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On Thursday, embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok – the man who led both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russian election interference investigation while sending anti-Trump texts to his paramour, Lisa Page – testified before the House Oversight Committee.
There, he explained that his anti-Trump animus had in no way affected his investigation, despite the fact that Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote in his DOJ report, “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked Strzok:
On August 6, you hadn’t interviewed anyone, you’re investigating this alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, you’re the lead investigator, you originated the investigation, you’re the point of contact, you drafted the document, and here you are before you’ve interviewed a single solitary witness saying, ‘F*** Trump’…‘I can protect the country at many levels.’ We’re not even a week into an investigation that you originated, approved, were the contact for, you hadn’t even interviewed a single solitary soul until August 11, and you’re already pledging to protect the country from that menace, Donald Trump.
Gowdy followed by asking Strzok about his text to Lisa Page stating he would “stop it” – the it being Trump’s presidency. Gowdy queried, “When you promised to stop Donald Trump from becoming president on August 8, how many interviews had you conducted?”
Strzok stated, “Two answers to that. One, with regard to how many interviews had or had not been conducted, I have been directed by counsel for the FBI not to answer that question. Second, sir, I think it is important to take those texts in the context of how they were written and what they meant.”
Gowdy shot back, “Some one may ask you that question, Agent Strzok, but I didn’t…Here’s what I want to know? Who is the ‘he’ in ‘he’s not’?…What is the ‘it’?”
Strzok demurred, and Gowdy continued firing, “If we’re going to have a debate over a two-letter word, we’re going to have to do that another time. Who or what did you mean by ‘it’?”
Strzok said it was written late at night, and Gowdy continued grilling him. Finally, Strzok answered, “It would be his candidacy for the presidency, and I sensed that the American population would not vote him into office.” Gowdy said, “The ‘we’ll’ is the American people?” Strzok stated, “I don’t recall writing that text. What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy.” Gowdy finished him: “That is a fantastic answer to a question nobody asked.”
The real question is what Strzok meant by the text. Strzok first said he didn’t mean that he had affected the investigation, then said he didn’t remember sending the text, after explaining he sent it late at night.
None of this is credible. And Strzok continues to do tremendous damage to the FBI.
Peter Strzok: "That text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy…"
.@tgowdysc: "That is a fantastic answer to a question nobody asked."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 12, 2018