lisa Page is a key witness, and it is critical that she come before our committees to answer questions as part of our investigation.”
He warned of unspecified action by the committees to force her to testify, leaving Page at potential risk of a contempt of Congress citation.
But her lawyer Amy Jeffress said in a statement that Page could not appear without first having access to FBI documents that the committees already possessed, and that they had ignored her efforts to find a later date for the deposition.
“Through her actions and words, Lisa has made it abundantly clear that she will cooperate with this investigation. All she is asking is to be treated as other witnesses have under the committees’ own rules,” Jeffress said.
“There is no basis for claims that Lisa has anything to hide or is unwilling to testify. The record shows otherwise,” Jeffress said.
The two committees’ “bullying tactics here are unnecessary,” she added.
Page and Strzok are key figures in a Republican effort to discredit the FBI and protect Trump from allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign and that he tried to obstruct the investigation into those allegations.
During 2016, Page and Strzok were having an affair while they were both involved in the politically charged investigation of Clinton, Trump’s Democratic election rival, for misuse of classified materials on her private email server.
Text messages between the two that investigators found on Page’s work cell phone included numerous derogatory references to Trump.
After the Clinton probe ended and Trump won the election, both Strzok and Page joined, for a short time, the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion and obstruction by the Trump campaign.
Aiming to discredit the probe, Trump and supporters in Congress have charged that Mueller’s team is stacked with Democrats and that the FBI has been opposed to him.
“Public opinion has turned strongly against the Rigged Witch Hunt and the ‘Special’ Counsel because the public understands that there was no Collusion with Russia (so ridiculous), that the two FBI lovers were a fraud against our Nation & that the only Collusion was with the Dems!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
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