FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts says work has never been tainted by political bias


WASHINGTON — An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias launched a defense Thursday at a congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger pointing and veiled references to personal transgressions.

Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team, telling lawmakers that texts he traded with an FBI lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he never once acted on.

"At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took," Strzok said.

The hearing brought a defiant Strzok face-to-face with Republican lawmakers who for months have held up his texts as the embodiment of anti-Trump bias within the FBI. In breaking his months-long silence, Strzok defended his handling of two sensitive investigations in which he played a leading role: inquiries into Hillary Clinton's email use and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

He insisted the FBI had good cause two years ago to start investigating whether the Trump campaign was working with the Kremlin amid allegations of what he described as a Russian offer of assistance to a Trump campaign associate. He characterized anti-Trump text messages with an FBI lawyer as personal communications that he never envisioned becoming public and denied that they had swayed his actions.

Strzok insisted under questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he said "We'll stop" a Trump presidency followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead U.S. service member. He said the text, written late at night and off-the-cuff, reflected his belief that the American public would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behavior" by the Republican presidential candidate.

But, he added in a raised voice and emphatic tone, "It was in no way — unequivocally — any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate. So, I take great offense, and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn't.

Plus, he said, both investigations were handled by large teams.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them," Strzok said. "That is who we are as the FBI. And the suggestion that I, in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI, would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. It simply couldn't happen."

Some Democrats applauded after he finished speaking.

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page colored the outcome of the Clinton investigation and undercut the ongoing Russia probe. Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.

"Agent Strzok had Hillary Clinton winning the White House before he finished investigating her," said Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him. That is bias. Agent Strzok may not see it but the rest of the country does, and it is not what we want, expect or deserve from any law enforcement officer much less the FBI."

The hearing briefly devolved into chaos and open yelling as Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said Strzok needed to answer Republicans' questions and suggested they might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess.

In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus on him by Congress is misguided and plays into "our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt," it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took," he said.

He said he was one of the few people during the 2016 election who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with people in the Trump orbit, and that that information could have derailed Trump's election chances. "But," he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind."

Although Strzok has said through his lawyer that he was eager to tell his side of the story, he made clear his exasperation at being the focal point of a congressional hearing at a time when Russian election interference has been successfully "sowing discord in our nation and shaking faith in our institutions."

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart," Strzok said. "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in."

The contentious hearing follows hours of private questioning last week. It also reflects an effort to shift attention away from the content of Strzok's texts and onto what he says is the more pressing issue: the Russians' "grave attack" on American democracy and continuing efforts to divide the country.

Republicans eager for ways to discredit Mueller's investigation have for months held up the texts from Strzok and Page to support allegations of anti-Trump bias within federal law enforcement.

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton. And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season, including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election, actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump.

FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials. Strzok's lawyer has said he was escorted from the FBI building as the disciplinary process winds its way through the system.

Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


abb says...

LOL..."this guy"....

Posted 12 July 2018, 9:40 a.m. Suggest removal

RBear says...

LOL @ abb. That troll.

Posted 12 July 2018, 11:12 a.m. Suggest removal

JiminyC56 says...

The entire DoJ, including particularly the FBI, is corrupt beyond any redemption. Nuke the whole thing, abolish the FBI, establish a new Federal Police Department in its place, and staff it with the best and least corrupt state and local law enforcement personnel you can find, with every single person who ever worked for DoJ or the FBI being ineligible.

Posted 12 July 2018, 12:30 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

Strzok was amazing in his testimony today. I loved seeing Trey Gowdy get put in his place so adeptly.

Posted 12 July 2018, 1:10 p.m. Suggest removal

skeptic1 says...

This whole disgusting mess is unfolding to make Watergate look like a frat prank. Keep in mind it took nearly three years before Watergate got truly exposed. If there are not several indictments forthcoming and soon, Trump should do a clean sweep and remove every high ranking person from the FBI and DOJ with Congress passing stiff laws to prevent this from happening again. The FBI's behavior is right up there with any other Banana Republic.

Posted 12 July 2018, 1:13 p.m. Suggest removal

JohnnyScaredOfLightning says...

The respect the DOJ, and FBI used to have is now long gone. It appears some in their administration are as bad as the criminals they're supposed to protect us from. They intentionally chose to ignore blatant crimes by HITLERy, and chose to magnify any evidence (even artificially created evidence) against President Trump. They have wasted millions of the American Taxpayer's money on an obviously biased Witch Hunt.

