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    WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte slammed FBI attorney Lisa Page for saying she will not comply with a subpoena that requested her appearance for a closed-door deposition.

    “It appears that Lisa Page has something to hide,” Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “She plans to blatantly defy a congressional subpoena by refusing to appear for her deposition. She has known for months that the House Judiciary Committee has sought her testimony as part of our joint investigation with the Oversight Committee into decisions made by the Justice Department in 2016, and she has no excuse for her failure to appear.”

    Goodlatte added: “We will use all tools at our disposal to obtain her testimony. Americans across the country are alarmed at the bias exhibited by top officials at the Justice Department and FBI, and it is imperative Congress conduct vigorous oversight to ensure that never happens again.”

    Page’s attorney, Amy Jeffress, notified the committee on Tuesday that her client would not appear because requested documents were not provided.

    “Lisa and I went to the FBI 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 in a statement obtained by CNN. “We have asked the Committees to schedule another date that would allow sufficient time for her to prepare. The Committees have not honored this request. As a result, Lisa is not going to appear for an interview at this time.”

    The subpoena requests Page’s appearance before a joint panel of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee later this morning. Her refusal to appear could result in a contempt citation.

    Page and fellow agent Peter Strzok exchanged text messages in which Strzok said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a DoJ IG report that was released last month.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    The agents, who were dating at the time although both were married, were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

    The text messages were provided to Congress in February and have become the focus of Republican claims of political bias at the FBI and DoJ, but these latest messages were not part of that package sent to Congress. They were provided to Attorney General Jeff Sessions several days before the IG report was released.

    Strzok privately testified before a joint Judiciary/Oversight committee panel for 11 hours two weeks ago. He is expected to publicly testify before the committees on Thursday morning.

    WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) notified committee Democrats Friday morning of his intention to subpoena FBI agent Peter Strzok, according to a Politico report.

    Under committee rules the chairman can issue a subpoena two days after the ranking member is notified.

    This means it is possible Strzok could testify at a joint committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday that will probe decisions made by the FBI and the Department of Justice ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a companion hearing on Monday.

    Strzok and fellow agent Lisa Page exchanged text messages in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a DOJ Inspector General report that was released on Thursday.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    The agents (who were in a relationship although they both were married) were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok also was a lead investigator on the Clinton email probe.

    The text messages were provided to Congress in February and have become the focus of Republican claims of political bias at the FBI and DoJ, but these latest messages were not part of that package sent to Congress. They were provided to Attorney General Jeff Sessions a few days ago.

    Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, has said the IG report is politically biased.

    WASHINGTON – The chairs of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said even though they would prefer the appointment of a special counsel to investigate potential DoJ abuses they are nevertheless pleased with the appointment of a U.S. attorney.

    “While we continue to believe the appointment of a second Special Counsel is necessary, this is a step in the right direction,” Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)  said in a joint statement on Thursday evening. “We expect that U.S. Attorney Huber, given his reputation, will conduct an independent and thorough investigation. Such an investigation is critical to restoring the reputation of both the Bureau and DOJ in the eyes of the American people.”

    On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a letter to congressional Republicans that he appointed Utah U.S. Attorney John W. Huber to review the department’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe and alleged connections between the Clinton Foundation and an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia.

    Last year, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller III as special counsel in the investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Sessions recused himself from the probe following reports that he had twice met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

    Many Republicans claim the FBI and DoJ have demonstrated bias against the Trump administration and that Hillary Clinton was given special treatment during the investigation into her use of private email server while Secretary of State.

    A major point of contention in the request for a review centers around alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

     

    WASHINGTON- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in a Wednesday morning tweet announced that later today he will introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

    Goodlatte and fellow GOP co-sponsors Reps. Michael McCaul (Texas), Raul Labrador (Idaho), and Martha McSally (Ariz.) teased the legislation in a Tuesday Wall Street Journal op-ed.

    The legislation, according to the Journal article, would allocate funds for the construction of a wall along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border as well provide money for technological advances designed to enhance security. Funds for 10,000 additional border and customs patrol officers also would be provided.

    The legislation seeks to end chain-migration and the diversity lottery.  The Department of Justice would be authorized to withhold grants from jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

    The legislation would allow recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to apply for three-year renewable status.

    Goodlatte was included Tuesday’s bipartisan-bicameral White House meeting with President Donald Trump in which lawmakers discussed a path forward on DACA.

    Trump during the meeting referenced Goodlatte’s bill and suggested that the administration favorably views the measure.

    The legislation reportedly has the backing of House GOP leaders.

    The DACA program expires on March 5.

    Several DACA bills are under consideration.

    The debate over DACA comes as lawmakers are attempting to negotiate a comprehensive budget agreement. The government will run out of money at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 19 if Congress does not pass some sort of spending bill. Many Democrats have said they will not vote for a spending bill that does not include a DACA fix.

