Friday, 17 August, 2018

Another View: FBI agent's hearing damaged our democracy's health

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with the leaders of the Baltic states Room erupts in anger and disbelief after Rep. Louie Gohmert asks FBI agent Peter Strzok about affair
Sherry Houston | 15 July, 2018, 10:11

Page and Strzok exchanged thousands of messages on government-issued mobile phones - texts which came to light a year ago, and which were quoted in a report by the Justice Department inspector general which determined there was "no evidence" that the conclusions of prosecutors in the Clinton case were affected by bias.

The Washington Post hailed Strzok as a tough talker whose commitment to the truth had gotten support from Democrats on the committees.

Strzok angrily responded, saying the "we'll stop it" text came in response to campaign occurrences such as Trump insulting the immigrant father of a fallen USA soldier.

The comment prompted howls from Democrats, including one who shouted, "You need your medication".

"I don't think you'll have any 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me, '" Trump said Friday morning before the indictments were announced. "This was not about getting answers from Strzok".

"Mr. Gowdy, my understanding of why I was kicked off was that based on an understanding of those texts, and the perception that they might create-" Strzok said.

Republicans have repeatedly attempted to throw Strzok's credibility into question, accusing him of harboring political bias during his work on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigatory team from which he was sacked after the messages surfaced. The Judiciary Committee had threatened her with contempt of Congress if she didn't appear.

It wasn't the FBI that removed Strzok from the investigation.

Democrats led by top Judiciary Committee Democrat Jerrold Nadler of NY on Friday continued to cast the Republican-driven effort as a campaign to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian meddling and whether anyone in the Trump campaign was involved in it.

Strzok worked on the Russian Federation investigation, which the FBI started but that Mueller later took over.

The Fox News host said it was part of a strategy to protect Strzok, and Strassel agreed, suggesting that she believed the entire organization is corrupt.

A former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer met privately with members of Congress Friday to discuss texts critical of Donald Trump that she exchanged with her Federal Bureau of Investigation agent lover during the 2016 USA presidential campaign. And my presumption, based on that frightful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.

The Justice Department's "criminal charges provide hard evidence that Russian intel agents attacked America to boost their favorite candidates, undermine others, and influence our elections", Warren declared.

The cable news networks televised the wild hearing, as Republicans led the attack on Strzok and Democrats defended him. They allowed Strzok's former lover Lisa Page to delay her committee appearance - originally scheduled for Wednesday - until after she had ample opportunity to observe his televised testimony.

"I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign", Strzok told the lawmakers, but "exposing that information never crossed my mind".

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