Posted 12 July 2018, 1:27 p.m. Suggest removal

0boxerssuddenlinknet says...

hang this traitor and his mistress !

Posted 12 July 2018, 1:59 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

The Constitution never meant to create a Federal police force. Even an FBI was not accepted until the 1900s. Therefore, just abolish the FBI and allow the states to enforce laws within their borders.

Posted 12 July 2018, 2:04 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

"The FBI's behavior is right up there with any other Banana Republic."
Every poster on here (whether democrat or republican) should agree with this. The fact that Comey announced that Hillary is back under investigation election week, and the text messages sent by Strzok during his investigations, should pi$$ off both sides of the aisle.

Posted 12 July 2018, 2:09 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

And Libertarians, who believe that the Constitution does not allow for the FBI or even agents of the IRS and other Federal Agents, should be agreeing with the abolishment of the FBI. This should be a kumbaya moment for everyone.

Posted 12 July 2018, 2:10 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

I hope to see some of Strzok's testimony sometime tonight but it's all pretty much theatrics on both sides of the aisle. Most people would be embarrassed to show their face in public had they been exposed like this Strzok character - exposed for cheating on his wife, communicating via text message like a petulant child, crapping on the reputation of the FBI, and acting like he could conduct investigations about someone he admittedly detests in a fair and impartial manner.
And are Strzok and Page still playing hide the salami? Did they go back to their respective spouses? Is Strzok still getting paid $150,000 per year to build paper clip chains at a desk? Would some REAL reporter provide an update?

Posted 12 July 2018, 2:25 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Strzok was amazing. He laughed at Gomer Gohmert and basically made Howdey Gowdy look like he was repeatedly hitting himself in the face. Hilarious.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:20 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...

The same people who think the FBI is our enemy are the same ones dumb enough to think Putin is our friend.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:24 p.m. Suggest removal

BoudinMan says...

I'm old enough to remember when repugs were the "law and order" party. Now, they attack the FBI and the DOJ on a daily basis. I wish they would just love our country.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:29 p.m. Suggest removal

JiminyC56 says...

no 23cal, the ones who know the FBI is corrupt are the ones who pay for you to exist on your government handouts.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:29 p.m. Suggest removal

23cal says...

Jiminy...About "....... exist on your government handouts. "
You are an ignorant and blustering fool. I retired financially comfortably at age 55 ten years ago and haven't even started collecting social security yet. I do not and have not had "government handouts", unless you include Medicare at age 65.
Thank you for providing another example of how you just make up lies and stupid stuff and present it as fact. I'm wondering if whoever is responsible for you turns you loose with your own spoon at feeding time.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:39 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

BoD..."...Now, they attack the FBI and the DOJ on a daily basis."
Which your group, maybe not you specifically (maybe someone can respond if they remember), when Comey stated that the Hillary case was being reopened. Hell, all democrats were calling for his head, then when Trump cut it off, the same people started yelling obstruction.
The fact is that the FBI is unnecessary and laws should be enforced by the states. It is actually borderline (if not completely) unconstitutional. SCOTUS ruled that federal gov't has no place in policing the country, except in gov't enclaves such as DC and military bases for example.

Posted 12 July 2018, 4:57 p.m. Suggest removal

dunk7474 says...

NEVER have the Repubbies sounded so ignorant. How these goof balls got elected is anybodies guess. The conservative party exists no longer.

Posted 12 July 2018, 5:23 p.m. Suggest removal

mrcharles says...

Yes sir eeeee. Then there state's sure do a good job of law and order. Let me remember mississippi , just hypothetically with their stern and righteous investigation of the death of the civil right workers. Uncle Joe tells me not to pick on mississippi, as this was the south in the days of law and order . By the way do EWE all know bull connor's name had the guy ole luke wrote to , Theophilus, guess his momma must have been a saintly woman.

