Monday, 19 November, 2018

My work has never been tainted by political bias — Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee
Ellis Copeland | 12 July, 2018, 22:09

"They were trying to throw up any kind of roadblocks so that Strzok didn't have to answer questions".

"Will the committee also consider contempt for Mr. Bannon?"

Strzok implored Republicans to appreciate the context of his text, which was sent late at night, shortly after the Republican nominee had "insulted the immigrant family of a fallen war hero" (i.e., the family of Khizr Muazzam Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention).

"To suggest we can parse down the shorthand like they're some contract for a vehicle is simply not consistent with my or most people's use of text messaging", Strzok said, practically yelling at Gowdy.

Strzok has faced intense criticism from Trump and his Republican allies for the text messages, which they have said confirm anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and cast doubt on the agent's role in the early days of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Mueller reassigned Strzok after the Justice Department discovered highly political text messages that he sent Page during the 2016 election cycle. "Many contained expressions of concern for the security of our country-opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of.But let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took".

Strzok testified before the House in a closed-door hearing in June, where Republicans railed against his credibility in claiming that his texts with Page were not evidence that he meant to block Trump from the presidency, as his critics have said an August 2016 message suggests. "My personal opinions in no way-" Strzok said, before he was interrupted.

Goodlatte threatened to hold Strzok in contempt after the committee devolved into a partisan brawl over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation.

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman presiding over the joint committee hearing, tried to force Strzok to answer the question from Gowdy regarding the number of witnesses interviewed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign last summer.

In an interview with investigators with the Justice Department's Inspector General, Page said she was "totally appalled that the President would insult the father of a dead service member".

Republicans, unsatisfied with Strzok's explanations Thursday, remained on the offensive throughout the hearing. Goodlatte told CNN that Page had agreed to appear Friday.

Strzok pointed out that he was not under subpoena and appearing before the committee voluntarily, which appeared to infuriate Goodlatte even more.

"This investigation is a political charade - a platform to elevate far-right conspiracy theories and undermine the special counsel's ongoing criminal investigation of the President and his campaign aides", Nadler and Cummings said in that statement.

In his opening remarks, Strzok defended Mueller's work and emphasized the threat of Russian election interference, clearly referencing the president in saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax".

"How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok?".

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