July 18, 2018

Last week, it wasn’t clear whether former FBI attorney Lisa Page would even testify, let alone whether her words would back up the spectacularly reality-denying “I’ve-NEVER-let-bias-affect-my-actions” testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok, described by most news accounts as her ex-lover.  But she finally appeared as a witness behind closed doors on Friday and again on Monday.  Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki and the media’s inexcusably hellish reaction completely dominated the news cycle Monday and Tuesday, but now that things have calmed down a bit, we can reflect on what Page brings to our understanding of the FBI’s role in investigating 2016 presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

 YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  The Strzok hearing: responses to two reader comments

On Friday, Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted that the committees had just learned the DOJ had not notified Lisa Page, former legal advisor to former deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy’s office” McCabe, of the interview requests that Congress had been making FOR SEVEN MONTHS.  “The DOJ/FBI appear to be continuing their efforts to keep material facts, and perhaps even witnesses, from Congress.”

It’s hard to know what to make of this, as there have also been accounts of Page actively avoiding contact and dodging subpoenas.  If the DOJ/FBI actually failed to notify her of the interview requests, that certainly wouldn’t surprise me, but, wow, it takes stonewalling to an even stonier place.

Of course, we’d all wondered if Page, like Strzok, was going to have FBI lawyers sitting behind her to tell her when to talk and when to clam up.  Strzok appears to remain, technically, on the payroll of the FBI –- your tax dollars at work –- while Page is not.  Page herself is a lawyer.  But sure enough, she reportedly did have at least one FBI attorney seated nearby, though she seemed to be handling things, even to the point of signaling with her hand when she wanted an objection put into the record.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida challenged the presence of FBI legal counsel in the room with Page.  “Lisa is not an FBI employee, but the FBI was here providing counsel and giving her direction as to which qustions to answer or not answer and there is a question as to the propriety of that before the House.”


Commentary continues below advertisement

Though all of her testimony was behind closed doors, Republican members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees say that she was forthcoming and well prepared, a much better witness than Strzok had been.  And while I had imagined her sitting through Strzok’s televised hearing taking notes to make sure her testimony was consistent with his, they describe her characterization of the anti-Trump text messages they exchanged as quite different.

Rep. John Ratcliff said she provided information that Strzok “either wouldn’t or couldn’t” about the investigations and “the people involved in running them.”  According to ABC News, he said she gave “plausible answers” and “plausible explanations.”  And here’s a welcome surprise:  “In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to Agent Strzok, who thinks we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”  Rep. Steve King of Iowa agreed, adding that she had “filled in some blanks along the way,” but he described the task before them as putting together “a huge jigsaw puzzle.”

That takes time, and Americans –- the vast majority who are NOT living in an impeachment fantasy –- are aching for all of this to be over.  At the same time, we want to see accountability.  Author Mark Penn, asked by Maria Bartoromo on FOX Business News if we ever would, expressed frustration about that, and about how little we’re hearing about the work being done by U.S. Attorney John Huber out in Utah.  “This investigation is not doing the country any good,” he said, citing the unavoidable stress on the President, with foreign affairs being one critical area affected.  “Our foreign policy shouldn’t be made by prosecutors,” he added, saying this issue is standing in the way of peace.  Anyone who hasn’t been on the planet Neptune for the past couple of days would have to agree with that.

 RELATED READING: The Strzok hearing: my list of fun follow-up questions

On the bright side, he thinks we may actually see an end to it soon.  “There’s nothing much else here,” he said.  In the meantime, the President has got to go calmly about his business and let his legal team handle the investigation.





Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!

Comments 1-7 of 7

  • Rick Locke

    07/23/2018 09:52 AM

    I think we tax payers should get a rebate for the millions of our dollars spent on this phony investigation.

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    07/19/2018 07:52 AM

    I, too, just want this over, but 1st, HEADS HAVE GOT TO ROLL and somebody, including HITLARY, needs a visit to the slammer. OSAMA OBAMA needs to have his "legacy" tarnished as he knew about the HILTLERY emails the entire time. Slam them all and let GOD sort it out!

  • Amelia Little

    07/18/2018 08:02 PM

    It's a good thing the Trump/Putin summit was going on while Page was testifying. MSM can concentrate on the summit instead of reporting on how/what Page testified about.

  • Susan Lunsford

    07/18/2018 05:59 PM

    I want to know! WHO is making these decisions @ DOJ not to ???? How do we expose them. This coup has to stop.

  • Bennye St Claire

    07/18/2018 01:02 PM

    Reminds me of Uncle Joe! Not Joe Stalin but Joe McCarthy. A Russian behind every tree just like his investigations in the 50's. But the kids of this day and time know nothing about this. Sure a hell is there the US will pay for this witch hunt.

  • Carolyn BECKWITH

    07/18/2018 01:01 PM

    I am disgusted at the pace this is taking. The American people deserve much better than what we are paying for. We don’t watch any news but Fox And OAN. Fox has some that need to move to the liberals side. Chris Wallace being one of them. Miss Mr. Krauthammer.

  • Anne Turner

    07/18/2018 12:28 PM

    Much as I hate to say it, Mr. Trump really was offensive when with the Queen. No, I do not mean not bowing, Americans by custom do not bow to anyone except God. Possibly a Catholic might bow to the Pope if it is a religious visit but not a state visit. However, keeping a 92 year old woman waiting outside that long and getting in front of her while reviewing the troops was ill-mannered and showed a lack of sensitivity to this gracious lady. He also should have offered his arm when she was going up and down the steps. He truly does not have very good manners, but then that is rather typical of New Yorkers. He does need a lesson in etiquette. Milania, born a European, seems more comfortable in those situations. This is all superficial but it takes so much away from the true issues because it is fuel for the never Trumpers.

    On the other hand no one says much about signs used by the socialist Democrats that use the F bomb in disrespect to, among other things, our police. So we do away with ICE, then what. Then they complain because we have crime and terroism. Has anyone noticed that we have not had a foreign terrorist attack in a long time, prIse be to God, and a tough administration. Governor, the next time you talk to the President, offer him some etiquette training. I am sure Sarah could do that well.