(CNSNews.com) - Testifying under oath in the House Judiciary Committee today, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray declined to say whether engaging in adultery was a “significant vulnerability” for an FBI counterintelligence agent.
Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte asked Wray whether engaging in an “extramarital affair” that was unknown to the agents spouse “could be a significant vulnerability to an FBI agent, especially a counterintelligence agent.”
Goodlatte asked the question as a general matter and did not name or reference any specific FBI agent.
FBI Director Wray, however, declined to answer the question, saying that answering this general question “might cause” him to comment on “ongoing personnel matter."
Here is a transcript of the exchange between the Judiciary Chairman and the FBI director:
Chairman Bob Goodlatte: "Mr. Wray, we have repeatedly asked FBI personnel whether the fact that an agent has an extramarital affair is a problem. I am not asking because I want to be the morality police, I am asking because it seems clear that an affair that is unknown to a spouse could be a significant vulnerability to an FBI agent, especially a counter-intelligence agent. Do you agree with that sentiment?"
FBI Director Christopher Wray: "Well, Mr. Chairman, we have a specific offense code and I don’t want to comment on any of the ongoing personnel matters that are going through the disciplinary process right now, which I think answering your question at this particular time might cause me to do."
The report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that was released earlier this month by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice indicated that FBI agent Peter Strzok worked on both that investigation and the FBI’s investigation of possible links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians. The report also indicated that Strzok was a senior counterintelligence agent and that he was in an “extramarital affair” with Lisa Page, who served a counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The IG report said that “was one of the most experienced and highly-regarded counterintelligence investigators within the FBI.”
“Strzok,” the report said, “was promoted to a Section Chief in the Counterintelligence Division in February 2016, and to Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) in the fall of 2016.”
“The text messages between Page and Strzok covered a wide range of topics,” the IG said. “For example, we identified a large number of routine work-related communications. 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 report also indicated that Strzok sent his adulterous lover Page a text message in the August 2016, shortly after he had started working on the Russia investigation, vowing to “stop” Trump from becoming president.
“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 report.
“Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review,” said the report. “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.”