President Donald Trump called out Lisa Page after the former FBI lawyer failed to appear before Congress Wednesday.
“Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress!,” Trump, in Europe for a high-stakes NATO summit, tweeted. “Wow, but is anybody really surprised!
“Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt, perhaps the most tainted and corrupt case EVER!”
The misspelling of “lawyer” as “layer” was in Trump’s tweet.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who issued the subpoena for Page’s testimony Saturday, also attacked her decision to skip the deposition. House Speaker Paul Ryan went so far as to say he was willing to hold Page in contempt of Congress, telling reporters he was “very disturbed” by her failure to appear.
“If she wants to come plead the Fifth, that’s her choice,” Ryan (R-Wis.) said. “But a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional. It’s mandatory. She needs to comply.”
Trump also tweeted about Page and Strzok on Tuesday when news of Page’s decision first surfaced. Saying he had heard about the pair’s “cold feet on testifying,” he wrote: “Total disgrace!”
Page and Strzok are often cited by Trump supporters as evidence that the ongoing Russia investigation is a baseless attack by biased personnel. Page’s texts with Strzok, uncovered by a Justice Department watchdog, revealed a mutual antipathy toward the president. However, both parties have denied that this impacted their work, and special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from his team.
Page’s lawyer, Amy Jeffress, attributed Page’s decision to defy the subpoena Wednesday to a failure of the committee to provide her with the scope of the interview and the documents lawmakers had in hand — such as her conversations with Strzok. Once these things were disclosed, the former FBI lawyer would willingly testify, she said.
“Through her actions and words, Lisa has made it abundantly clear that she will cooperate with this investigation,” Jeffress said in a statement. “We are working to arrange that process quickly so that we can move forward with her appearance before the Committees.”
Strzok testified before Congress last month for 11 hours. He is due back on the Hill on Thursday.