Hearing a 'victory notch in Putin's belt': Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in Russian Federation probe

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 14, 2018

In breaking his months-long silence, Strzok vigorously defended his handling of two hugely sensitive investigations in which he played a leading role: inquiries into Hillary Clinton's email use and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

The last part of comment, referencing the extramarital affair between Strzok and Page, prompted jeers from others on the committee, including one person who could be heard saying, "This is outrageous".

Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, questioned Mr. Strzok about his dismissal from Mr. Mueller's team, saying the texts disparaging President Trump showed he was biased. Finally, after months of waiting, Strzok got his chance to address that matter - and delivered a scorching monologue fit for the climax of an Aaron Sorkin script.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", Strzok said.

"My presumption [was] based on that awful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok explained. "It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate".

"I've talked to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents around the country".

As Gohmert went through his speaking time at a hearing on Thursday with the agent accused of anti-Trump bias, the Texas Republican sparred with another lawmaker, who called his statements a "disgrace".

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for engaging in "large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 USA presidential election". "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".

"I strongly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt", he told members of the committees.

Strzok replied, "No, Mr. Gowdy, it wasn't".

"It wasn't the discovery of your texts, Mr. Strzok".

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety. He said it was not a declaration that he or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would improperly interfere with the electoral process.

It is point that has been largely brushed aside in Trump-friendly media circles, with a text Strzok sent to Page in May 2017 also receiving comparatively little scrutiny. Horowitz told lawmakers after the report's release that he is not confident that Strzok was unbiased during the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails.

"It felt like a public lynching", Dana Perino, a Fox News Host and a former White House press secretary under President George W Bush, said of the Republicans' interrogation of Strzok.

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