Peter Strzok plans to call scrutiny ‘another notch in Putin’s belt’: report

Peter Strzok plans to call scrutiny ‘another notch in Putin’s belt’: report
© Greg Nash

FBI agent Peter Strzok reportedly plans to tell lawmakers during public testimony on Thursday that the focus on his anti-Trump text messages with another FBI employee is aiding Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Associated Press, which reviewed prepared remarks Strzok is expected to deliver, reported that the FBI agent will defend himself against the intense scrutiny from GOP lawmakers by saying his work has been free of political bias.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok will say, according to the AP. 

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He is expected to tell lawmakers that Congress’s focus on his actions and text messages “is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”

Strzok has come under fire from conservatives in recent months after it was revealed that he and then-fellow FBI employee Lisa Page exchanged anti-Trump text messages and talked about the need to "stop" the real estate mogul from winning the 2016 election. The two were having an affair at the time.

Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election after Mueller learned of the messages.

That has not stopped Trump and his allies from seizing on the messages as an indication of bias within the investigation and the Department of Justice as a whole. Trump on Wednesday questioned "how can the rigged witch hunt can proceed" given Strzok's involvement.

Strzok is expected to push back against Trump's characterizations of the probe during his testimony. The AP reported that he will say the investigation is "not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax.”