Page Thinks She's Above the Law, So Congress Sends in US Marshals
When lawyers investigate other lawyers, expect a legal chess game to ensue.
That’s the scenario playing out this week in Washington, as Congress tries to get former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to testify about anti-Trump texts she exchanged with FBI agent Peter Strzok, with whom she was having an affair.
Strzok was involved in the investigation of President Donald Trump over allegations his presidential campaign colluded with Russian officials.
Congress issued a subpoena for Page to testify, but she failed to show up for a Wednesday deposition.
That prompted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to threaten Page with contempt of Congress.
“I am very disturbed by this,” Ryan said of Page’s no-show during a press conference. “Congressional subpoenas for testimony are not optional. … She was a part of a mess that they have uncovered over at DOJ. She has an obligation to come testify.”
“If she wants to come plead the Fifth, that’s her choice,” Ryan added. “But a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional. It’s mandatory. She needs to comply.”
Not only did Page skip out on the deposition, the mere act of serving her with the subpoena turned out to be anything but procedural.
Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte of Virginia said Wednesday that Page’s attorney initially agreed to accept service of the subpoena for Page, but “then turned around and immediately tried to reject it,” according to Fox News.
Goodlatte said lawmakers were forced to call in U.S. Marshals to serve Page with the subpoena. “They had to go back three times before they were finally able to reach her,” Goodlatte said.
He added that Page’s decision to not appear at the deposition were actions consistent with her having “something to hide.”
Page’s attorney, Amy Jeffress, said her client did not appear Wednesday because she did not have time to prepare, claiming Page had been denied access to FBI files necessary for her to prepare for questioning.
“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 in a statement.
In the latest twist in the Page chess match, Goodlatte said in an interview with CNN Thursday that Jeffress agreed late Wednesday for Page to give private testimony to the Judiciary Committee on Friday.
It is interesting when someone who worked with the nation’s top law enforcement agency does everything they can to not cooperate with a Congressional investigation. Even if Page claims she has every intention of being fully cooperative with lawmakers, her actions are not consistent with her words.
Friday will prove if she truly intends to cooperate… or obfuscate.
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