dearJulius.com Write For Us

Writer of anti-Trump texts at FBI tells lawmakers bias never affected his work

SHARE:

© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

By Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post

Former top FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok told House members behind closed doors Wednesday that political views he expressed in personal text messages never swayed decisions made in the FBI’s probes of Hillary Clinton or President Trump — an explanation that Republicans deemed nonsensical.

“I don’t know how you read the texts, I don’t know how any reasonable person reads the texts and suggests there was no bias,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee. “I’ve read the text messages, I’ve read emails, I’ve read other information . . . the total absence of bias in any decision-making process is not consistent with the facts that I’ve read.”

Strzok, who played a leading role in the FBI’s investigations of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties, has come under scrutiny for anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair. Among them was one message in which Strzok assured Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.

The messages were found by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General during its investigation of the Clinton email probe and were featured in a report unveiled to the public this month. That report slammed Strzok and others for showing bias and a “willingness to take official action” to hurt Trump’s electoral chances. But it found no evidence that the FBI’s investigative decisions had been swayed by those biases — largely because Strzok never made those decisions alone. Strzok continues to be employed by the FBI, but the bureau has referred his case to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility for a review.

In the meantime, GOP lawmakers have pounced on the messages as evidence that the FBI probes and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — a team on which Strzok briefly served — could have been influenced by Strzok’s anti-Trump sentiments.

“Even the IG admitted that the bias certainly could have had an indirect effect because of Strzok’s role,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) “You cannot minimize that he was a key component in all the investigations.”

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees interviewed Strzok for 11 hours Wednesday, the last 90 minutes of which were in a classified setting. Emerging from that classified portion, Meadows said that he remains “unconvinced that political bias did not have a factor in some of the decisions” Strzok played a role in — referring specifically to those “on ongoing investigative decisions,” such as the Russia probe.

Republican lawmakers insisted that they had learned more from Strzok’s testimony than was contained in the inspector general’s report — something Democrats disputed, accusing the GOP of rehashing ground already well-covered in the report. Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Wednesday that the panel intends to have Strzok later testify in a public session as well.

During his closed-door interview, Strzokurged lawmakers to view the text messages simply as banter between two people in a relationship, according to lawmakers present — but Republicans found that rationale unsatisfying.

“If you have intimate personal conversations between two people, that normally would show the intent more so than perhaps something that would be said out in public,” Meadows said.

Strzok also sought on Wednesday to downplay the importance of his political views, stressing to lawmakers that members of the FBI have political opinions like anyone else and that they do not earn or lose assignments based on those views, according to the judiciary panel’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Jerold Nadler (N.Y.).

Following the interview, Nadler and Oversight and Government Reform panel ranking member Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) called on the Republican chairmen of their committees to release the transcript of the nonclassified portion of the interview so the public “can see the Republicans’ desperation” and “how little they have to show for this partisan fishing expedition.”

They and other Democrats also accused the GOP of “desperately trying to find something — anything — to undermine special counsel Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign,” and trying to turn Strzok’s texts into a weapon that Trump can use either against Mueller or those at the Justice Department who supervise his probe.

“Essentially I understand the entire campaign to be about a handful of texts between a couple that has now been made more famous than Bonnie and Clyde,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.). “They’d like to basically execute a witch hunt against Strzok and then somehow allege prosecutorial bias and then use that to provoke some kind of constitutional showdown.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has withstood several rounds of epithets from the president over his decision last year to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, allowing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to appoint Mueller when FBI Director James B. Comey was fired. Rosenstein is now also in the crosshairs of House Republicans, over documents related to the FBI’s Russia probe that his department has not made available to members of Congress.

The House is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution ordering Rosenstein to furnish those documents. While the resolution cannot force Rosenstein’s hand, supporters and critics alike see it as a politically important preliminary step to measures that conservative members have been advocating, such as holding Rosenstein in contempt of Congress or even trying to impeach him.

Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray are expected to testify to the House Judiciary panel Thursday about the federal law enforcement agencies’ investigations related to the 2016 elections.

karoun.demirjian@washpost.com

COMMENTS



Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.
Name

Opinion,325,Politics,1434,
ltr
item
Politics - U.S. Daily News: Writer of anti-Trump texts at FBI tells lawmakers bias never affected his work
Writer of anti-Trump texts at FBI tells lawmakers bias never affected his work
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2W3HXw-qBh0/WzSN2YVNasI/AAAAAAAAwFM/kTeClnSI028H4DZUTF0WDV9skLo2praWACLcBGAs/s1600/1.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2W3HXw-qBh0/WzSN2YVNasI/AAAAAAAAwFM/kTeClnSI028H4DZUTF0WDV9skLo2praWACLcBGAs/s72-c/1.jpg
Politics - U.S. Daily News
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/2018/06/writer-of-anti-trump-texts-at-fbi-tells.html
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/
https://politics.dailynews.us.com/2018/06/writer-of-anti-trump-texts-at-fbi-tells.html
true
7025300104501306591
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy