Nets Yawn as Anti-Trump FBI Lawyer Defies House Subpoena to Testify

On Wednesday, anti-Trump FBI lawyer Lisa Page was supposed to appear on Capitol Hill for a joint hearing with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees who were investigating alleged political bias against the Trump campaign by the FBI. But instead of complying with the congressional subpoena that called her there, she defied it and didn’t show up. The allegations against her were serious but the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) didn’t find anything interesting about the subpoena snub.

In place of a report on Page’s defiance of Congress, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News hyped the upcoming World Cup final. NBC also had a segment about a Lamborghini that caught on fire at a gas station. Meanwhile, ABC’s World News Tonight thought it was more important to cover an unruly airplane passenger who was going to have to pay over $10,000 in fines.

In addition, the principal national evening newscasts of Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision also skipped Page's defiance. Telemundo devoted nearly six minutes of its newscast to World Cup news.

Where the broadcast networks chose to focus on frivolous topics, Fox News gave it the serious airtime that it deserved. “The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees sent this letter that lays out three options,” reported chief intelligence respondent correspondent Catherine Herridge on Special Report. “FBI lawyer Lisa Page can show up tomorrow at a public hearing with her former lover and colleague Agent Peter Strzok, give a closed-door deposition Friday, or face more legal trouble.

Fox News spoke with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who didn’t mince words about what he thought of Page’s absence. “It does appear that Lisa Page apparently has something to hide,” he exclaimed.

 

 

She has been in complete defiance of cooperation with the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight of Government Reform committee for seven months now,” Goodlatte added. “She should comply with it now before she's held in contempt of Congress, which could happen as soon as Friday.

According to Herridge’s report, “Page and her legal team pulled out, blaming the FBI for failing to provide timely access to Page’s notes and records.” They accused the committees of using “bullying tactics” and insisted "[t]here's no basis for claims that Lisa has anything to hide or is unwilling to testify."

Goodlatte explained to Fox News that they had to send the U.S. Marshals to Page’s residents multiple times just to serve her the subpoena. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was also frustrated with Page’s apparent lack of cooperation:

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI): I’m very disturbed by this.

HERRIDGE: At his weekly news conference, the House Speaker said Page is obligated to appear.

RYAN: If she wants to come plead the fifth, that's her choice, but a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional. It's mandatory.

Page’s former lover, Peter Strzok, was set to appear before the committees on Thursday and a source told Fox News that he still planned to do so. Since the hearing will be in open session, it will be interesting to see how the broadcast networks report on it.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

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Fox News Channel's Special Report
July 11, 2018
6:21:52 PM Eastern [2 minutes 39 seconds]

MIKE EMANUEL: This is a Fox News alert. Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page is refusing to appear for a Capitol Hill interview over what Republicans contend was Justice Department biased against then-candidate Donald Trump. Tonight chief intelligence respondent correspondent Catherine Herridge has late-breaking developments. Good evening Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Thanks, Mike. In the last half-hour, this situation is really coming to a head. The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees sent this letter that lays out three options. FBI lawyer Lisa Page can show up tomorrow at a public hearing with her former lover and colleague Agent Peter Strzok, give a closed-door deposition Friday, or face more legal trouble.

[Cuts to video]

CONGRESSMAN BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA): It does appear that Lisa Page apparently has something to hide.

HERRIDGE: The Republican chairman with direct oversight for the Justice Department and the bureau lay down a marker for the former FBI lawyer who was under subpoena.

GOODLATTE: She has been in complete defiance of cooperation with the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight of Government Reform committee for seven months now. [Transition] She should comply with it now before she's held in contempt of Congress, which could happen as soon as Friday.

HERRIDGE: Page’s lawyers released a new photo of their client who was scheduled to give a closed-door deposition today on Capitol Hill in front of two House panels. But late last night, Page and her legal team pulled out, blaming the FBI for failing to provide timely access to Page’s notes and records. Telling Fox in a statement "There's no basis for claims that Lisa has anything to hide or is unwilling to testify." Then accusing the House panels of “bullying tactics.” The Committee Chairman countered they had to call and federal officers because Page and her team were playing games.

GOODLATTE: Our attorneys have had communications with her attorney for nearly a month now. [Transition] We sent the marshals to her house to serve the subpoena. They had to go back three times before they finally were able to reach her.

HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI): I’m very disturbed by this.

HERRIDGE: At his weekly news conference, the House Speaker said Page is obligated to appear.

RYAN: If she wants to come plead the fifth, that's her choice, but a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional. It's mandatory.

HERRIDGE: Two weeks ago, FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had an extramarital affair with Page, was on Capitol Hill for his own 11-hour closed-door deposition. Republicans remain focused on their text messages, including this August 2016 exchange where Page writes: "Trump is not ever going to become president, right? Right?” Strzok responded "No, no he's not. We will stop it."

[Cuts back to live]

HERRIDGE: A legal source close Strzok told Fox tonight that he still plans to appear before the House panel Thursday. That session, of course, is public and his team wants the transcript from his June deposition also released. Mike.

EMANUEL: A hot issue. The rest this week on Capitol Hill. Catherine Herridge, thanks very much.

HERRIDGE: You’re welcome.


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