|credits: Google images|
Big Story out of the Hill today;
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent fired from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team for his anti-Trump texts, had a disappointing message for congressional Republicans when he testified behind closed doors on Wednesday.
According to sources familiar with his testimony, he told members thathe was not involved in the drafting of an application for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Strzok said he provided no substantive input on the application—he didn’t supply any evidence for it and was not involved in presenting it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for approval, according to these sources.
Strzok became a top target for Hill Republicans and the president himself after it was revealed that he sent anti-Trump texts to another FBI agent with whom he was having an affair. The texts raised eyebrows because Strzok worked on both the Clinton email investigation and the probe into potential coordination between Team Trump and the Kremlin. Mueller fired Strzok from his team because of the texts which has caused huge controversy ever since then.
The Justice Department’s inspector general released a major report earlier this month finding no evidence that Strzok’s opposition to Trump informed the decisions he made on the Clinton email probe. But the report also provided new ammo for Strzok’s foes: It publicized a text message where he wrote that “we’ll stop” Trump from getting elected.
Republicans have long wondered whether Strzok played a role in masterminding the FISA application, which has become a key source of conservative criticism of the Justice Department.
“Did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?” conservative Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan asked FBI Director Chris Wray in a congressional hearing last December.
“I’m not prepared to discuss what happened in the court,” Wray replied.
This development my be a major disappointment for Hill Republicans. But there could be more coming up as Bob Mueller prepares his report on the Russian Collusion investigation that has gone on for over a year.