(CNSNews.com) - The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed FBI Agent Peter Strzok to appear this Wednesday to explain his role in the Trump-Russia investigation, given the anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with fellow FBI attorney Lisa Page.
"I'm expecting honest, forthright answers," Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
"I think he wants to tell his story. We want to hear it. If he's trying to claim that he's a victim in this process somehow, we have a lot of questions for him about that, too. But the fact of matter is, he is a central figure in both of these investigations. He has a lot of information that it's very important that he share with the American people."
Goodlatte said the first hearing, a deposition, will be closed to the public because it will include classified information, but "we do plan to have a public hearing in a short while after that."
"But the fact the matter is, we want to know what he has to say. We want to know it now. It furthers our investigation. And once we have finished those sorts of interviews, then we're going to have public hearings. And he certainly will be a central figure in those hearings as well."
Lots of questions
"We're going to have a lot of questions for him (Strzok)," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told CBS's "Face the Nation" with Margaret Brennan on Sunday.
But I think some of the things are, who did he talk to in the course of the Russian investigation? Because remember a couple of key things, Margaret.
On July 31, 2016, Peter Strzok opens the Russia investigation. He was the lead agent on that investigation, after being, of course, the lead agent on the Clinton investigation as well. He opens that investigation. Eight days later, there's a text message that says, we will stop Trump.
One week after that, on August 15, is the text message that says, we have an insurance policy. So, obviously, we will want to dig into that. We will want to know, who were you talking to at the time? How many times did you travel overseas? Did he talk to key people?
For example, do you think Peter Strzok may have talked to Glenn Simpson or Christopher Steele? Those are the kind of questions that I think need to be asked. And I will look forward to this deposition. It's scheduled for Wednesday of this week.
The deposition will take place behind closed doors. But are Democrats invited?
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, told "Fox News Sunday" he's "looking forward" to hearing from Strzok, "But the Republicans have not told us anything. We don't even know whether we will be invited, Democrats, to the deposition."
In his recently released report, the Justice Department inspector-general said he and his staff 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.
"Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review."
The IG said some of the messages exchanged by Strzok and Page "included statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton."
Rep. Goodlatte said the Strzok-Page text messages "raise as many questions as they answer."
Goodlatte wants to question Strzok about his involvement in the Clinton email investigation, and then his involvement in the Trump-Russia case, and whether Strzok really did have some sort of plan to "stop" Donald Trump, as he indicated in one text message.
"And, therefore, we have a lot of questions for Mr. Strzok about his involvement in both of these investigations and the apparent bias that those text messages reflect.
"And so we indicated we wanted him to come," Goodlatte continued. "We have been working for quite a few weeks to have this happen. His attorney recently said, well, he will come voluntarily. But then, when we had everything set, it became apparent that he wasn't committing to the time and place that we had thought we had agreed upon.
"So I issued the subpoena last Friday. And he is commanded to appear on Wednesday."