Former Department of Justice attorney Lisa Page turned out to be a lot more forthcoming with her testimony than Congress and the public were led to expect. “She’s certainly more cooperative than Peter Strzok,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) relates. Page was so helpful that her DOJ appointed counsel wasn’t able to mute her microphone fast enough on more than one question. She managed to shoehorn her answers in any way. Many of them flatly contradicted the sworn testimony of her FBI lover, Peter Strzok. Other things she told Congress don’t look good for high ranking current and former DOJ officials.
The “pieces of information” Page relayed to members of two House committees, “filled in some blanks along the way,” King added, “but we’ve got a huge jigsaw puzzle to put together.” Thanks to what Page told them, King and the watchdog panels have already made a fresh list of documents they want to put under the microscope, starting with “the notes of everyone who interviewed Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016.”
King explains along with the notes, the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee will jointly be “calling those who interviewed Clinton.” In fact, the whole reaction from Obama’s former CIA director make it seem like the ‘guilty dogs’ are barking, according to Rep. Gohmert.
Drama in the ongoing investigation of Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation misconduct heated up last Wednesday, when Page “defied a congressional subpoena and declined to appear before a closed-door session of Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Virginia) House Judiciary Committee.
Goodlatte noted as he sent the U.S. Marshals off to round her up, that “apparently,” she had “something to hide.” He would later learn it was the FBI with something to hide.
Goodlatte was furious because “initially Page’s lawyer agreed to accept the subpoena, but then turned around and immediately tried to reject it.” So he sent the marshals. “They had to go back three times before they were finally able to reach her.”
Goodlatte, and his counterpart chairman on the House Oversight and Government Committee, Trey Gowdy, sent the attorney a letter. “If Page does not appear, the House intends to initiate contempt proceedings against her as early as Friday.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan backed them up in a statement. “Congressional subpoenas for testimony are not optional,” Ryan noted.
“She was 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 but a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional. It’s mandatory. She needs to comply.”
As soon as Page’s lawyer, Amy Jeffress, got word of the dragnet out for her client, she contacted the committee to explain that there was a good reason for the delay.
“Lisa and I went to the FBI today to review the materials that were previously produced to Congress relating to her proposed interview, but after waiting for more than three hours, we were not provided with any documents.” So, they asked to reschedule.
She only wanted to see “the materials that had been produced to Congress,” as the other witnesses had. It is allowed under the rules.
Page was on the stand Friday with no intention of remaining silent. She started off by telling Congress she would have testified sooner but nobody told her she was being asked.
“Remarkably, we learned new information today suggesting the DOJ had not notified Lisa Page of Congress’ outstanding interview requests for over 7 months now,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) tweeted after Friday’s hearing.
“The DOJ/FBI appear to be continuing their efforts to keep material facts, and perhaps even witnesses, from Congress,” Meadows added.
It seems to most conservatives on the joint panel that the Justice Department was “dragging their feet” once again.
Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) agrees. Pages answers, Gaetz explains, “heightened my concerns that the processes at the FBI were contrived to fit the desired outcomes of people who were biased in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump.”
The difference in attitude between Page and Strzok made a huge impression on the lawmakers. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out “she has given us more insights into who was involved in what.” He went on to say that Page seemed like a “more contrite person” than Strzok.
Gohmert also made it quite clear that attorneys supplied by the bureau tried to cut her off before she said something they didn’t want on the record.
“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching for the button to mute her comment and she would answer before the thing could mute her comment.”
Gohmert didn’t want to reveal too much from the closed session about which top officials were earning sideways looks from the committee after Page’s testimony, but he noted, “when I hear (John) Brennan or (James) Clapper saying the kinds of things they’ve been saying recently, then it tells me, wow, we must be getting close to them. Those guilty dogs are barking pretty loud.”
As Page’s testimony continued Monday for another full day of questioning, she continued to appease the members.
“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to Agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”