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Washington - FBI Agent: My Work Has Never Been Tainted By Political Bias

Published on: July 12, 2018 08:21 AM
By: AP
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Peter Strzok, the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti-Trump text messages, walks to gives a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2018.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Peter Strzok, the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti-Trump text messages, walks to gives a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 27, 2018.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Washington - An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias will tell lawmakers Thursday that his work has never been tainted by politics and that the intense scrutiny he is facing represents “just another victory notch in Putin’s belt,” according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press.

Peter Strzok, who helped lead FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email use and potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign, was testifying publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team following the discovery of the derogatory text messages last year.

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He will say in his opening statement that he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus on him by Congress is misguided and plays into “our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees were expected to grill Strzok for hours as they argue that the text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page color the outcome of the Clinton email investigation and undercut the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. Trump himself has launched personal attacks against the two FBI officials, including a Wednesday evening tweet that asked “how can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time” by Strzok. He described the texts as “hate filled and biased.”

In the prepared remarks, Strzok acknowledges that while his text message criticism was “blunt,” it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders. He said there was “simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions.”

“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,” he will say.

He says that he was one of the few people during the 2016 election who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with people in the Trump orbit, and that that information could have derailed Trump’s election chances. “But,” he said, “the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.”

Although Strzok has said through his lawyer that he was eager to tell his side of the story, he makes clear his exasperation at being the focal point of a congressional hearing at a time when Russian election interference has been successfully “sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions.”

“I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart,” Strzok will say, according to the remarks. “As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in.”

He also flatly rejected the president’s characterizations of Mueller’s work and the threat of Russian election interference, saying, “This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax.”

The sharp tone of Strzok’s statement sets the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week. It also reflected an effort to shift attention away from the content of Strzok’s texts and onto what he says is the more pressing issue: the Russians’ “grave attack” on American democracy and continuing efforts to divide the country.

But that’s unlikely to be the focus of Thursday’s hearing. Republicans eager for ways to discredit Mueller’s investigation have for months held up the texts from Strzok and Page to support allegations of anti-Trump bias within federal law enforcement. One message that has received particular attention, and is likely to be discussed at the hearing, is an Aug. 8, 2016 text in which Strzok, discussing with Page the prospect of a Trump win, says, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety through the texts. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI’s decision to not pursue criminal charges against Clinton. And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season — including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election — actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump.

FBI Director Chris Wray says the FBI has referred to internal disciplinary officials employees who were singled out for criticism in the inspector general’s report. Strzok’s lawyer has said he was escorted from the FBI building last month as the disciplinary process winds its way through the system.

Page left the bureau in May. House lawmakers have subpoenaed her to appear for a private interview and warned her that they would begin the process of holding her in contempt if she does not show this week. Her lawyer says Page had offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month but needed more clarification about what the lawmakers would be asking.



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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 12, 2018 at 08:51 AM Shimon Says:

Who believes this nonsense? If he, Page, Rosenstein, Comey, and the rest of the corrupt bureaucrats get away unscathed, it will be a sad day for our country.

2

 Jul 12, 2018 at 10:10 AM stamnamefortrump Says:

Yeah, let's stop trump. Actual quote from agents investigating Clinton and trump. That seems bias.

3

 Jul 12, 2018 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Shimon Says:

Who believes this nonsense? If he, Page, Rosenstein, Comey, and the rest of the corrupt bureaucrats get away unscathed, it will be a sad day for our country.

100.000 plus people work in the FBI. millions more in the rest of the Govt. Like the rest of the USA 53% of them hates Trump. They are only human. Maybe he should stop calling everyone names and people will like him more. So simple. You cant shoot your mother and than ask the FBI/Police/Judges for like you.

4

 Jul 12, 2018 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Shimon Says:

Who believes this nonsense? If he, Page, Rosenstein, Comey, and the rest of the corrupt bureaucrats get away unscathed, it will be a sad day for our country.

"Sad day for our country" When Trump was elected with Russian Interference. Sad Year for our country when the FBI, Justice Dept, and many other Resources controlled by the Republicans has to investigate Russian Collusion what put them in power.

5

 Jul 12, 2018 at 12:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

"Sad day for our country" When Trump was elected with Russian Interference. Sad Year for our country when the FBI, Justice Dept, and many other Resources controlled by the Republicans has to investigate Russian Collusion what put them in power.

Keep drinking the libtard kool-aid, snowflake.

6

 Jul 12, 2018 at 12:33 PM elyeh Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

"Sad day for our country" When Trump was elected with Russian Interference. Sad Year for our country when the FBI, Justice Dept, and many other Resources controlled by the Republicans has to investigate Russian Collusion what put them in power.

