WHO IS LYING, AND WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?
by Sharon Rondeau
Page had been subpoenaed to testify to the committees on Wednesday but failed to appear, after which Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte threatened to hold her in contempt of Congress.
On Wednesday afternoon, Goodlatte provided Page’s attorney with three options to present to her client: appear on Thursday in an open hearing along with former FBI counterintelligence deputy Peter Strzok; appear on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. for a private hearing; or attend both sessions. The alternative would have been the contempt citation.
Page and Strzok were reportedly paramours during 2016 and perhaps longer while both worked on the Hillary Clinton server investigation and Trump-Russia “collusion” probe. Page was a staff attorney to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has since been terminated.
On Friday afternoon, Page was shown leaving the hearing walking rapidly and ignoring questions from reporters. She resigned her post at the FBI on May 4.
When asked, House Oversight Committee member Mark Meadows declined to describe the nature of Page’s interview on Friday, although he said that “new information” was gleaned. In a tweet Friday evening he said that the committees’ requests for Page to testify issued beginning last December were found to have not been relayed to her by the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI.
Strzok and Page’s thousands of text messages exchanged between late 2015 and June 2017 have become a point of intense scrutiny by the Justice Department’s inspector general, whose report released last month said that the texts demonstrated a troubling degree of bias. Both individuals worked on the investigations encompassing the two major presidential candidates.
During his testimony on Thursday, Strzok insisted that any “personal political opinions” of his as expressed in the texts did not cloud his judgment or affect his performance as a top FBI counterintelligence agent. Democrats tended to laud Strzok as a hardworking patriot, while Republicans appeared to find his statements lacking in credibility in many cases.