Texas lawmaker attacks Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over affair
13 July, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Lucille Rivera
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., criticized what they called the clear bias against Trump that Strzok and Page had demonstrated and they lectured Strzok about his refusal to answer questions based on instructions from the FBI's attorneys.
Republicans have cited Page's and Strzok's messages as evidence about what they call bias inside federal law enforcement and that conspirators launched the Russian Federation investigation out of partisan animus.
Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC says Strzok in his mind had Clinton "winning the White House" before he finished her investigation but had Trump "impeached" before he began working on the probe of his campaign ties to Russian Federation. He and Page were kicked off the special counsel Robert Mueller's team a year ago after Mueller discovered their text messages and he has since been reassigned within the bureau.
Peter Strzok opened the hearing with a short, yet powerful statement, bringing the President's own rhetoric into his message, and throwing it back into his face.
She said the "FBI helped this unfit man become president of the United States" and that Republicans should be "kissing" Strzok in the wake of Trump's election. "Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took ..."
He said that his text messages critical of Trump shortly after the investigation began were in response to Trump's behavior on the campaign trail - and not a reflection of his investigative intent.
At the heart of GOP lawmakers' complaints are a series of texts from August 8, 2016, between Strzok and his alleged mistress, Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page, in which Strzok wrote to Page, "We'll stop" a Trump presidency.
A memorable moment of political theater came even before Strzok spoke - during opening remarks by ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings.
Repulican Trey Gowdy of SC said Strzok exhibited "textbook bias" and in his mind had Clinton "winning the White House" before he finished her investigation.
Strzok said. "You just want to hear - for me to repeat it". Strzok: "No ... we'll stop it". But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind. And the proposition that that is going on, that it might occur anywhere in the Federal Bureau of Investigation deeply corrodes what the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.
You will notice that Republicans have not been able to produce any evidence that Strzok or anyone else took any official action that was biased, unfair, or inappropriate in their investigation of Russian meddling and the Trump campaign.
"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.
Strzok, who was an Army officer before joining the FBI, repeatedly denied acting on his anti-Trump views while he worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and while he worked on the Mueller probe.
"This decision is long overdue", Goodlatte said. His lawyer has argued that the public hearing is an attempt by Republicans to "trap" Strzok, and they have urged the committee's Republicans to release the transcript of his closed-door interview. "I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016". Jeffress added that Page received word from the Justice Department only "after 11 p.m".
Trump weighed in on Twitter during his departure from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on Thursday, slamming Page for "dodging a subpoena" to avoid being grilled by the House committees.
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