And dont dare brinng up the dead, scalia, just because he was a member of the federalist society and was a good catholic with good catholic ideas [ not sure why you them there protestants dont convert on the spot in honor of his Justiceness] and of course lets not forget his protection of culture by being aginnn that homosexual agenda. yes sir the right wants more super biased judges like him to render good book justice, not the U. S. Code, but the goatherders guide to the galaxy.

guess sessions was right to recuse himself . And that there sea bass, moral giant that he is , that there cheating on his wife, like newt the lizard G, or there is a certain person in power now that may have done that, the creep's name just escapes me but they say his daughter is a great piece of a$$-- Uncle joe says that was not a saying but an affirmation from the moral guide to the WH.

that petulant child statement , I thought sea bass meant trump till i read further.

Hey , the texas wonder and benghazi politicize leader did look like the face made when asking trump a logical question... to be enjoyed like sipping fine wine, savior the moment.

Anyone for a game of golf at taxpayers expense?

I heard Un leader threw all his nukes in the ocean. Wow, now we are safe.

Posted 12 July 2018, 5:42 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Liberals vs. America....again.

Posted 12 July 2018, 5:50 p.m. Suggest removal

dunk7474 says...

Packboy: Aren't you glad that your not an ignorant, stupid, dumb, bozo Republican. This hearing shows that the adjectives I've used are not even close to the one's I could use for Repubbies. Not a smart one in the entire hearing.

Posted 12 July 2018, 5:53 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

MrC...."Anyone for a game of golf at taxpayers expense?"
Exactly same complaints by the loser republicans about Obama. Remember the throwing a fit when he was playing with some basketball start or someone like that. It seemed like every other picture posted on the web was Obama playing a round of golf at another resort. So, exactly what I said to the repubs back then, just STFU! It takes away from any possible "legitimate" claim you might be able to pull off of the H-Post.

Posted 12 July 2018, 7:15 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

Dunk...Are you insane? The democrats wouldn't shut the hell up and allow the questions to be asked. All they did was act like a bunch of petulant children. If they would have shut the he11 up the questions could have been asked, the corrupt FBI agent could have refused to answer and we could get on with something important. I have never got so sick of hearing "Point of Order, Mr. Chair!" In other words, let me interrupt as often as possible and start crying because you are asking questions I don't like. A person acting that way in Court would have found their a$$ in jail. They were not supposed to be there to "protect" the witness from answering questions, they were supposed to be ASKING the questions. Then went insane over the question/statement about the corrupt Agent's affair, while sending out tweets about Trump talking about (not doing) trapping some girls pu$$y years ago, and just a few years ago defending another guy for shoving a cigar up another girls'.

Posted 12 July 2018, 7:21 p.m. Suggest removal

abb says...

Back when I was growing up, The Democrats railed against the FBI back when the FBI were rooting out Communists. Today the FBI has been inundated with smarmy uninformed academic leftists with disdain for normal everyday Americans. Predictably, the left is defending them. All of this is behavior as predictable as being bitten by a scorpion in your sleeping bag. Normal Americans are #walkaway from this communistic party.

Posted 12 July 2018, 7:27 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Strzok, pro: ‘stroke,’ like what the republitards had when they realized he wasn’t going to comment on the Mueller investigation, was spectacular. Gomer Gohmert had the hubris to make it personal re Strzok’s affair, when Gohmert’s feckless orange baby king is on his 3rd wife (2nd illegal alien wife) who has cheated on all of them. I loved it when someone told Gomer to ‘take his meds.’ He has a long history of paranoid behavior.

Posted 12 July 2018, 8:04 p.m. Suggest removal

carpenterretired says...

Recall GOP's Tail Gunner Joe's anti-communist hearings in the early 1950s claiming treason by anyone who did not hate Russia ,but today we had GOP congressmen having a love feast hearing for Trump /Putin treason and on this site a turnip truck load of Putin /Trump Quislings who place the well being of their orange fuehrer ahead of the well being of the country ( the smell of treason in the air) ,true about one third of 18th century Americans remained loyal to George III (conservative Tories), and in late 1930s,1940 the America Frist Committee (conservatives) which had the support of all pro-Nazi groups in US , then the old Aaron Burr /James Wilkinson love feast with Spain ,so now is not the first time many patriotic Americans have been duped into condoning treason.

Posted 12 July 2018, 10:25 p.m. Suggest removal

ARMNAR says...

abb longs for another Roy Cohn.

Posted 12 July 2018, 11:49 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

Most educated people do not like Trump. It's not just the liberals. Those who like Trump tend not to read newspapers and seem unaware that Putin is an evil dictator who poisons political opponents and is seeking to destroy America. Trump does Putin's bidding. The Republicans very unwisely are supporting this corrupt president.

