(CNSNews.com) - Peter Strzok, who according to the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice engaged in an adulterous affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, swore under oath in a joint hearing of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that he was responsible for overseeing “every espionage case in the FBI.”
“In the fall of 2016, I was the deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division,” Strzok told the Committee.
“I was busy overseeing thousands of cases--every espionage case in the FBI, every economic espionage case in the FBI,” he said.
Lisa Page, the women with whom Strzok had an adulterous relationship, was special counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the IG.
Both Strzok and Page worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the investigation into possible links between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
This adulterous inside-the-FBI couple exchanged messages with one another—on FBI phones—expressing their contempt for Trump and their desire that he not become president.
The IG indicated that most of the texts of this nature between Strzok and Page “pertained to the Russia investigation,” which was outside the scope of his investigation into the FBI handling of the Clinton email investigation.
“We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” said the IG. “Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it 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.”
The IG further reported that Strzok and Page used their FBI phones to communicate “as part of an extramarital affair.”
“Many of the text messages were of a personal nature, including discussions about their families, medical issues, and daily events, and reflected that Strzok and Page were communicating on their FBI-issued phones as part of an extramarital affair,” the IG said in his report.
“We found that this relationship was relevant to the frequency and candid nature of the text messages and their use of FBI-issued phones to communicate,” said the IG. “Some of these text messages expressed political opinions about candidates and issues involved in the 2016 presidential election, including statements of hostility toward candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton.”
According to the IG report, in the same year that Strzok and Page were using their FBI phones to communicate “as part of an extramarital affair,” Strzok's career was on the rise within the FBI’s counterintelligence division.
“Strzok was promoted to a Section Chief in the Counterintelligence Division in February 2016, and to Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) in the fall of 2016,” said the IG report.
In the exchange below from Thursday’s House hearing, Strzok responds to questions from Rep. Jody Hice (R.-Ga.). Hice asked him first what he was doing that made him so busy in the fall of 2016 and, then, who made the decision to assign both him and a number of other people to serve both on the Hillary Clinton investigation and then the Russia investigation.
In answer to the first question, Stzok described his role as deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division, which gave him responsibility to oversee “every espionage case in the FBI, every economic espionage case in the FBI.”
In explaining that the assistant director assigned him to the jobs he did, Strzok said that because he was the deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division of the FBI, “[i]f there is something large going on in CI chances are I am going to have a role in it.”
“I was the deputy assistant director the counterintelligence division. If there is something large going on in CI chances are I am going to have a role in it,” he said.
Here is a transcript of the exchange between Rep. Hice and Strzok:
Rep. Jody Hice: “I would like to discuss a little bit the Weiner laptop discovery. You have explained there was a significant delay from the time that information was discovered in which, obviously, hundreds of thousands—by your own words—hundreds of thousands of emails were discovered potentially pertinent to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. There was a delay there and you have explained in the past that the delay was caused simply because you were too busy. What were you doing during October of 2016 that caused you to be so busy?”
Peter Strzok: “Sir, I wouldn’t call it a significant delay. I don’t think it was caused because I was too busy. The answer to your question: In the fall of 2016, I was the deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division. I had responsibility over global—“
Hice: “You’ve explained that you were too busy. What were you busy doing?”
Strzok: “I was trying to explain what I was doing. I was busy overseeing thousands of cases--every espionage case in the FBI, every economic espionage case in the FBI, every case having to do with counter—”
Hice: “Were you involved—”
Strzok: “Sir, you asked a question. May I answer it?”
Hice: “Well, and I am going to reclaim my time. Were you involved in the Russian investigation at that time as well.”
Strzok: “That was—Aspects of that were one of the many things that were under my supervision.”
Hice: “So you were involved with it. Inspector General Horowitz expressed concern that so many individuals from the Clinton investigation Midyear team were assigned to the Russian investigation—people like you. Who made that decision for people from the Midyear team to go to the Russia investigation?”
Strzok: “Sir, I was the deputy assistant director the counterintelligence division. If there is something large going on in CI chances are I am going to have a role in it. So, it isn’t an agent off the street working the case. But the decision to assign me was certainly made, absolutely, by my boss, the assistant director, and probably above him the EAD and others.”
Hice: “How many other people went to the Russian case?”
Strzok: “Sir, I can’t get into the specific numbers. I can tell you of the senior managers, several of the senior managers were involved. But this is one of the points I disagreed with the inspector general is, he doesn’t appreciate the staffing in the context of the level of the people that were involved in these cases.”
Hice: “Did anyone in the FBI or the DOJ question the overlap of personnel between the two cases?”
Strzok: “Not that I am aware of.”
Hice: “So, no one questioned it.”