The former Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney involved in a series of text exchanges with a colleague that led to accusations of anti-Trump bias within the agency was supposed to testify in front of Congress on Wednesday, but her attorney says that won't happen, even though she was subpoenaed.
Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said the threat of holding Page in contempt was a "charade", arguing there was no reason why she couldn't review the documents and come in for an interview next week. Page has also been seeking access to Federal Bureau of Investigation documents that the committees already had, and Jeffress said they heard late Tuesday that the request for that access had been granted.
Strzok previously served as the chief of the FBI's counterespionage section and played a role in the early days of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
"It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide", he said in a statement.
"The Committees would be asking Lisa about materials that she has not yet been shown", Page's attorney Amy Jeffress said on Tuesday, explaining Page's refusal to show up for Wednesday's deposition.
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".
During 2016, Page and Strzok were having an affair while they were both involved in the politically charged investigation of Clinton, Trump's Democratic election rival, for misuse of classified materials on her private email server.
Jeffress said that the Justice Department granted Page's request late Tuesday evening to review the relevant documents before she testifies, and Jeffress is now "working to arrange that process quickly so that we can move forward with her appearance before the Committees".
Even several committee Republicans don't expect that Page will seriously consider taking up the offer for her to appear at the hearing Thursday, to be questioned alongside Strzok.
The president has repeatedly painted Mueller's investigation as a tainted witch-hunt led by Democrats.
The two exchanged text messages saying "we'll stop" a Trump presidency, a report by the FBI Inspector General found. He will return to Capitol Hill for the hearing Thursday, the first time he will speak publicly about the messages.
The DOJ watchdog reported that it could not determine whether Strzok's decision not to promptly examine the Weiner laptop was untainted by his political bias.
The Judiciary Committee also held a contentious hearing June 28 with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He was interviewed privately by lawmakers on the two committees for 11 hours June 27.