Ryan issues warning to ex-FBI lawyer defying subpoena

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The chairs of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Tuesday threatened to hold former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page in contempt of Congress if she does not testify before the committees this week.

Two House panels are set to interview former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page in a closed door meeting.

"A subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional, it's mandatory", House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Wednesday.

Page and FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, with whom she was having an extramarital affair, have been a target of congressional Republicans critical of the agency's investigations into Hillary Clinton's email server and possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Strzok and Page worked on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but Strzok was removed when the texts were discovered previous year.

And she also said Page has been cooperating with the probes, and she expected Page to appear before the committees "in the near future".

'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.

He testified behind closed doors last month, and his attorney has also clashed with Republicans on the two committees, accusing them of mischaracterizing Strzok's testimony and then refusing to release the transcript of his interview.

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Mr. Nadler called the Republicans' investigation into bias by the Justice Department and FBI surrounding probes related to the 2016 election a "political charade" to "elevate far-right conspiracy theories".

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 two exchanged text messages saying "we'll stop" a Trump presidency, a report by the FBI Inspector General found.

House Republicans sent a letter to Jeffress on Wednesday that gave Page three options: show up to Thursday's public hearing, attend a closed-door deposition on Friday or face contempt of Congress proceedings beginning Friday morning.

Trump tweeted Wednesday: "Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress!"

However, investigators did not find any political bias on behalf of Comey or the Federal Bureau of Investigation when it came to protecting or prosecuting Clinton.

He added: "How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok?".

Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have rejected suggestions of bias against Trump, and have assured Congress that Mueller is conducting his probe appropriately. The committees have focused much of their ire on Strzok, who was interviewed privately by lawmakers on the two committees for 11 hours last month.