Sparks went flying today between members of the House Judiciary Committee and disgraced former FBI Agent Peter Strzok. It’s still going on—and the grilling has been pervasive, explosive, and popcorn-worthy. Democrats are interrupting constantly, grandstanding pearl clutching, and engaging in some of the worst hypocrisy in recent memory. This hearing is not a threat to our government. The Democrats are the ringmasters of political circuses—and they’re only driven by their crap narratives and feelings. So, in that regard, the hearing has been tiring. At the same time, the unhinged ethos that has engulfed the Democratic Party is just gold. I’ll never get tired of saying this: you people lost. You're losers—and there were some at the Department of Justice and the FBI who behaved appallingly in their investigations into Clinton’s email probe and the Russia counterintelligence investigation that is now being headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Strzok takes "great offense" that anyone might think that what he wrote was what he meant--that his bias against Trump was bias. Can't make this stuff up.— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) July 12, 2018
The tens of thousands of texts Strzok sent to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, explicitly showed anti-Trump bias. He mentioned an insurance policy that many allege was the Trump dossier, which was compiled by Fusion GPS, who had been hired by the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Trump. GPS subsequently hired former British spook Christopher Steele to get the information. That document was allegedly used to secure a spy warrant against former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page; a piece of partisan opposition campaign research was used to secure a FISA warrant? Not good. Saying that “we’ll stop it” in reference to the Trump presidency is not good. This is the man who signed off on the July 2016 counterintelligence probe into possible Russian collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin. He was also involved in the Hillary email investigation. It’s an embarrassing chapter in the FBI’s history—and they’re still dealing with the fallout. Strzok said that the “we’ll stop it” remark was in response to Trump’s remarks to gold star parent Khizr Khan.
Yet, Strzok tried to play off his texts as either an example of patriotism, or better yet, not examples of bias against Trump at all (via RCP):
Certain private messages of mine have provided ammunition for misguided attacks on the FBI, an institution I love deeply and have served proudly for over 20 years."
"Like many people, I had an expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election," he said. "Opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of."
"Having worked in national security for two decades and proudly served in the US Army those opinions were expressed out of deep patriotism and an unyielding belief in our great American democracy," Strzok said about the messages. "At times my criticism was blunt, but despite how it has been characterized it was not limited to one person or one party."
"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath," he said. "Not once in my 26 years of defending our nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took."
Even CNN thought his explanation for the texts was weak sauce. CNN host Wolf Blitzer called them “damning,” while political director David Chalian said to suggest these texts were not indicative of bias is “just flat wrong on its face." He added that Strzok has yet to apologize for these texts [emphasis mine]:
Wolf Blizter: The texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they are so damning.
David Chalian: They are Wolf which is why-what Gloria’s laying out here-yes that is Strzok’s mission today-is try to walk this line of “I have personal political views. It didn’t impact my work at all.” That may be true, but when he says that those texts “not indicative of bias”-that’s just flat wrong on its face. It is indicative of bias. I understand his point is, ‘Well that bias didn’t infiltrate into my work, into my conduct in the professional capacity,’ but you can understand why, when you look at the language of those texts that it’s very easy to point to a bias that this FBI agent was expressing. It sort of goes to the sort of rule that exists: you should put nothing in text or email that you are not comfortable seeing on the front page of the New York Times or on CNN’s banner across the bottom of the screen there. He did not follow that rule, and so now he’s in this position. Gloria’s right to note that he remains defiant. He has not apologized in any way for this behavior or expressing these things. He’s just trying to make this case, but I think it’s a tough case for him to make because of the simple nature of those texts.
Blitzer: And it’s a very tough case Jim Sciutto to make when we know that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, fired him after learning about all these texts.
The hearing is still ongoing.