RYAN STRIKES: Paul Ryan Threatens to Hold LISA PAGE in CONTEMPT

J. Scott Applewhite  AP

Page's attorney, Amy Jeffress, said in a statement that her client didn't have enough time to prepare for her interview. "She has an obligation to come and testify".

"If she wants to come plead the Fifth, that's her choice".

"A subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional, it's mandatory", Ryan said.

Republicans did, however, ask 25 questions about Strzok's affair with Lisa Page, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer who Strzok exchanged inappropriate text messages with about then-candidate Trump.

"Lisa and I went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today to review the materials that were previously produced to Congress relating to her proposed interview, but after waiting for more than three hours, we were not provided with any documents", Jeffress said.

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), suggested Wednesday that "the real reason" Republicans were weighing contempt measures against Page was to "set up a dramatic thing" before Strzok's public interview Thursday.

Jeffress writes in the letter that she assumes the committees agree there is no legitimate basis for that investigation, because it would be "inappropriate for the chairmen to request a voluntary interview from a subject or target of a criminal investigation relating to the same matters of that investigation".

Republican lawmakers have seized on a text in which Mr. Strzok discusses "an insurance policy" against the president and another in which he vowed to stop Mr. Trump from becoming president as evidence the Mueller investigation is biased.

In a statement, Mr. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said Ms. Page "has no excuse" for her failure to appear, saying she has known for months the two committees were interested in her testimony.

Page originally was scheduled to appear before both committees Wednesday as part of their investigation into alleged bias at the Justice Department.

The text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page while they worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into President Donald Trump and Russian Federation have been cited by Trump and his allies as key evidence that the FBI's investigation is biased against the President.

Lisa Page has ignored a subpoena from Congressional investigators who have abandoned the Russian Federation investigation and pivoted to investigating the FBI instead.

The Justice Department investigated text exchanges between the two in a June report conducted by the Inspector General.

Strzok had a leading role in the Clinton probe and was removed from the Mueller investigation after the texts were discovered a year ago.

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.

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