Sad day for our country when a witch hunt is supported by Democrats and sad day when more hate and increasing hate is the Democrats (and Strzok's, Clinton's, the media's etc) main response to losing the election.

7

 Jul 12, 2018 at 12:59 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

100.000 plus people work in the FBI. millions more in the rest of the Govt. Like the rest of the USA 53% of them hates Trump. They are only human. Maybe he should stop calling everyone names and people will like him more. So simple. You cant shoot your mother and than ask the FBI/Police/Judges for like you.

You are allowed to say I hate Trump but he also said

"No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it"

That doesn't sound like he was unbiased in his work.

This guy is another James Commey attention grabber. All slick and good looking, coll hair style. A show man. Another deep state faker.

8

 Jul 12, 2018 at 01:01 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

"Sad day for our country" When Trump was elected with Russian Interference. Sad Year for our country when the FBI, Justice Dept, and many other Resources controlled by the Republicans has to investigate Russian Collusion what put them in power.

Trump was elected with Russian Interference
Fake news: he would have won anyhow. Ruskies did very little.

Plus the public had the right to know that its was fixed for Hillary. Yes despite being fixed Trump won. Getting debate questions beforehand is like when your kid cheats and gets test questions beforehand behind the teacher back. Its out right cheating.

9

 Jul 12, 2018 at 01:04 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

"Sad day for our country" When Trump was elected with Russian Interference. Sad Year for our country when the FBI, Justice Dept, and many other Resources controlled by the Republicans has to investigate Russian Collusion what put them in power.

Sad day for our country when democracy means ruion and destroy anyone's life whom you disagree with. Make them miserable while dinning out, find small misdemeanor for those in office and decimate their career, follow them and yell at them wherever they go. And that's for people who simply honestly work for Trump or whom are part of his family. Yes society has reached a new low

So sad So very very sad

10

 Jul 12, 2018 at 02:49 PM Normandavid1 Says:

One word liar!

11

 Jul 12, 2018 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Keep drinking the libtard kool-aid, snowflake.

Another meshiggene suffering from TLS, Trump Lunatic Syndrome.

12

 Jul 12, 2018 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

To put a respected FBI agent who served for 22 years on a political show trial just to denigrate the FBI is astounding! Especially when most of the agents are Republican! All you beheimisha Trumptards here should be ashamed of themselves! It's a very sad day for America. Hashem yerachem!!

13

 Jul 12, 2018 at 04:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Keep drinking the libtard kool-aid, snowflake.

"libtard kool-aid, snowflake" - Gee, more mindless stupidity cranked out by uneducated populist fodder...good Germans!

14

 Jul 12, 2018 at 05:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
stamnamefortrump Says:

Yeah, let's stop trump. Actual quote from agents investigating Clinton and trump. That seems bias.

Lol, his explanation for writing, “WE WILL STOP IT,” is that he was referring to the American people stopping the Trump presidency! Wow. Too bad he couldn’t be given a lie detector test!

15

 Jul 12, 2018 at 05:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

To put a respected FBI agent who served for 22 years on a political show trial just to denigrate the FBI is astounding! Especially when most of the agents are Republican! All you beheimisha Trumptards here should be ashamed of themselves! It's a very sad day for America. Hashem yerachem!!

Get lost, yoni. You said you were leaving, why are you still here?

16

 Jul 12, 2018 at 05:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

To put a respected FBI agent who served for 22 years on a political show trial just to denigrate the FBI is astounding! Especially when most of the agents are Republican! All you beheimisha Trumptards here should be ashamed of themselves! It's a very sad day for America. Hashem yerachem!!

He exclaimed "No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it". That does not seem honorable to me.

Re most republcian. How do you know that? Did you see the numbers?

And those are old school never trump republcians. Not todays

17

 Jul 12, 2018 at 05:48 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

"libtard kool-aid, snowflake" - Gee, more mindless stupidity cranked out by uneducated populist fodder...good Germans!

When you run around claiming that you are the only smart one and everyone else is Uneducated you end up looking like the fool sorry

18

 Jul 12, 2018 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

The stupid filter at VIN must be broken. Too many Trumptards getting through.

19

 Jul 12, 2018 at 08:05 PM Agent Orange Says:

Can't wait until he ends up behind bars with Comey, Rosenstein, Holder, Lynch and of course Clinton.

20

 Jul 13, 2018 at 02:16 PM Real Archy Says:

Reply to #9  
Educated Archy Says:

Sad day for our country when democracy means ruion and destroy anyone's life whom you disagree with. Make them miserable while dinning out, find small misdemeanor for those in office and decimate their career, follow them and yell at them wherever they go. And that's for people who simply honestly work for Trump or whom are part of his family. Yes society has reached a new low

So sad So very very sad

...I mean, except when the life destroyed is some libtard like a Clinton or Obummer

21

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