Ex-FBI lawyer Page agrees to testify before House this week

Ex-FBI lawyer Page agrees to testify before House this week
© Greg Nash

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page has struck a deal to testify this week before Congress for a transcribed interview centered on her conduct during the 2016 presidential race, according to the head of the House Judiciary Committee. 

Page, a close adviser to former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, is scheduled to appear for the interview on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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Lawmakers will then be able to continue their questioning on Monday, according to a committee press release.

“Lisa Page has finally agreed to appear before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees for a transcribed interview tomorrow," Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteVirginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Republicans mull new punishments for dissident lawmakers Republicans ready to grill Bruce Ohr as Trump-DOJ feud escalates MORE (R-Va.) said in a statement, calling the slated hearing "long overdue." 

"As part of the Committees’ joint investigation into decisions made by the Justice Department in 2016, we have sought her testimony for seven months, ultimately resulting in a subpoena demanding her presence," Goodlatte's statement continues.

Page has become a top Republican target after the public revelation of critical Trump texts that she exchanged during the election with FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, whom she was having an affair with at the time.

She will be testifying behind closed doors one day after Strzok appeared for a contentious public hearing before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, which are conducting a joint investigation into FBI and Justice Department decisionmaking during the 2016 presidential race.

Goodlatte released the statement in the midst of the fiery Strzok hearing, which has repeatedly spiraled into rancorous fighting between Democrats and Republicans over the controversial figure. 

Page initially defied a GOP-issued subpoena for her to appear on Wednesday morning, stoking the ire of lawmakers on the right who accused her of "hiding" or being "unwilling" to testify.

Her lawyer, Amy Jeffress, said they are working quickly to arrange a new time for Page to testify, noting that they were not able to obtain the proper paperwork from the Department of Justice before her scheduled testimony, nor would the panel provide them with the scope of the interview, as they are required to do. 

“She has offered to voluntarily appear before the Committees later this month. She simply needs clarification of the scope of the Committee’s interest in interviewing her and access to relevant documents so that she can provide complete and accurate testimony," Jeffress said in a Wednesday statement.

Goodlatte late Wednesday had threatened to begin contempt proceedings against Page if she did not agree to one of two options: Appear with Strzok for a public hearing on Thursday or show up for an interview on Friday.

Democrats have criticized the joint investigation as a partisan witch hunt led by allies of the president who are seeking to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.