Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page was subpoenaed to appear before congressional committees on Wednesday to testify about her role in the bureau’s investigations on Hillary Clinton’s email server and alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — but Page defied that subpoena and refused to appear as requested.
Congressional leaders suggested that Page could be held in contempt of Congress for her defiance after she failed to appear, and it appears that threat carried some weight, as Page finally agreed to appear on Friday for a closed-door hearing on Capitol Hill, with a follow-up hearing scheduled for Monday.
According to The Washington Times, Page’s attorney, Amy Jefress, had sought to excuse her client’s refusal to appear Wednesday on the basis of Page’s supposed inability to adequately review certain documents that would be relevant to her questioning and testimony.
It would seem that Page either got the chance to finally review those relevant documents, or simply decided she’d rather take her chances at the hearing without reviewing them in order to avoid the potential contempt charge.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was pleased at the development and stated that her appearance before his committee was “long overdue.”
“We have sought her testimony for seven months, ultimately resulting in a subpoena demanding her presence,” Goodlatte said.
He added: “Lisa Page is a key witness in our investigation and we need to hear from her about her role related to certain decisions made by the Department and Bureau.”
A joint affair
The closed-door session will likely be a joint affair between the Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Trey Gowdy.
Both committees have recently delved into the evidence of partisan bias among senior members of the FBI and Department of Justice, and how that bias may have impacted their decision-making with regard to major investigations, like those over Clinton’s emails and alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
Both committees held a joint hearing on Thursday, during which Page’s colleague and reported extra-marital lover, FBI agent Peter Strzok, was grilled for hours about his obvious anti-Trump bias that was clearly expressed in a number of text messages sent back-and-forth with Page throughout 2016 and 2017.
It is unclear exactly how the closed-door session with Page and the congressional committees will proceed, and it remains unknown whether Page will prove cooperative or combative toward the congressional investigators seeking to hold executive branch agencies accountable.
Hopefully, Page will cooperate and answer the questions posed to her by the joint panel so they can move along with their investigations and get closer to an ultimate conclusion in the matter.