This could be the television event of the summer. Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok has sent word through his lawyer that he is willing to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, and he’s not even asking for immunity in order to do so. Supposedly in an effort to clear his name, Strzok – whose anti-Trump text messages got him removed from the Mueller investigation and sparked considerable outrage – has told Rep. Bob Goodlatte that he’s ready to appear in front of Congress and the world to tell his story.
“Special Agent Strzok, who has been fully cooperative with the Office of Inspector General, intends to voluntarily appear and testify before your committee and any other Congressional committee that invites him,” said his lawyer, Aitan Goelman, in a letter to Goodlatte this weekend.
The letter comes just after Goodlatte told House Democrats that he was sending Strzok a subpoena so that he could explain to the Judiciary Committee why he sent certain disturbing text messages to his FBI lover, Lisa Page. Among those messages: One particularly troubling exchange where Strzok promised Page that “we will stop” Donald Trump from being elected President of the United States. At the time, Strzok was the lead investigator on the “Crossfire Hurricane” operation looking into ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
In the inspector general’s report that was released last week, IG Michael Horowitz concluded that the “we will stop it” text “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
Horowitz concluded that this was “antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
The guy has a real knack for understatement.
In comments to the Washington Post, Goelman said that while Strzok regretted sending the text messages, he was merely “expressing his political opinions.”
“He thinks that his position, character and actions have all been misrepresented and caricatured, and he wants an opportunity to remedy that,” Goelman said.
We’ll be watching with keen interest to see if Strzok has anything to say that can put his messages in a more favorable light, but we have serious doubts about his ability to do so. Furthermore, we don’t see how he’s going to convince the American people that he was exchanging these “political opinions” with his lover while simultaneously conducting the Trump/Russia investigation without a whiff of bias. It just doesn’t track with what was said in the messages or with what we know about human nature.
Still, bring on the show. Put this man under the harsh lights on Capitol Hill. We might be surprised at what comes out.