Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Strzok claims he doesn't remember sending 'we'll stop' Donald Trump text

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee
Steven Clarke | 12 July, 2018, 21:23

Political observers were far from impressed today when the House Judiciary Committee plunged into total madness during their hearing with Peter Strzok.

In response, Sen. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) snapped, "Mr. Strzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question".

"Many contained expressions of concern for the security of our country-opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of.But 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 also served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, before being removed by Mueller.

The FBI agent said the Russian Federation investigation that began in summer 2016 had the power to "derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump".

Strzok - whose extramarital affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page has led Trump to dub the pair the "FBI lovers" - said there is "no evidence of bias" in his work on the Russian meddling and other politically charged investigations.

Outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy brought up that text and another in which Strzok said Hillary Clinton should win "100 million to zero".

At another point during Thursday's hearing, Strzok said he believes it was the result of the outrage at the time over Trump's spat with Khizr Khan, whose son was killed during the Iraq War and who became a prominent critic of Trump.

The "we'll stop it" text is considered Strzok's most controversial text message to have surfaced.

In August 2016, Strzok responded to a message from then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was romantically involved, about Trump's chance of being elected president.

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Peter Strzok said he had information with "the potential to derail and quite possibly defeat" Trump but said the "thought of expressing that or exposing that information never crossed his mind". "No he won't. We'll stop it".

"Right?!" Page texted Strzok.

I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took.

Strzok wound up where he begun, with a condemnation of the partisan attacks on the Justice Department and FBI he said had been corrosive of Americans' trust in federal law enforcement.

Strzok replied that he was not under subpoena, but testifying voluntarily - and that he could not answer questions "related to the ongoing investigations being undertaken by the special counsel's office".

Strzok appeared before lawmakers in Congress last month for a closed-door interview.

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. Strzok said the disparaging comments were merely political commentary between colleagues during a remarkably heated election.

"Mr. Strzok and others inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ turned our system of justice on its head", he said.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but did not comply with the order because Congress hadn't given her "sufficient time to prepare".

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