Politics Peter Strzok just gave a hard-to-rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation’s origins

23:01  12 july  2018
23:01  12 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Trump questions how Russia probe can 'proceed' given FBI agent's private comments

  Trump questions how Russia probe can 'proceed' given FBI agent's private comments President Trump on Wednesday once again blasted the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, suggesting that FBI agent Peter Strzok compromised the probe from its outset."How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok?" Trump tweeted. "Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!"How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally b

Peter Strzok talks to an aide as he waits for the start of a hearing on oversight surrounding the 2016 election. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.” This is a nearly impossible point to rebut .

“In the summer of 2016,” Strzok wrote, “I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.” This is a nearly impossible point to rebut .

To hear President Trump tell it, FBI agent Peter Strzok was hopelessly biased against him and his candidacy. Trump has tweeted criticisms of Strzok repeatedly, often in personally disparaging terms, and on at least two occasions has suggested that Strzok’s involvement in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had a specific goal: preventing him from becoming president.

Strzok was a central player in the dueling investigations during the 2016 campaign. He was involved in the initial investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and opened the investigation into possible connections between Trump’s campaign and the Russian effort to influence the election’s outcome. He was subsequently involved in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s continuation of that investigation until Mueller learned of texts Strzok sent to Lisa Page, another FBI employee with whom the agent was engaged in an extramarital relationship. Those texts included some disparaging Trump in stark terms, prompting Mueller to remove him from the effort last July.

FBI's Strzok Subpoenaed by House GOP for Public Hearing July 10

  FBI's Strzok Subpoenaed by House GOP for Public Hearing July 10 FBI agent Peter Strzok, a central target of allegations by President Donald Trump and his allies of investigative bias and misconduct, has been subpoenaed to testify publicly on July 10 before two House committees. The subpoena issued Tuesday by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia comes a week after Strzok was interviewed behind closed doors by that committee and members and staff of the Oversight and Government Reform panel.There was no immediate comment from the lawyer for Strzok, whose anti-Trump text exchanges in 2016 fed Republican allegations of bias in the FBI.

Analysis Peter Strzok just gave a hard - to - rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation ’ s origins . 4. In major abortion ruling, Kavanaugh offers clues of how he might handle divisive issue on the Supreme Court.

Analysis Peter Strzok just gave a hard - to - rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation ’ s origins . 3. Analysis In a deeply revealing news conference, Trump tips his hand on his thinking about Putin.

Trump has highlighted those texts as evidence that the investigation into him is biased for months. The president retweeted a particularly significant one last month.

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Two weeks later, in another tweet, Trump quoted Fox News’s Andrew Napolitano, asking if there was “a conspiracy in the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the U.S.” — a conspiracy with Strzok at its center.

If there was such a conspiracy, of course, it didn’t work. Trump is president and, before the election, there was barely a public whiff that any investigation even existed. If Strzok’s idea was to “stop” Trump from becoming president, it was a spectacular failure.

FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts apologized, say Democrats

  FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts apologized, say Democrats Strzok told a closed-door House meeting last week that he was sorry for the texts and was not driven by bias.WASHINGTON — The FBI agent who worked on separate investigations of Donald Trump's campaign and Hillary Clinton's use of private email said that he is sorry he sent inflammatory tests about Trump, according to two Democratic sources who heard last week's closed-door House testimony by the agent.

The Strzok -Page Texts and the Origins of the Trump- Russia Investigation . Late Sunday night, as he readied for his morning flight, Strzok wrote to Page, comparing the investigations of Clinton and Trump.

The 2017–present Special Counsel investigation is an ongoing United States law enforcement investigation of Donald Trump' s 2016 presidential campaign and any Russian (or other foreign)

In a written statement offered before he testified before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, Strzok pointedly noted that there was no effort on his part to keep Trump from winning the White House — and, further, that he was one of only a few people who could have potentially leaked details from the investigation in an effort to block Trump’s victory.

“In the summer of 2016,” Strzok wrote, “I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.”

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok arrives to testify before House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform joint hearing on © Reuters FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok arrives to testify before House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform joint hearing on "Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election” in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts This is a nearly impossible point to rebut.

Democratic lawmaker says Peter Strzok deserves Purple Heart for enduring hearing

  Democratic lawmaker says Peter Strzok deserves Purple Heart for enduring hearing Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., told FBI official Peter Strzok Thursday that he deserves a Purple Heart for sitting through a public hearing that frequently veered off track and degenerated into shouting matches more than once. "Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start," Cohen said as he began his allotted five minutes. "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would. You deserve one."Cohen went on to describe the hearing as "an attack on you and a way to attack [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller and the investigation that is to get at Russian collusion involved in our elections, which is what this committee should be looking at.

Mr. Strzok went on to become one of the top investigators for the special counsel, Robert S . Mueller III. But over the summer, Mr. Mueller removed Mr. Strzok from his team as soon as he became aware of the texts. Their release is certain to fuel suspicion among Republicans that the

Peter Strzok , the FBI official ousted from the Russia probe, exchanged more than 50,000 text "Rather than clearing up prior FBI and DOJ actions, these recently produced documents cause us to further question the credibility and objectivity of certain officials at the FBI," the statement read.

Before Election Day, there were rumblings that Russia was engaged in the campaign in nefarious ways and that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to see Trump win. There were rumors — theories, really — that Trump was more than happy to have Russia’s help or even might be aiding that effort. In the closing days of the campaign though, the two most important stories about the Clinton and Trump investigations were ones that solely worked to the eventual winner’s advantage.

On Halloween 2016, the New York Times detailed what was known about the investigation into Russian interference (an effort addressed earlier that month in an unusual public statement from the government). The headline, though, summarized the good news for Trump’s effort: “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.”

“None of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government,” the article read. Since Trump was inaugurated, of course, we’ve learned much more about links between the campaign and Russia — involving even members of Trump’s family. The effect of the story, though, was to quash those rumors about Trump’s motivations.

Trumps blasts FBI Agent Strzok as 'disgrace to our country'

  Trumps blasts FBI Agent Strzok as 'disgrace to our country' President Trump called FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s testimony on Capitol Hill last week over the investigation of Russian interference in the election a “disgrace to our country.”“I thought it was an absolute disgrace,” Trump said during an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “Where he wants to do things against me before I was even, I guess before I was even the candidate. It was a disgrace. And then he lied about it.

The application, they said, drew on other intelligence that the Republican memo misleadingly omits — but revealing that other information to rebut the memo would risk blowing other sources and methods of intelligence-gathering about Russia .

This week, text messages sent by Peter Strzok , a chief investigator of the Clinton and Russia collusion probes, were released to Congress. Each leak that can be even remotely tied to the narrative of Russia harming America with the Trump campaign’ s help is exploited and hyped for

The other important story seemed, at the time, much bigger. A few days before the article above, former FBI director James B. Comey revealed that the FBI was looking at emails involving Clinton found on former New York representative Anthony Weiner’s laptop. A few days later, Comey announced that his initial evaluation of Clinton’s behavior remained unchanged even with the new evidence — but the damage was done. The announcement is often cited as the difference-maker in the close election results.

An important detail: The initial draft of the letter Comey sent to Congress to inform them of the new emails was reportedly written by Strzok.

Since Americans only learned about the scale of the investigation into the Trump campaign after the campaign was over, it’s been common to look at Strzok’s obviously anti-Trump texts in the context of what we know now. Put another way, there’s been a concerted effort to explain away precisely the contradiction that Strzok notes: If he didn’t want Trump to win, why didn’t he do something to keep Trump from winning? (And by extension, why do something that seemed very likely to hurt Clinton’s chances?)

We looked at this last month, exploring the various theories that have been offered to explain this away. The most common explanation is that Strzok didn’t think Clinton would lose, just as Comey indicated that part of the rationale for his revelation about the Weiner laptop was the expectation that Clinton would be the president-elect.

Dem walks back 'Purple Heart' defense of Strzok

  Dem walks back 'Purple Heart' defense of Strzok Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) on Friday walked back remarks he'd made a day earlier comparing an embattled FBI agent to a wounded war veteran.Cohen said his "Purple Heart" offer to Peter Strzok, the FBI official who's faced a barrage of Republican accusations that he's biased against President Trump, was figurative and not intended to disparage the m ilitary.Cohen expressed "regret" for employing the term, and hailed the members of the Armed Forces - along with the FBI - for keeping the country safe.

The committee is investigating the full context of the text messages and asking Rosenstein to provide answers, according to the letter. A number of congressional committees are investigating Page and Strzok ’ s involvement in the bureau’ s investigation into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’ s

One of the texts from Lisa Page to FBI agent Peter Strzok discussed “preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted ‘to know everything we’re doing,'” according to Fox News

But that’s looking at the race from the context of Oct. 28, not, say, Nov. 4.

The Comey announcement came as Clinton held a small lead in the national polls. State polls suggested that she was likely to win, but by Nov. 4 FiveThirtyEight pointed out that a Trump victory was well within the realm of possibility even in those state surveys. Even on Oct. 28, FiveThirtyEight had a 1-in-5 chance of a Trump win; by Nov. 4, Trump’s odds were at 1-in-3.

If you were an FBI agent in possession of information about how an adviser to Trump’s campaign knew about the existence of emails stolen by the Russians that disparaged Clinton, or who knew about the extent of the relationship between Trump’s former campaign chairman and Russian interests, or who knew that there was an active surveillance operation underway targeting another former adviser to the campaign, or who knew God-knows-what-else the FBI knows that hasn’t been made public — why would you not interject that information in the few days before the election as the results were obviously tightening? That Clinton’s odds were not north of 90 percent (as has often been claimed since) was common knowledge, and if you were both ferociously committed to stopping Trump and had information that you believed might actually achieve that goal, why not actually release it?

But no evidence has emerged to suggest that Strzok leaked anything about what he knew. Even if Strzok and Comey released the information about Weiner’s laptop believing that Clinton was going to win, within a week of that announcement the trend looked far different. Nonetheless, Strzok appears to have done nothing to reveal what he knew.

Much of Trump’s dismissal of the Russia investigation hinges on this idea that Strzok was biased against him, tainting the entire probe through to Mueller’s efforts. As new Post-Schar School polling makes clear, this line of argument has helped shift perceptions of the investigation, with about half the country seeing the probe as more of a distraction than as something serious.

Believing the investigation is biased against Trump because of Strzok’s involvement, though, means believing that Strzok saw the investigation as a way to stymie Trump and, more importantly, that Strzok was willing to use the investigation to do so. As he himself notes, at the moment when he could have most directly interfered with Trump’s political ambitions, he didn’t.

The fairest assumption, then, is that the probe’s origins were precisely what Strzok (and others) have suggested: An effort to determine whether Trump’s campaign intentionally aided the Russian effort at interference.

Attorney: Peter Strzok may not comply with House subpoena .
Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok may not comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena requiring that he appear for a second round of questioning early next week, his lawyer told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.The committee had issued the subpoena for Strzok earlier on Tuesday.

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