The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena Tuesday for former top FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok’s public testimony next week, after Strzok’s lawyer accused the panel of subjecting his client to “Kabuki theater” and threatened to prevent Strzok from showing up.
The subpoena asks Strzok to appear before the panel on Tuesday, a day upon which Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, has said he is not available. In a statement, Goelman said that Strzok would testify publicly at some point but would not commit to doing so on that day or before the Judiciary Committee.
Strzok has come under scrutiny for anti-Trump texts he sent to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair. The texts included disparaging comments about then-candidate Donald Trump and his supporters and included one in which Strzok told Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.
During a closed-door questioning last week, Strzok told lawmakers that his personal political opinions had no effect on the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state or the possibility of Russian ties to the Trump campaign, probes in which Strzok played a leading role. Republicans said they did not find the argument that bias could not have influenced the investigations plausible. Strzok is undergoing internal review at the FBI over his conduct.
In an email to committee counsels, Goelman accused Republican members of trying to “trap” Strzok with a public hearing that they initially denied him until he first spoke to members behind closed doors.
— Karoun Demirjian
and Matt Zapotosky
A top Justice Department official who has been a critical, behind-the-scenes player in some of federal law enforcement’s biggest controversies is stepping down at the end of the week, authorities said.
Scott Schools, the Justice Department’s most senior career official, will leave Friday for a position in the private sector, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Bradley Weinsheimer, a former assistant U.S. attorney and 27-year Justice Department veteran.
Schools often provided guidance on some of the thorniest issues facing Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, whose office he worked in. Schools’s new job was not immediately identified. His departure was first reported by NPR.
— Matt Zapotosky
Hundreds of Puerto Rican hurricane-evacuee families living in hotels across the United States can stay there for at least three more weeks.
Judge Timothy Hillman of Massachusetts’ federal court granted the extension Tuesday. He said a restraining order temporarily blocking their evictions from the hotels will remain until at least midnight July 23, allowing them to stay until checkout time the next day.
The vouchers for evacuees displaced by Hurricane Maria in September were initially supposed to expire Sunday.
There were about 1,700 families living in hotels Saturday, but the number was about 950 on Tuesday.
FEMA said it will comply with the order and notify hotels that the program has been extended.
— Associated Press