Monday, 24 September, 2018


FBI agent defiant as Republicans claim bias in Trump investigation

Feds announce 57 migrant kids reunited with parents — but 46 still held FBI agent defiant as Republicans claim bias in Trump investigation
Bennie Garza | 13 July, 2018, 23:27

Strzok helped lead the FBI's early investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

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

On the GOP side, Republicans repeatedly slammed Strzok for texts to girlfriend and Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page that they argued showed clear bias against then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani: Trump interview with Mueller "further away" ACLU calls for Trump officials to hand over info on immigrant children Kushner to join Pompeo for meetings with Mexican leaders MORE.

Mueller reassigned Strzok after the Justice Department discovered highly political text messages that he sent Page during the 2016 election cycle. They are safely walled off from any individual's personal political views, he said.

Rep. Gohmert went after FBI agent Peter Strzok for cheating on his wife throughout the investigations into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenGOP advances bill demanding documents from FBI Dems rip Trump concessions, "embarrassing" rhetoric with Kim Lawmakers spar at hearing over census citizenship question MORE (D-Tenn.) during the hearing said he felt Strzok deserved a Purple Heart for enduring aggressive questioning from the Republicans.

Goodlatte told Strzok he could answer, though Gohmert was visibly displeased.

"President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him", Giuliani said.

On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain US soldier.

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees held a joint public hearing with Strzok on Thursday, following a separate closed-door interview with him as well as a contentious open hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray two weeks ago. He said Strzok's texts were "the flawless foil" for Republicans.

In his opening statement, Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it wasn't directed at one person or party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen.

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. Both Page and Strzok briefly served on Mueller's team as well.

Ultimately Strzok responded to a question from Gowdy about the early portion of the Russian Federation investigation by defending his own work and the work of the FBI.

"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 told the committees.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", Strzok said.

"I like Louie Gohmert a lot, [but] I thought that moment, that exchange with Gohmert and Strzok, I don't think that was good", she concluded.

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.

After the commotion died down, Gohmert used the remainder of his time to ask Strzok if he had spoken to Clinton more than once and to remark, incredulously, "So after throwing away what you have, with all the bias you have, you've never even gotten a thank you".

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