by Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media:
On Thursday morning, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) published a transcript of a June 2018 interview FBI Agent Peter Strzok gave to members of Congress before he was fired in August 2018 over anti-Trump texts between him and his lover, Lisa Page. Strzok had worked on three important investigations: the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the FBI investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion, and the Trump-Russia probe headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
After the anti-Trump texts came to light, Mueller booted Strzok from the special counsel probe, but according to the FBI agent’s testimony, Mueller’s team never asked him whether the anti-Trump bias revealed in his text messages impacted his investigation of alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
In the June 2018 hearing, Strzok repeated over and over that Mueller’s team never asked him about the anti-Trump bias in the texts or whether that bias impacted his work. This news seems particularly damning since it suggests the special counsel’s team did not care whether Strzok’s work was colored by anti-Trump bias.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) asked the FBI agent a long series of questions about the Mueller probe. Strzok told him that the FBI investigation began in late July of 2016, that he was “one of the senior leaders” on that team, and that he joined the special counsel investigation “within a month” after its inception in May 2017.
The FBI agent discussed “the existence of the text messages” in an August 2017 discussion with Mueller and another lawyer, he said.
“There was a sense that special counsel Mueller absolutely wanted to run an investigation that was not only independent but also presented the appearance of independence, and the concern that these texts might be construed otherwise,” Strzok said.
Ratcliffe pressed him, “Do you think it’s fair, as these texts have been characterized, do you think it’s fair to say that they were hateful texts with respect to Donald Trump?”
“I wouldn’t call them hateful. I would call them an expression of personal belief in an individual conversation with a close associate,” the FBI agent responded.