President Trump claimed Tuesday that “FBI lovers” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting “cold feet” ahead of planned Capitol Hill appearances this week, amid conflicting reports over whether they will show up.
Both officials, who previously worked on the Russia probe, have faced congressional and internal scrutiny over anti-Trump text messages. FBI official Strzok, so far, is still expected to testify in a public House hearing on Thursday. However, a congressional source suggested former FBI lawyer Page may not show up for her closed-door Wednesday deposition.
“I am on Air Force One flying to NATO and hear reports that the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting cold feet on testifying about the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by 13 Angry Democrats and people that worked for Obama for 8 years. Total disgrace!” Trump tweeted from Air Force One, en route to Brussels for a NATO summit to kick off his four-country European tour.
The appearances were planned before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee.
Page was subpoenaed by the Judiciary Committee to appear for a closed-door deposition in front of both committees on Wednesday at 10 a.m. A congressional source told Fox News that the committees are unsure whether Page will show up -- and that her attorneys have been hedging, and could potentially ignore her subpoena.
The source, though, said it was unclear whether both sides could work out an agreement so that her testimony would be considered voluntary. Attorneys for Strzok, who gave his private interview last month, and the committee reached a similar arrangement after he was subpoenaed.
Strzok is expected to testify in public before both committees on Thursday and face questions from lawmakers on his involvement in the start of the FBI’s Russia investigation. It is unclear at this point whether Strzok also is considering canceling his appearance.
Page could likewise expect to face a grilling in her committee interview. Page served in the FBI’s office of general counsel, and also served on a brief detail in 2017 on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Page resigned from the FBI this past May.
Page and Strzok returned to the spotlight last month, upon the release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s long-awaited report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
The report included a new text message between the two, where Strzok vowed to “stop” Donald Trump from becoming president.
The inspector general’s report noted that he was specifically concerned about text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
The inspector general ultimately found no evidence that any anti-Trump bias among several FBI agents made a significant impact on prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton email probe.
Last month, Strzok interviewed before the same committees.
“Strzok was smug, defiant and laughed off a lot of questions,” one congressional source told Fox News after the interview. The source also said Strzok refused to answer some questions on advice of counsel.
Another source told Fox News that Strzok “said he regretted sending the texts.”
The discovery of the anti-Trump messages exchanged with Page ultimately got him booted from Mueller’s team and reassigned to the FBI’s office of human resources. But last month, Strzok was escorted from his FBI office and lost his security clearance.
Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, has urged the committees to release a transcript of Strzok’s prior closed-door interview to the public.
The inspector general last month confirmed he was investigating whether any anti-Trump bias from Strzok factored into the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Trump’s mention of the “13 Angry Democrats” is in reference to attorneys and investigators on Mueller’s team. Thirteen of 17 investigators have registered as Democrats. Mueller, though, is said to be a lifelong Republican and served as FBI director under former Republican President George W. Bush.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.