National Security

FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts offers to testify on Capitol Hill

FBI agent Peter Strzok offered to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in a letter from his attorney released on Sunday.

The letter was drafted by Strzok’s attorney Aitan Goelman and was sent to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). 

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The letter comes amid reports that Goodlatte had begun initiating procedures to subpoena Strzok, who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election meddling after it was revealed he sent anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

“While you are, of course, free to continue pursuing this process, it is wholly unnecessary,” Goelman wrote in the letter. 

“Special Agent Strzok, who has been fully cooperative with the [Justice Department] Office of Inspector General, intends to voluntarily appear and testify before your committee and any other Congressional committee that invites him,” he continued. 

Goelman elaborated on Strzok’s reasoning for testifying on Sunday in an interview with The Washington Post, saying the agent “wants the chance to clear his name and tell his story.”

“He thinks that his position, character and actions have all been misrepresented and caricatured, and he wants an opportunity to remedy that,” Goelman said. 

Goelman said Strzok would be willing to testify without immunity, and that he would not use his Fifth Amendment rights in response to questions.

Strzok’s testimony could reveal more details about the FBI investigator’s reasoning and motives in some of the bureau’s publicized probes. 

Strzok was thrust into headlines last week after a highly anticipated Justice Department inspector general report cited a previously undisclosed text message exchange between Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page that took place during the 2016 campaign. 

Strzok, who was having an affair with Page during the campaign, told her that they would “stop” Trump from becoming president.

He was removed from Mueller’s probe last year after his text messages with Page surfaced. 

In addition to working on Mueller’s Russia probe, he also worked on the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. 

The report found that political bias at the FBI did not directly influence the conclusion of the Clinton investigation or the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute the former secretary of State. 

The inspector general also said that Strzok never used his position to work against Trump’s election, but noted that it showed the FBI agent’s willingness to do so.

President Trump and his allies have railed against Strzok in the days after the report’s release, citing the text messages as proof of bias against Trump. 

“The IG Report totally destroys James Comey and all of his minions including the great lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who started the disgraceful Witch Hunt against so many innocent people. It will go down as a dark and dangerous period in American History!” Trump said in a tweet on Saturday.  

Tags Bob Goodlatte Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Comey Robert Mueller

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