Peter Strzok Grilled for Hours Behind Closed Doors on Capitol Hill, Denies He Was Politically Biased
Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok met with House lawmakers behind closed doors on Capitol Hill Wednesday to answer questions about the numerous anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with his paramour, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, during the 2016 presidential campaign. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Strzok and Page referred to then-candidate Trump as a "loathsome human being," "an idiot," "awful," and a "douche," among other insults. Strzok denied that he was politically biased against Trump during questioning today.
Strzok's interview before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees began at 10:00 a.m. and was still ongoing late into the afternoon. Republicans had a number of pertinent questions for the FBI official, who was the lead investigator in the Clinton email probe and helped lead the first part of the Trump/Russia probe. Chief among them were what he meant by “stop” Trump in his August 8, 2016, text and what was the “insurance policy” described in the August 15 text. They also wanted to nail down just when the FBI's counterintelligence investigation began.
Strzok refused to answer any questions on his way to the room, but reportedly told the lawmakers that he "was not political biased, [and] did not prioritize Russia probe over Clinton inquiry." According to CNN's Manu Raju, Strzok said the text to "stop" Trump was just an “intimate conversation between intimate friends.”
That was good enough for Democrats, but Republican Rep. Mark Meadows wasn't buying it.
“I don’t know how any reasonable person reads the texts and would suggest there was no bias,” he told reporters during a break from the hearing. “None of my concerns about political bias have been alleviated based on what I’ve heard so far.”
OIG Michael Horowitz found in his report that there was no evidence that the anti-Trump bias among the several FBI agents impacted prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton email probe.
“The only reason they concluded there was not bias in the IG report is because there were multiple people in the decision-making process,” Meadows said. “To suggest that Peter Strzok was not biased does not actually correspond with the decisions the IG made.”
Meadows also told reporters that he heard new information that was not included in the inspector general's report, but that he could not share it.
According to Fox News, the interview with Strzok will continue until 7:00 p.m.