Attorney suggests FBI's Strzok might not comply with subpoena

Attorney suggests FBI's Strzok might not comply with subpoena
© Greg Nash

Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence agent caught up in a political firestorm over anti-Trump texts he exchanged during the 2016 presidential race, might not comply with a recent subpoena issued by two powerful House committees, according to his attorney.

"My client will testify soon, somewhere, sometime," Lawyer Aitan Goelman told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday night. "We just got this subpoena today, so I don't know whether or not we are going to be testifying next Tuesday in front of these two particular House subcommittees."

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However, Goelman hesitated to respond with a direct "yes" when asked if Strzok would comply with the subpoena. He said he and Strzok had come to the conclusion that “this is not a search for truth — it is a chance for Republican members of the House to preen and posture before their most radical conspiracy-minded constituents.”

The lawyer said political bias on the part of House Republicans had clouded the investigation into his client's conduct.

"From our experience with the committee thus far, it is obvious that they don't want the truth. They don't want to hear what Pete has to say," he said, referring to the House Judiciary Committee.

The attorney's comments come a day after Goelman sent the Judiciary panel a letter accusing them of creating a "trap" for his client and selectively leaking portions of Strzok's previous testimony, which was held behind closed doors.

"Having sharpened their knives behind closed doors, the committee would now like to drag back Special Agent Strzok and have him testify in public — a request that we originally made and the committee denied," Aitan Goelman said, according to CNN. "What's being asked of Special Agent Strzok is to participate in what anyone can recognize as a trap."

The scrutiny over Strzok's conduct at the FBI comes after leaked text messages revealed he had expressed views critical of then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE during the election, leading to GOP accusations that anti-Trump bias tainted the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE's private email server. 

A recent Justice Department inspector general report was heavily critical of Strzok but found that political bias did not mar the bureau's investigations. Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE had Strzok removed from the investigation into Russian election meddling after the text messages were revealed.

House Democrats, meanwhile, have accused their Republican counterparts of leading a partisan witch hunt against Strzok and the FBI.