FBI agent removed from Mueller team set to testify publicly
WASHINGTON (AP) — An FBI agent removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team because of derogatory text messages about President Donald Trump is expected to speak publicly to members of Congress next week, his lawyer said Friday.
Peter Strzok will testify next Thursday at a joint session of the House oversight and judiciary committees. Though Strzok was interviewed behind closed doors last week, Thursday’s hearing will mark his first time answering questions in public since revelations that he and an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, had exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 presidential election.
Strzok, a veteran agent who helped lead the FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email use and into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, briefly worked for Mueller’s team. He was reassigned last summer after the text messages were brought to Mueller’s attention.
The Justice Department inspector general’s office criticized Strzok and Page in a report last month for creating an appearance of impropriety through the politically charged communications. But Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, has said Strzok’s work was not tainted by political bias.
Goelman on Friday called on the House Judiciary Committee to release the full transcript of Strzok’s interview with the panel, saying Strzok’s statements had been selectively leaked and misrepresented.
“More than anyone, Special Agent Strzok wants to testify publicly and attempt to have the unfiltered truth be heard,” Goelman said in a statement. “Members of Congress have made this as difficult as possible — first demanding a secretive hearing and then selectively leaking and misrepresenting his words — but Pete will continue to play by the rules and act with integrity.”