COMMITTEE MEMBERS MAY NOT PURSUE PUBLIC TESTIMONY
by Sharon Rondeau
On Friday she testified for approximately four hours to the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees after defying a congressional subpoena to appear on Wednesday. Following the deposition, Oversight Committee member Mark Meadows said that the Justice Department failed to convey the committees’ repeated requests for Page to appear since December.
On Tuesday evening, Page’s attorney, Amy Jeffress, said that the FBI had failed to supply them with documents necessary for Page to review prior to any deposition she might give.
On Thursday, Page’s former FBI colleague, Peter Strzok, testified for a total of approximately eight hours as to his conduct during the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Both Page and Strzok were involved in investigating potential criminality associated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server, dubbed “Mid-Year Exam.” Upon the closure of that investigation, text messages exchanged between the two indicate that the Trump-Russia “collusion” probe began, with Strzok flying to London almost immediately.
In his testimony, however, Strzok initially would not say, reportedly upon the advice of FBI attorneys, whether or not he interviewed anyone in the Trump-Russia probe between July 31, 2016 and August 8, 2016, a question posed by House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has said publicly that after reviewing the electronic communication (EC) in late April, he saw no intelligence which would have catalyzed an investigation of the Trump campaign.
While some Republican lawmakers told Strzok to his face that they found his testimony not credible, Page’s Friday testimony is said by some to have been “very credible” and “more forthcoming” than Strzok’s.
On Thursday, however, many Democrats applauded Strzok after he provided impassioned testimony defending the reputation of the FBI, where he is still technically an employee but not reporting to work.
Page resigned from her post in early May. According to a Justice Department Inspector General’s report issued last month, both Page and Strzok have been referred to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for closer scrutiny of their conduct while they exchanged politically-charged text messages during the course of both the Clinton and Trump investigations.
Following Friday’s session, some lawmakers indicated they may not press for Page to testify publicly, CNN reported.