Speaker Ryan issues warning to ex-FBI lawyer defying subpoena

J. Scott Applewhite  AP

Updated 10:33 a.m. | The attorney for former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page, who refused to testify Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, said her client plans to testify and that the committee's "bullying tactics" are unnecessary. However, on Tuesday, Page showed signs of cold feet when her lawyer, Amy Jeffress, issued a statement complaining about Committee staff. If she doesn't, the Republicans said, they will initiate the contempt process at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

"There is no basis for claims that Lisa has anything to hide or is unwilling to testify", she said, adding that the Oversight and Judiciary committees' "bullying tactics here are unnecessary". But a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he backed Goodlatte's efforts to secure Page's testimony.

President Donald Trump attacked a former FBI lawyer on Wednesday after she failed to testify on allegations of anti-Trump bias in the FBI's investigation of him. "Congressional subpoenas for testimony are not optional". It's mandatory. She needs to comply'.

Trump slammed them as he was in route to Belgium for a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, mocking them on Tuesday for getting "cold feet" about testifying before Congress.

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Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation after he was made aware that the agent exchanged text messages critical of Trump with another FBI official, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was allegedly having an affair. Page and Strzok both worked on the FBI investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's emails and, later, on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Democrats have strongly objected to the GOP-led investigation, saying it is an attempt to undermine Mueller's probe and sway public opinion against investigators.

Page originally was scheduled to appear before both committees Wednesday as part of their investigation into alleged bias at the Justice Department. A recent Justice Department Inspector General report discussed the text messages, acknowledging that they were evidence of political bias, but only showed concern that Strzok may have been willing to act on that bias while carrying out official duties. Trump tweeted late Wednesday.

Trump torched Page and Strzok on Tuesday while aboard Air Force One headed to Brussels. We'll stop it, ' he responded.

The committees have focused much of their ire on Strzok, who was interviewed privately by lawmakers on the two committees for 11 hours June 27. Page had already left that investigation by the time that happened.

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