Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Texas lawmaker attacks Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over affair

Controversial FBI official to testify about private text messages on Trump FBI agent Peter P. Strzok front arrives for a House Judiciary Committee meeting June 27 in Washington DC
| 13 July, 2018, 05:17

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. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Trey Gowdy of SC for taking "cheap shots" at Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok during his Capitol Hill testimony Thursday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asked colleagues to imagine being investigated by someone who "hated you" and "disparaged you in all manner of ways".

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) then raised a motion to subpoena Bannon, demanding that Bannon appear before the Congress and answer questions. He and an FBI lawyer he sent the messages to briefly worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation, but were dismissed from the team previous year even though FBI agents are not prohibited from privately expressing political views.

Goodlatte moved to table the motion until the end of the hearing, which was approved by a voice vote, but Democrats objected and demanded a recorded vote.

"At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok told lawmakers.

Page told investigators that she and Strzok were having an affair, according to a Justice Department Inspector General's report about the Clinton email investigation, and that they used their work devices to hide that from their spouses.

"And taking these cheap shots, that's what I call them, cheap shots at Strzok just were unconscionable".

"No, the disgrace is what this man has done to our justice system", Gohmert responded.

Strzok's appearance at a joint hearing of the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees was highly charged from the very first question, as he faced off against GOP lawmakers who have long denounced his conduct.

The hearing often descended into partisan bickering over points of parliamentary order and whether or not Strzok could be compelled to answer questions pertaining to ongoing FBI investigations.


Republicans, unsatisfied with Strzok's explanations Thursday, remained on the offensive throughout the hearing.

"This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump", Strzok said.

"No interview has been done before you're talking about impeachment of the president", Gowdy said during the hearing on Capitol Hill. The texts were sent shortly after Mr. Strzok joined the Mueller team as a lead investigator. In it, Strzok describes his reluctance to work on behalf of the special counsel, and that seemed to imply he didn't think there would be substantial findings of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign team.

The idea that Strzok or others in the FBI were so biased against Trump that they worked to undermine his election laughable because the bureau kept its investigation into Trump's campaign and ties to Russian Federation a secret.

Strzok again stated he could not answer and Goodlatte said the Committee would consider a contempt citation. "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind". And I said, you know, I'm aware of that.

The sharp tone of Strzok's statement sets the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week.

But IG Michael Horowitz "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected those specific investigative decisions", he told the House Judiciary Committee on June 19.

Attorney Amy Jeffress told Fox News that Page could not appear before the committee on Wednesday because they didn't have enough time to prepare.

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