Two ranking House Democrats on Wednesday demanded lawmakers release the full, unreacted testimony of anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok, claiming Republicans used the deposition to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
Strzok will testify Thursday before a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, one week after appearing before the panels behind closed doors.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he was "very disturbed" by Page's refusal to show up and indicated he is willing to hold her in contempt of Congress.
Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee are now weighing whether to pursue contempt measures against Page, who first came to their attention over a series of anti-Trump text messages she exchanged with Peter Strzok, then a top Federal Bureau of Investigation counterterrorism official, with whom she was having an affair.
'Lisa and I went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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, ' Jeffress said.
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The president has repeatedly painted Mueller's investigation as a tainted witch-hunt led by Democrats. "I received a message from the Department of Justice after 11 p.m. last night that they have finally granted her request to review the relevant documents". "This is an example of a congressional committee trying to find a "gotcha moment" instead of legitimately investigating Justice Department policies and practices".
If Page doesn't agree to either of these options, the chairmen of the two panels, Judiciary's Bob Goodlatte and Oversight's Trey Gowdy, told her lawyer that she would face contempt of Congress proceedings.
"As a result", he concluded, "Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time".
Strzok is scheduled to appear for a public hearing later this week, according to reports.
The Judiciary and Oversight panels have already spent much of the summer holding hearings and interviews critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department. He will return to Capitol Hill for the hearing Thursday, the first time he will speak publicly about the messages.
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Meadows said Wednesday morning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation told him there was a "technical glitch" preventing her from getting access to the relevant materials Tuesday, but he later argued that the fact Page couldn't get access to classified material wasn't relevant because the interview would have been held in an unclassified setting.
The DOJ watchdog reported that it could not determine whether Strzok's decision not to promptly examine the Weiner laptop was untainted by his political bias.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Trump said the text between Strzok and Page amounted to "treason" and had exposed an Federal Bureau of Investigation plot against him.
The Judiciary Committee also held a contentious hearing June 28 with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
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