Skip to comments.FBI agent set for public House grilling (Peter Strzok)
Posted on 07/11/2018 2:34:25 PM PDT by yesthatjallen
House Republicans are sharpening their knives for Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the counterintelligence agent and former FBI lawyer who exchanged a series of anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 campaign.
Two powerful committees Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform will publicly grill Strzok on Thursday. And conservatives have given Page 48 hours to comply with a subpoena that she flouted on Wednesday morning, either by appearing behind closed doors on Friday or alongside Strzok in public on Thursday.
The fight over Strzok and Page has become increasingly acrimonious. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) threatened to hold Page in contempt on Wednesday, while a lawyer for Page accused Republicans of bullying tactics in their investigation into the bureaus handling of investigations during the 2016 election.
Strzok, who is under subpoena to testify Thursday morning, has agreed to appear but has criticized House Republicans as having a disdain for the truth. He has called for lawmakers to release the transcript of an 11-hour interview he gave investigators behind closed doors last month.
House GOP members see Strzok and Page, who were having an extra-marital affair at the time they were exchanging thousands of texts, as the key to unraveling what they say was systemic anti-Trump bias at the Department of Justice during the election.
Strzok was a key investigator in both the Clinton email investigation and the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaigns alleged ties to Russia.
Page, meanwhile, was a close advisor to then-deputy director Andrew McCabe, who Republicans have long argued harbored pro-Clinton sympathies.
Democrats alternatively have derided the GOP-led investigation as a political witch-hunt designed to muddy the waters around special counsel Robert Muellers investigation. The ranking members of both committees on Wednesday released a swath of questions Republicans asked the agent that they said showed an intent to obstruct the Mueller probe.
According to Democrats, Republicans asked more than 200 questions about the Special Counsels investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign and the FBIs investigation into Russias interference with the election.
They also questioned Strzok about his personal voting practices and his relationship with Page.
I dont mean to embarrass you, but is Lisa Page someone that you do or at some point in time did love? Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), one of the lead investigators, allegedly asked Strzok.
His testimony on Thursday is expected to be a contentious affair.
Following his closed-door testimony, Republicans hinted gravely that they had learned unspecified new information that is connected to the FBIs handling of investigations during the 2016 election but provided no evidence or specifics to substantiate their claims.
The GOP members who attended that interview all fierce critics of the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) were particularly interested in the timeline of events surrounding the opening of the FBIs original counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaigns alleged ties to Russia.
According to Pages lawyer, her refusal to appear before the panel on Wednesday morning was because she had not yet received enough information about the scope of the committees questioning and access to certain FBI filesher notes and other documents, which because they were a bureau work product, she does not possess.
Her attorney, Amy Jeffress, said in a Wednesday morning statement that we are working to arrange that process quickly so that we can move forward with her appearance before the Committees.
But House Republicans were not satisfied by that rationale.
Shouldnt take that long to familiarize yourself with something you wrote, said Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
Page will be given two opportunities to comply with the subpoena, according to a Republican lawmaker familiar with the matterThursday in public with Strzok or 10 a.m. Friday in private.
And if she didnt comply with the subpoena on either of those two additional opportunities, then at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, we would initiate contempt, the lawmaker said.
Strzok, who was recently escorted from the FBI in what is believed to be a precursor to dismissal, was heavily criticized in a 500-page report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Horowitz found that he displayed a biased state of mind during a critical phase of the Clinton investigation, but that no decision made during the course of the probe was a result of bias or improper influence.
Mueller removed Strzok from his team when Horowitz alerted him of the texts with Page.
The inspector general found that his texts with Page suggested he might be willing to take official action to hurt Trumps electoral prospects.
But despite the cloud that the text exchanges between Strzok and Page cast on the investigation, the inspector general found, Strzok was not the sole decision-maker in any of the incidents the report examined. And in some instances prior to the July announcement, the report notes, Strzok and Page advocated for more aggressive investigative measures in the Midyear investigation, such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to obtain evidence.
In perhaps the most explosive new revelation from the report, Strzok told Page Well stop it, after being asked, [Trumps] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!
That text, the report said, was indicative of a biased state of mind and suggested that Strzok may have intentionally slow-rolled the review of emails connected to the Clinton investigation. Emails discovered on a laptop belonging to former New York congressman Anthony Weiner (D) essentially led the Clinton probe to be reopened a little more than a week before the 2016 election.
Strzok told investigators at the time that he was prioritizing the investigation into the Trump campaigns ties to Russia.
In his closed-door interview with congressional investigators, he repeatedly denied showing political favoritism to Clinton over Trump.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, it was not clear how Page would respond to the choices laid out by the joint task force.
Strzok is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m.
Watch for this turkey to take the 5th.
Public hearing sessions are NOTHING but a chance for Congressmen to grandstand. Absolutely guaranteed that nothing of any importance or anything not previously disclosed will come from this.
Pfft....major kabuki he won’t show up and if he does he will take the 5th. None of these people will ever be held accountable.
Hmmm. Five fifths equals “hole” right?
I appreciate the house doing their job but the low life scumbag AG will do nothing.
Page risking her own contempt to watch Strzok’s public testimony before her own testimony? Of course.
I can give them a free grill.
When do these creeps get arrested? Short of that I no longer give a $hit.
They need to bring this jackass and his girlfriend in together. It’s bull**** allowing her to listen to his story to get her “facts” straight before she goes in to testify.
The whole FBI needs to be torn down and rebuilt, like the US military was after Vietnam. Maybe torn down and not rebuilt. Maybe the whole DoJ. Between Mueller and Comey, it shows they are doing very little worthwhile for the American people. We can afford to be without that agency for a while.
Unless there is going to be an actual grill involved, I’m not interested.
Why bother? Congress is impotent. No one has anything to fear from either house.
Congressional PUBLIC oversight is important. The problem isn't with the handful of Congressman who are performing this function "patriotically".
The problem is with the GOP leadership and the RINOs in Congress who don't support congressional oversight.
Add to that, the problem is with your buddies, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray who refuse to do their jobs correctly.
I want to watch Gowdy make them CRY!
I look forward to being able to post Thursday evening on the article telling us all about the hearing, “See I told this was a waste of time.”
Bout time this got back on the front page. Lets hope a cat doesnt get stuck in a tree.
Ask Peter Scroat-bag to estimate how many times he has engaged in sex while within federal buildings?
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