Former FBI counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok declared his public testimony before a joint hearing Thursday of the House Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemy’s campaign to tear America apart.”
Strzok said “we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuations often drawn out honesty and integrity, but the honest truth is Russian interference in our election constitutes a grave attack on our democracy.
“Most disturbingly is it has been wildly successful in sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions. I have the upmost respect for Congress’ oversight role, but I strongly believe today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tare America part.” Vladimir Putin is president of Russia, which succeed the Soviet Union in 1992.
Strzok’s public testimony followed a grueling 11-hour closed-door session on June 27 before the two House panels. Strzok is one of the central actors in the bruising scandal that exploded in the wake of the FBI’s controversial investigations of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official government business and of allegations that aides to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests.
Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanged thousands of text messages expressing deep distrust of and prejudice against Trump before, during and after the 2016 campaign. Oversight panel chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has called the messages illustrations of “textbook bias” that would delegitimize any official conclusions based in part on them.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation of the Russia collusion allegations. Mueller fired Strzok from his role in the investigation when his text messages with Page were made public.
Page did not comply with a congressional subpoena directing her to appear for questioning Wednesday. Amy Jeffress, her lawyer, claimed that they needed more time to prepare while asking that the hearing be rescheduled to another date. She also blamed the FBI for not providing all the documents they needed. Page left the bureau in May 2017.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy responded with a letter the same day stating that she will face contempt proceedings if she continues …