The chairs of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Tuesday threatened to hold former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page in contempt of Congress if she does not testify before the committees this week.
Judge Andrew Napolitano said that former Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney Lisa Page's plan to defy a subpoena to testify before lawmakers is confusing.
"I am very disturbed by this", Ryan told journalists at a press briefing Wednesday.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) threatened Page that he would enforce the subpoena, but has yet to do so. It was then that he heard the news that she may defy the subpoena and refuse to testify and condemned it as a "total disgrace". "But a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional; it's mandatory".
House GOP lawmakers dispute Jeffress's exact timeline, arguing she had all the information she needed for an unclassified interview earlier in the day. Page, who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with FBI official Peter Strzrok during the Clinton email investigation, was asked to appear for an interview with the committees.
Page's lawyer Amy Jeffress told CBS News' Paula Reid that she and Page on Tuesday went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, her former employer, to review the materials that were sent to Congress, but they were not shown any documents after waiting more than three hours.
She is facing charges of contempt of Congress after failing to appear Wednesday for private meetings with the Judiciary and Oversight committees.
"All she is asking is to be treated as other witnesses have under the Committees" own rules, ' Jeffress said.
The two exchanged text messages saying "we'll stop" a Trump presidency, a report by the FBI Inspector General found. The texts disparaged President Trump, calling him an "idiot" and "loathsome". Her attorney said Page hadn't been given enough information about the committees' intended line of questioning. Jeffress accused the panels of using unnecessary "bullying tactics" to push Page into an interview immediately, especially when "she has offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month".
Page and Strzok are key figures in a Republican effort to discredit the FBI and protect Trump from allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign and that he tried to obstruct the investigation into those allegations.
Strzok was removed from Mueller's team when the texts were discovered a year ago. He was interviewed privately by lawmakers on the two committees for 11 hours June 27. Page had already left the team.