Scroll to the bottom for an update.
On Thursday, FBI agent Peter Strzok testified on Capitol Hill, answering questions about his anti-Trump bias and the investigation into alleged ties between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. Strzok gave conflicting explanations of his anti-Trump text messages and dodged important questions, but Democrats in Congress proved quite happy with his testimony.
“If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would. You deserve one,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) told Strzok.
“This has been an attack on you [and] the investigation, to get to Russian collusion involved in our election which is what this committee should be looking at,” the Democrat continued.
Cohen went on to characterize Trump’s campaign — not the FBI agent whose texts explicitly promised to keep Trump from winning the election — as “a direct strike at democracy and what this country is about, free and fair elections.”
He said this of a man who laughably argued that his anti-Trump texts did not indicate bias in his FBI investigation of Trump.
Just after noon, Peter Strzok actually denied that his text messages expressing disdain for Trump were “indicative of bias.” He actually said that.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 12, 2018
It is a great irony that Peter Strzok’s bias against Trump may have actually helped the Republican win the 2016 election. When new evidence in the Clinton email scandal came to light, Strzok apparently delayed looking into it, attempting to avoid addressing it until after the election. Instead, the delay led to former FBI director James Comey’s infamous last-minute declaration that he was reopening the case, a mere week before the election.
Democrats have blamed Clinton’s loss on Comey’s decision to announce his reopening of the case, and that event may have contributed to Trump’s victory. How ironic if Strzok, in an attempt to keep Trump from winning, actually made it happen?
This man, the one who cheated on his wife with a mistress, who texted that mistress that he intended to stop Donald Trump from winning the election, whose bias may have actually contributed to Trump’s win — this man is the one Steve Cohen would give the Purple Heart? He must be joking.
Talk about Trump derangement syndrome.
Update: Cohen “clarifies remarks.”
On Friday, the congressman expressed regret for his comments. It amounts to, “I love the military, I swear!”
“I regret mentioning the Purple Heart medal at yesterday’s hearing,” Cohen said. “My intent was to speak metaphorically to make a broader point about attacks against the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into a Russian attack on our country.”
His non-apology directly addressed the military. “I have nothing but the highest respect for members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have been awarded Purple Hearts, as well as the hard working men and women at the FBI,” Cohen insisted. “We are safe because of their service and sacrifice.”
“As today’s indictments underscore, the Russians are out to attack our nation’s democratic institutions,” he concluded. “We need to let Special Prosecutor Mueller and the FBI continue their work to protect us.”