    Republican congressional leaders have said DACA should be kept separate from appropriations.

    WASHINGTON— Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election in 2018.

    In a statement, Goodlatte explained that he is coordinating his departure with the end of his term as chair.

    “With my time as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee ending in December 2018, this is a natural stepping-off point and an opportunity to begin a new chapter of my career and spend more time with my family, particularly my granddaughters,” Goodlatte said.

    Goodlatte noted that while he will be leaving, he intends to put the remainder of his time to good use in helping his colleagues fulfill his party’s agenda, including on criminal justice reform, immigration, tax reform and rolling back the Affordable Care Act.

    “I look forward to working with the House Leadership, the Senate, and President Trump in bringing real conservative change to our country,” Goodlatte said.

    Goodlatte joined the House in 1993.

    He is the 23rd Republican member of the lower chamber to announce that he will not be running, coming on the heels of

    By Andres Del Aguila

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday raised concerns that groups that oppose Israel contribute to the steep rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses across the United States.

    “I’m concerned about the so-called BDS movement – an effort that is boycott, divestment and sanctions seeks to end international support of Israel,” Goodlatte said during a House Judiciary hearing to examine the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses. “I will do everything that I can to ensure that [the American and Israel] relationship remains strong. There are those who disagree in various ways of course, including students, faculty and administrators on college campuses.”

    The BDS movement is a global campaign led by Palestinians “that works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to the website BDSmovement.net

    Tuesday’s hearing was in response to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) audit of anti-Semitic incidents released Thursday that shows a 67 percent increase this year. The ADL discovered 1,299 incidents across the U.S., and a “disturbingly high number” occurred at college campuses.

    The audit includes criminal and non-criminal acts such as harassment, intimidation, hate propaganda, threats and slurs. The ADL found a spike after the August  “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists clashed with counter- protesters.

    ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt also placed the blame on “radical left-wing” groups.

    “Neither side of the political spectrum is exempt from intolerance,” he said. “We’ve seen a rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric from a radical left-wing viewpoint as well, one often rooted in extremely hostile views on Israel that can cross the line to anti-Semitism.”

    Greenblatt added that criticism of Israel’s government does not constitute anti-Semitism but that radical groups on college campuses can create a hostile environment for Jewish students.

    The ADL also urged the House to pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, which would provide the Department of Education with a clear definition of anti-Semitism in order to assess if a violation of Title VI was committed with anti-Semitic intent.

    Anti-Semitism is discrimination “based on an individual’s actual or perceived shared Jewish ancestry or Jewish ethnic characteristics,” according to the bill.

    The Senate passed the bill with unanimous consent in December 2016.

    Barry Trachtenberg, a scholar of Jewish history at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, warned against the “well-intentioned” bill.

    “Attempts to legislate speech that is perceived as anti-Semitic, while seemingly well-intentioned, are in fact efforts to suppress ongoing campus discussions regarding the State of Israel and its supporters…,” Trachtenberg said. “They risk weakening the academic freedom of students and faculty who engage in criticism of Israel out of concerns for human rights and human dignity.”

    He added: “Such restrictions threaten to exacerbate anti-Semitism on campus by perpetuating the long-standing myths that Jews are exceptional people who require special laws and regulations.”

     

    WASHINGTON — Former FBI attorney Lisa Page will give closed-door testimony to a joint congressional panel today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced Thursday.

    “Lisa Page has finally agreed to appear before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees for a transcribed interview tomorrow. This decision is long overdue,” Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement. “As part of the Committees’ joint investigation into decisions made by the Justice Department in 2016, we have sought her testimony for seven months, ultimately resulting in a subpoena demanding her presence. Lisa Page is a key witness in our investigation and we need to hear from her about her role related to certain decisions made by the Department and Bureau.”

    Page was subpoenaed to appear before a joint Judiciary/Oversight committee panel on Wednesday. She did not appear. Goodlatte responded by notifying Page that the committees would initiate contempt proceedings if she did not agree to appear on Thursday or Friday.

    Page and agent Peter Strzok exchanged text messages in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a Department of Justice inspector general report that was released last month.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    Other messages included profanity-laced comments about the president and his supporters.

    Strzok and Page, who were dating at the time although both were married, were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

    Strzok was grilled by House Republicans for ten-and-a-half hours during a public hearing on Thursday. Strzok insisted that his political preference did not affect decisions made in the FBI’s investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

    Strzok refused to answer many questions. He said FBI counsel instructed him not to comment on matters related to ongoing investigations.

    Goodlatte told Strzok that refusal to answer could result in a contempt citation.

    Some lawmakers leveled personal attacks on Strzok.

    “I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said.

    Gohmert’s remark immediately drew several loud objections from colleagues.

