House lawmakers to interview former FBI lawyer involved in anti-Trump texts

House lawmakers to interview former FBI lawyer involved in anti-Trump texts
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Two powerful House committees are scheduled to interview former FBI lawyer Lisa Page behind closed doors on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide and a GOP lawmaker familiar with the interview.

The Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena for the appearance.

Page has become a top target on the right after the public revelation of anti-Trump texts that she exchanged with FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok during the 2016 presidential race.

Republicans on the House Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform committees have been examining decision-making at the FBI during that time period and homing in on what they say is evidence of political bias against then-candidate Trump.

The terms of Page’s appearance appear to still be subject to negotiations.  

According to the Republican aide, Page's attorney appears to be trying to strike a deal where she can appear voluntarily before Congress, similar to the agreement Strzok’s attorney’s reached with the panels before he testified late last month. 

Strzok appeared voluntarily — as he had offered to do for weeks — after Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte tabled a subpoena that he had issued last month seeking compel a deposition from the controversial FBI agent.

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Page, who was a close adviser to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeTrump planning on revoking more security clearances: report Trump: I’d revoke a Republican's clearance if they were ‘incompetent or crazy’ Brennan: We know Americans colluded with Russia MORE, left the agency in May.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE removed Strzok from his team when Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz notified him about Strzok’s texts with Page. He was recently escorted from the FBI in what was believed to be a precursor to dismissal.

Page's interview, slated for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, follows a recent 11-hour closed-door interview with Strzok, who repeatedly denied showing political favoritism toward former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPapadopoulos's wife wants him to scrap plea deal with Mueller: report FBI chief: I'm trying to bring 'normalcy' in 'turbulent times' Senate Intel chief slams ex-CIA director for timing of claims about Trump-Russia ties MORE, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

Democrats have described the joint investigation as a partisan witch hunt by allies of the president. 

A recent report from Horowitz heavily criticized Strzok, saying he displayed a “biased state of mind” during a critical phase of the investigation Clinton's use of a private email server while at State, but that no decision made during the course of the probe was a result of bias or improper influence.

Strzok is under subpoena to appear in a public hearing on Thursday. His lawyer has accused House Republicans of selectively leaking his testimony from his closed-door interview.

Page’s interview was first reported by Bloomberg.

Page’s lawyer, however, pushed back about her appearance, stating that the details of her testimony on the Hill are still being hammered out.

“The FBI has agreed to provide Lisa with her notes and other documents to allow her to prepare, but they have not provided those documents to date, so we are still waiting to work out a reasonable date for her interview,” Amy Jeffress, Page’s lawyer, said in a statement.

“We asked the Committee staff to explain the scope of the investigation and provide sufficient notice that would allow her to prepare, which are normal conditions for congressional committees, but these committees have not followed the normal process,” the statement continues.

She noted that Page has “cooperated voluntarily with another congressional committee that had no objection to explaining the scope of its investigation or providing sufficient notice for her interview” as well as the DOJ’s inspector general investigation.

Updated at 5:42 p.m.