Agent denies anti-Trump text messages during 2016 election prove bias
South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy took off the gloves Thursday as he questioned biased FBI agent Peter Strzok about being kicked off the Russia probe.
In a tense exchange before the House Oversight and House Judiciary committees, the former FBI Deputy Assistant Director attempted to claim his texts weren’t the reason he was booted from the investigation – rather, he says, FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller was worried about the “appearance” his anti-Trump texts might create.
At one point Gowdy tells Strzok he “doesn’t give a damn” how the agent feels about how he worded a question. Here’s a transcript of the tense exchange:
GOWDY: Your testimony is Bob Mueller did not kick you off because of the content of your text, he kicked you off because of some appearance that he was worried about?
STRZOK: My testimony — what you asked, and what I responded to – was that he kicked me off because of my bias. I’m stating to you, it is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias. That it was done based an appearance. If you want to represent what you said accurately, I’m happy to answer that question, but I don’t appreciate what was originally said being changed.
GOWDY: I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok. I don’t appreciate having FBI agent unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016.
Several text messages from Strzok to his mistress Lisa Page showed the FBI agent, who led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server, held an anti-Trump bias during the election, saying at one time, “there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.”
Check out the entire 15-minute exchange: