Judiciary Chair: 'FBI Is Instructing Mr. Strzok Not to Answer Many, Many Questions'

By Susan Jones | June 28, 2018 | 7:55am EDT
FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok is mobbed by reporters and photographers on June 27 as he made his way to a hearing room on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Screen capture/Fox News)

(CNSNews.com) - Following a grueling hearing that ran for eleven hours on Wednesday, Republicans emerged from the hearing room frustrated with the answers provided -- and not provided -- by FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok.

"It's a confidential briefing, but I can tell you this, we are now in the tenth hour and we have still many more questions to ask," House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Fox New Wednesday night.

 

However, unfortunately the FBI counsel in the room has instructed Mr. Strzok not to answer many, many questions, and that's going to be a serious problem moving forward. So we'll be raising questions with the FBI and the Department of Justice about why it is that their counsel is instructing Mr. Strzok not to answer questions.

These are questions that are central to our investigation related to -- primarily, I mean, we're asking questions about his central role in both the investigations related to Hillary Clinton and the investigations related to the Trump campaign and a so-called Russian collusion. And these are questions not about the substance of that second investigation, but about the process of his getting involved in that.

And they are advising him not to answer those questions. I think that's inappropriate and certainly not helpful to our investigation in the Congress.

Host Martha MacCallum asked Goodlatte if the questions pertained to the FBI's use of informants to penetrate the Trump campaign, giving the FBI a pretext for the starting the investigation into Russian coordination.

"There were a lots of questions like that, and as I say, the FBI is instructing Mr. Strzok not to answer many, many questions," Goodlatte responded. "At this point, I can't get into the details, but it is a very serious concern."

Goodlatte did say that Strzok "answered many questions regarding the hateful nature" of his text messages with Lisa Page. Those messages showed Strzok's bias against Trump, whom he vowed to "stop," and his support for Hillary Clinton. Both Strzok and Page were part of the investigation into Clinton's emails and then the Trump-Russia  investigation.

Goodlatte said Strzok's "explanations for those...questions about that hateful attitude, are not believable."

"I cannot comment on the substance of his answers, but I can say that he had many, many other texts that are now available to the public where he uses many hateful comments, obscenities, not just about then-candidate Trump, now President Trump, but (about) other people involved in this matter and groups of people. And his explanation for those are not believable."

President Trump tweeted on Thursday morning: "Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed door testimony and, according to most reports, refused to answer many questions. There was no Collusion and the Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats and others who are totally conflicted, is Rigged!"

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a resolution "to formally compel" the Justice Department to turn over "all relevant documents" that Congress subpoenaed months ago.

Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said the House is setting yet another deadline - this time July 6 -- for the FBI and DOJ to produce the long-requested documents.

"We urge our colleagues to join us in drawing a clear line in the sand and sending a message that this kind of obstruction has no place in the people’s government,” the two Republicans said in a statement.

The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on the Judiciary say the documents relate to potential violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice, among other matters.

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