    WASHINGTON – Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok pushed back on Thursday against claims that his political preference affected decisions made in the Bureau’s investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

    “In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind,” Strzok told a joint panel of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

    Strzok and fellow agent Lisa Page exchanged text messages in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a Department of Justice inspector general report that was released last month.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    Other messages included profanity-laced comments about the president and his supporters.

    The agents, who were dating at the time although both were married, were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

    Strzok privately testified before a joint Judiciary/Oversight committee panel for 11 hours two weeks ago.

    Page was subpoenaed to appear before the committees for a closed-door deposition on Wednesday. She did not appear. Page has agreed to give private testimony on Friday, according to a CNN report.

    Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN

    When Strzok declined to answer a question from Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) regarding the Bureau’s collusion investigation, a fight broke out among the panel.

    “Mr. Strzok, you under subpoena and are required to answer the question,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) interjected. “Are you objecting to the question? If so, please state your objection.”

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, immediately provided cover for Strzok.

    “I object, Mr. Chairman….He (Strzok) is still an employee of the FBI and the FBI counsel has instructed him not to answer the question.”

    Goodlate said Nadler did not have standing to object.

    But Nadler persisted.

    “Point of order, Mr. Chairman.”

    Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN

    Goodlatte refused to back down.

    “Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the directive to answer the question or refuse to do so. That latter of which will place you at risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability.”

    Nadler again objected.

    “Point of order, Mr. Chairman.”

    Nadler said Strzok could not legally be compelled to answer a question about an ongoing investigation.

    Goodlatte said the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that American citizens are required to cooperate with congressional requests  and that not answering a question constitutes non-compliance.

    The exchange continued for about 10 minutes with other members of the panel joining the fray before Gowdy resumed questioning Strzok.

    Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), right, uses a cellphone to take a photo of protesters during the testimony of former FBI agent Peter Strzok on Thursday. (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

    Update: 7/12/18, 11:00 a.m. – CNN reported that Page has agreed to privately testify before a joint panel of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday.

    WASHINGTON – Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page could be held in contempt of Congress if she does not appear on Capitol Hill for a closed-door deposition by Friday, two Republican congressmen said in a letter to Page’s attorney.

    “The Judiciary Committee intends to initiate contempt proceedings on Friday July 13, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) wrote Amy Jeffress Esq. on Wednesday.

    The congressmen added: “As an additional, and final, accommodation, the Committee will stay the contempt proceedings provided Lisa Page appears voluntarily on July 12, 2018, at 10 a.m. at a previously scheduled public hearing regarding relevant issues under investigation. While your client would still be deposed at some point, appearance at the hearing scheduled for Thursday July 12, 2018, at 10 a.m. would negate the need for immediate contempt proceedings. Alternatively, your client, Lisa Page, could present herself for a deposition on Friday, July 13, 2018, at 10 a.m. This option would stay contempt proceedings and resolve the Committees’ need to depose your client.”

    Jeffress notified Goodlatte on Tuesday that her client would not comply with the committee’s subpoena because the FBI did not provide requested documents. The subpoena requested Page’s appearance on Wednesday morning. Jeffress said Page is willing to testify later this month.

    Page and fellow agent Peter Strzok exchanged text messages in which Strzok said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a DoJ inspector general report that was released last month.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    The agents, who were dating at the time although both were married, were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

    Text messages between Page and Strzok were provided to Congress in February and have become the focus of Republican claims of political bias at the FBI and DoJ, but these latest messages were not part of that package sent to Congress. They were provided to Attorney General Jeff Sessions several days before the IG report was released.

    Strzok privately testified before a joint Judiciary/Oversight committee panel for 11 hours two weeks ago. He is expected to publicly testify before the committees this morning.

    WASHINGTON – Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok is expected to testify before a joint House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee panel next Thursday (July 12), the committees announced Friday.

    Strzok and fellow agent Lisa Page exchanged text messages in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a DoJ IG report that was released last month.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.

    “No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

    The agents, who were dating at the time although both were married, were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

    The text messages were provided to Congress in February and have become the focus of Republican claims of political bias at the FBI and DoJ, but these latest messages were not part of that package sent to Congress. They were provided to Attorney General Jeff Sessions several days before the IG report was released.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) subpoenaed Strzok earlier this week to appear at a public hearing scheduled for July 10. Strzok privately testified before a joint Judiciary/Oversight committee panel for 11 hours last week.

    Following the testimony Goodlatte and other Republicans accused Strzok of being defiant, saying he refused to answer many of the panel’s questions. Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, accused Republicans of distorting his client’s testimony and called on the committee to release its transcripts.

    Goelman told CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” on Tuesday that Strzok might not comply with the subpoena because of the partisan nature of the investigation.

    “Because we have come to the conclusion, forced to come to the conclusion, that this is not a search for truth, it is a chance for Republican members of the House to preen and posture before their most radical, conspiracy-minded constituents,” Goelman explained.
    Goelman told CNN that Strzok would soon testify but could not definitively state whether his client would appear before the Judiciary and Oversight committees.