Posted 13 July 2018, 7:36 a.m. Suggest removal

JiminyC56 says...

You libbies give Russia too much credit. Just how gullible are you idiots. PopMom when you say educated I think you mean indoctrinated. It's mindless fools such as yourself that never learned to think on your own and continue to believe whatever you are told in those newspapers. Pull your head out of the sand! Strzok wants us to believe he had no bias in his investigations when emails and texts prove his personal vendetta against Trump and support for Hillary....the 2 people he was charged with investigating. If you believe Strzok is/was unbiased I have some ocean front property in Hot Springs I would like to sell you, it would be a great retirement property.

Posted 13 July 2018, 8:15 a.m. Suggest removal

carpenterretired says...

Sounds like one fellow wants to sell some ocean front property that someone suckered him into buying , but then he seems to be a mindless fool indoctrinated by Fox News.

Posted 13 July 2018, 6:32 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...


What FACTS do you not believe? Are you denying that Russians hacked the DNC system? Are you denying that they paid Manafort and Flynn? Are you denying the evidence that the Russians placed ads on Facebook and other social media to sew discontent among the American people? Are you denying the numerous meetings and ties between Trump campaign officials and Russians? Are you denying that Putin is an evil dictator? Are you denying that Trump wants better relations with this evil dictator and does not want to punish them for trying to influence our elections? Why won't you follow the paper trail? You people remind me of the Nazis who are Holocaust deniers. You just refuse to believe the truth.

Posted 14 July 2018, 7:15 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

I have a question, Those of you that use a barber or beautician, or any other person you hire services rendered from, how do you know they don't hate your guts, and deep down wish you'd take your business elsewhere? Yet every time you use them for what ever, they do the job you are paying them to do, and do it well, and to your satisfaction, and you keep going back. That is called professionalism. Every professional in all types of situations do it daily. The FBI agent is and was able to do it. LR ATTY did you ever represent a client that you really didn't like, to the best of your ability? Again Professionalism. Now if you had a job where you took orders rather than gave orders you are more prone to believe that one cannot do what I have said. To those folks I say too bad your life experience has been so limited.

Posted 14 July 2018, 8 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...


Posted 14 July 2018, 4:01 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..."...illegal alien wife..."
Now I understand the left's ignorance when it comes to illegal aliens and what exactly the term "illegal" means. I don't believe that his wife was in the back of a truck, swimming the Rio, crawling under some fence or through some tunnel to get to the United States. She married a US citizen and proved that they had a legitimate marriage. Therefore, she was never illegal. I know you already know all of this, but for the blind idiots that read your post and would go spouting it everywhere, I just want them to know that you are a dumba$$ idiot spouting things that are very untrue (basically you are a liar calling other people liars).

Posted 15 July 2018, 8:38 a.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

PM..."...Russians hacked the DNC system?"
"...denying that they paid Manafort and Flynn?"
"...denying the evidence that the Russians placed ads on Facebook and other social media to sew discontent..."
"...denying the numerous meetings and ties between Trump campaign officials and Russians?"
"...denying that Putin is an evil dictator?"
"...denying that Trump wants better relations with this evil dictator..."
However, none of this leads to collusion or any violation of American law by Trump! Every presidential campaign has had numerous meetings with Russians and other dictators during and after elections. Mannafort and Flynn were prior to (by many years) Trump's campaign. The DNC was hacked by same people that received a duplicate email for every email sent and received from and by Hillary on her private server. The ads on Facebook have always been there, and there will always be idiots that connect dots that do not exist (look at Jones in Texas, and you here). All Presidents wanted better relations with Russia, including Obama and Hillary (as Secretary of State), remember reset button? You people need to get a life and work on trying to win people over to vote in 2020 or you will go completely insane by then.

Posted 15 July 2018, 8:48 a.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

TT...yes I agree, however, I would never text or do anything that could undermine my representation of someone I am representing, no matter how much I detest them. I would do my job and keep my mouth shut about my personal beliefs and never put them into a permanent format (part of the reason I stay anonymous on here, but if the right people read all of my posts they would be able to glean and guess who I am).

Posted 15 July 2018, 8:51 a.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...


