An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages signaled partisan bias will claim in front of congressional investigators 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 reports.
Peter Strzok, who helped lead the FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email use and potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign, will testify publicly for the first time since being terminated from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team following the discovery of the derogatory text messages last year.
He will allege 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 are 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.
President Trump himself has rightly called out 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”: