My Work Has Never Been Tainted by Political Bias — FBI Agent
12 July, 2018, 21:25 | Author: Wade Massey
One investigation focuses on Russia's interference in the election and whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow.
Goodlatte threatened the witness with contempt over his refusal to answer the question, prompting angry responses from Democrats and demands for "points of order" and that the hearing be adjourned. "I want to know what "it" meant, Agent Strzok", Gowdy said.
Democrats loudly objected to Goodlatte's attempts to force Strzok to answer Gowdy's first question about how many witnesses were interviewed in the opening days of Russian Federation probe.
He said in his opening statement that his work has never been tainted by politics and the intense scrutiny he faces represents "just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's belt". First, it mounted a cautious investigation of what almost everyone now acknowledges was a comprehensive effort by Russian Federation to help Trump get elected, an effort that people on the Trump campaign and even in Donald Trump's own family tried to cooperate with.
Today was one of those times, as FBI agent Peter Strzok testified in a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, the latest chapter in the saga of Republican attempts to prove that any and all investigation into Russia's attempt to manipulate the 2016 election and the Trump campaign's eager cooperation with that effort is a "witch hunt".
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.
Strzok argued that Mueller did not remove him from his team because of bias, but because of the perception the texts created.
Strzok angrily responded, saying the "we'll stop it" text came in response to campaign occurrences such as Trump insulting the immigrant father of a fallen USA soldier.
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"At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok said. "What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would take any action to influence the candidacy". It simply couldn't happen.
"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?". The text and emails may have been discovered in May of 2017, but the bias existed and was manifest a year and a half before that.
"As House Judiciary Republicans spend half the day or longer publicly flogging Peter Strzok", wrote Wheeler, "know that all that flogging can not change the fact that key evidence in Mueller's possession, evidence which I suspect implicates the president directly, has absolutely no tie to Peter Strzok at all". "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".
"Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election", Strzok said.
The sharp tone of Strzok's statement set the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week.
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. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton.
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