Trump Dings ‘Ex-FBI LAYER' Lisa Page for Skipping House Subpoena

Trump Dings ‘Ex-FBI LAYER' Lisa Page for Skipping House Subpoena

Strzok previously served as the chief of the FBI's counterespionage section and played a role in the early days of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

"We are aware of the issues raised regarding access to documents by the FBI", Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote.

Aiming to discredit the probe, Trump and supporters in Congress have charged that Mueller's team is stacked with Democrats and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been opposed to him.

A handful of House Judiciary and House Oversight committee members gathered an hour after Page's interview was scheduled to start to discuss next steps.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who issued the subpoena for Page to be interviewed, said in a statement that she has known for months that the committee wants to speak with her and has "no excuse for her failure to appear".

Contempt votes are rare in Congress and often largely symbolic.

Some former Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials say the tactics observed in recent months illustrate a clear desire by House Republicans to score political points instead of genuine fact-finding.

Trump has seized on Page and Strzok's inflammatory texts, which were detailed in a report by the Justice Department's internal watchdog last month, to paint the FBI and Mueller's investigation as biased.

The president has repeatedly painted Mueller's investigation as a tainted witch-hunt led by Democrats.

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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The two exchanged text messages saying "we'll stop" a Trump presidency, a report by the FBI Inspector General found.

Ryan, asked about Page's decision not to testify Wednesday, said, "I am very disturbed by this".

"Wow, but is anybody really surprised!"

In tweets, Trump has branded the couple the "FBI lovers" and said their bias was at the heart of Mueller's "Witch Hunt".

Republicans have said they disagree with that conclusion, which will likely be a significant focus of Thursday's public hearing.

House Republicans have suggested the Federal Bureau of Investigation was conspiring against Trump during and after his presidential campaign, and the two committees are investigating decisions made by the agency and the Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.

The move by Page's attorney was a rare moment of pushback, as Republicans and the President have continued to hold up Page and Strzok as Exhibit A of political bias infecting the nation's premier law enforcement agency.

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.

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have rejected suggestions of bias against Trump, and have assured Congress that Mueller is conducting his probe appropriately.

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