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Lawmakers eye possible new leads after hearing with FBI attorney

By
Susan McFarland
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arrives on Capitol Hill Monday to participate in an interview with the House judiciary and oversight and reform committees. Page faced questions over text messages with FBI agent Peter Strzok that criticized then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arrives on Capitol Hill Monday to participate in an interview with the House judiciary and oversight and reform committees. Page faced questions over text messages with FBI agent Peter Strzok that criticized then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo by Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE

July 17 (UPI) -- Last week, lawmakers on Capitol Hill questioned FBI agent Peter Strzok. This week, it was bureau attorney Lisa Page.

Lawmakers from the House judiciary and oversight and reform committees questioned Page in a closed-door hearing Monday, during which they said they obtained new leads to follow in the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

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Committee member Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, wrote a letter to the panel's leaders Monday requesting they subpoena additional information.

"She's certainly more cooperative than Peter Strzok was and the pieces of information filled in some blanks along the way, but we've got a huge jigsaw puzzle to put together," King wrote.

RELATED FBI deputy Strzok explains texting scandal to irate House lawmakers

Page and Strzok are at the center of the same scandal -- accused of political bias for a series of text messages they exchanged in 2016 that were critical of then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. Strzok was a member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team that's looking for potential collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian operatives.

King said the committee should request the messages between Page and Strzok and the notes of everyone who interviewed Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016, as part of her email investigation.

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King also suggested calling those who interviewed Clinton to testify to see if their notes and testimony match up to the document Strzok used to brief then-FBI director James Comey. He also said he wants names of judges and documents pertaining to surveillance warrant requests.

RELATED House demands Justice Dept. documents on Trump-Russia investigation

"The president of the United States appears to be the only one who has the power and authority to bring all of this information forward. The American people deserve access to all of this information," King wrote. "We need to know the information that was brought forward and who prepared it because we've got a tainted investigation here put together by some very, very biased people."

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said some answers given by Page Monday were interesting because they offered new information or contradicted other statements from witnesses.

Rep. John Ratcliff, R-Texas, said Page offered lawmakers "plausible answers" and "plausible explanations," unlike Thursday's highly contentious hearing when Strzok was confronted by lawmakers about his messages.

RELATED House committees to question FBI agent in texting scandal

"In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to Agent Strzok, who thinks that we've all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative," Ratcliff said.

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