Back in July, news broke that supervising FBI agent Peter Strzok had been removed from the Trump-Russia probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and demoted to a position within the agency’s HR department. On August 24, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena requesting information about Strzok’s dismissal. The subpoena was, unsurprisingly, stonewalled.
But on Saturday – more than three months after Strzok’s demotion – both the Washington Post and New York Times published bombshell reports that Strzok was dismissed due to anti-Trump text messages he had sent to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page. And on Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes demanded that leadership at both the FBI and the Justice Department be held in contempt of Congress for covering up the texts.
“By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” Nunes said in a statement, adding, “This is part of a months-long pattern by the DOJ and FBI of stonewalling and obstructing this committee’s oversight work, particularly oversight of their use of the Steele dossier. At this point, these agencies should be investigating themselves.”
Nunes isn’t wrong. According to the Post, Strzok and Page – who were having an extramarital affair – had exchanged text messages that “expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.” In other words, upon discovery of the texts it became clear that Strzok was incapable of conducting an unbiased, objective investigation of Trump, and Mueller was correct to dismiss him. But why cover up the texts? Probably because they lend credence to Trump’s belief that he’s the target of a witch hunt.
But if it’s not bad enough that Strzok was investigating Trump, he also played a critical role in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server – which has already been exposed as a huge Clinton coddle-fest.
Following Nunes’s threat, the Justice Department finally agreed to allow congressional investigators to interview Strzok. We might have a new administration, but it seems that the FBI and DOJ still believe they’re above the law.
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