What other foreign dictators have a history of posting on Facebook to cause dissension in America? None. What other president has had many campaign officials who were paid by a evil foreign dictator? None. What other president has looked the other way while a foreign country has tried to hack our voting systems? None. What other president has tried obstruct justice after a break in of a campaign rival? One. Nixon, and he had to resign rather than be removed from office. You just seem very clueless as to why we should deal sharply with Russia on this issue. The only explanation for Trump's very strange behavior and the plethora of contacts between his campaign and Russia is that he is a co-conspirator.

Posted 15 July 2018, 10:31 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRAtty, There being in the position that you are in with those that could read your responses on here and know who you are that you make sure to never cross any of those folks, as if it should ever be something they needed to use against you they can prove it was you.

Posted 15 July 2018, 10:33 a.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

PM...You are just asking questions and stating lies. Every President has done everything you asked. Everyone that knew how to use facebook to post false stories has been doing it since Facebook was put out there. It is free advertising and any lies told will be spouted by several idiots after they read them. Obama had the interference pointed out to him and he just said "don't do that." Trump brought up the possibility that illegals were voting in the elections and liberals like you went BSC. This has been going on since the beginning of freedom of the press. Hell, most media outlet up to and including election day were yelling that Hillary would win by a landslide (why? Not sure. Maybe to try and get the voters in later closings not to vote). Come on, there is absolutely no proof or indication that any votes were changed, and you will always have a few idiots that will believe anything they see or hear, as shown by many posters on here every day.

Posted 15 July 2018, 12:18 p.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Sure, PopSnob, only those highly educated morons with a worthless degree in semothibg that ends in the word "Studies" and $100,000 in college debt are intelligent enough to hate President Trump. Those poor, dumb high school educated rubes, the ones with real jobs a no college debt, that don't read newspapers, like President Trump. Right, PopSnob?

Posted 15 July 2018, 10:53 p.m. Suggest removal

DontDrinkDatKoolAid says...

Strzok is in deep water now..

Posted 16 July 2018, 3:08 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRATTY, the decision who to vote for was changed by all of the Russian ads and false information that was put out there, so your statement about votes not being changed only relates to the numbers in the ballot box, and the ability to actually change the markings or the electronic vote. Koolaid, be careful of all that you use to do the things you hire done, as they may actually hate you and cannot let their professionalism take over and feel the need to do you harm. You know unlike the FBI guy's ability.

Posted 16 July 2018, 7:47 a.m. Suggest removal

WhododueDiligence says...

After calling PopMom a liar, LRCA said "Trump brought up the possibility that illegals were voting in the elections and liberals like you went BSC."
That's a funny way to put it. What Trump actually said was this: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." Now THAT is BSC. It's based on a fabricated BSC conspiracy story which has zero evidence to support it. When fact checkers checked this claim (and rated it false), one voting expert told the fact checkers this wild conspiracy tale is "obscenely ludicrous" because there's no way millions of people could have voted illegally without being detected.
It makes no sense for a person to vote illegally because one vote won't influence a presidential election, so there's ZERO reward. And the RISKS for voting illegally--fines in the $thousands, imprisonment, loss of job, deportation, etc.--can be devastating.

Posted 16 July 2018, 8:45 a.m. Suggest removal

Packman says...

Watching all these snotty nosed libs defend Peter Strozk is incredibly telling. Nothing screams honesty and integrity like lying with a straight face to your spouse for weeks on end while you're getting neekid with a co-worker.
No sane person would EVER conclude Strozk was unbiased in light of his thoughts as shown in the text messages to his illicit lover. As a result, we now have another face of the "resistance"
Face 1 - Maxine "Helmet Hair" Waters.
Face 2 - That lying liar, Peter Strozk.
Face 3 -The young socialist from New York that is a walking, talking gaffe machine.
Face 4 - The Breasts of the Resistance, Stormy Daniels.
And all the D's' had to do to re-take the House and Senate in the midterms and win in 2020 was not be insane. Obviously, insanity just comes natural to liberal democrats.

Posted 16 July 2018, 9 a.m. Suggest removal

WhododueDiligence says...

"Watching all these snotty nosed libs defend Peter Strozk is incredibly telling."
Packman, "incredibly telling" is an oxymoron. If it's not credible, what does it tell you?

Posted 16 July 2018, 6:33 p.m. Suggest removal

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