Lisa Page ‘cooperative,’ ‘credible,’ lawmakers say after 5-hour closed-door session
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page was “cooperative” and “credible” in a closed-door session Friday with select House committee members that lasted nearly five hours.
U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., had been among Page’s harshest critics heading into the session, but he said her cooperation “speaks well of her,” according to the Hill.
Meadows said he thinks the American people “would be happy” with Friday’s transcribed interviews, the Washington Post reported.
“She’s been willing to help in the spirit of transparency. … We’ve certainly learned additional things today,” Meadows said.
The GOP-led probe is a joint investigation run by the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
Page, who defied a subpoena Wednesday, would have been held in contempt of Congress had she not appeared at Friday’s session, lawmakers said.
In the private testimony, she primarily answered questions about text messages with Peter Strzok that allegedly showed bias against then-candidate Donald Trump, the New York Post reported.
Meadows called Page a “credible witness,” as he walked out of the hearing, the report said.
“There is new information,” he told reporters. “And that information is credible.”
“She’s doing her best to help us find the truth and I think in ways she’s been falsely accused of not being willing to cooperate.”
U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, was more concerned with corroborating Page’s account with that of Strzok.
“The overriding issue for us today is, will her testimony match up with his testimony?” Ratcliffe said, according to the Hill.
“The overriding issue for us today is, will her testimony match up with his testimony?”
A Democratic congressional source told the Hill that two hours into the interview, Page did not appear to have contradicted Strzok’s testimony in any way.
Lawmakers would not speak about the content of the session, but they believed a transcript of the interview should be made public, the New York Post reported.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a frequent and vocal critic of the FBI, questioned the bureau’s presence at the private testimony.
“Lisa Page is not an FBI employee, but the FBI was here providing counsel and giving her direction as to which questions to answer or not answer and there is a question as to the propriety of that before the House,” Gaetz said, according to the Hill.
“Lisa Page is not an FBI employee, but the FBI was here providing counsel and giving her direction as to which questions to answer or not answer and there is a question as to the propriety of that before the House.”
But he said he also found Page to be “more credible” than Strzok, the New York Post reported.
“I didn’t agree with her characterization of every text message and every piece of evidence,” Gaetz said as he left the House hearing. “But we did not see the smug attitude from Lisa Page that we saw from Peter Strzok.”
Page did not answer any reporters’ questions as she walked out of the session. She is due back Monday afternoon for another closed-door testimony, the Washington Post reported.
The same Democratic congressional source told the Hill that Page appeared “less assertive and confident” in her answers than Strzok was.
Since the probe is led by GOP members, Democrats see it as a “partisan sham,” the Hill reported, designed to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.