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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the committee would now like to drag back Special Agent Strzok and have him testify in public — a request that we originally made and the committee denied," Aitan Goelman said, according to CNN.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 TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE during the election, leading to GOP accusations that anti-Trump bias tainted the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit More than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record 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 (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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.