South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said Tuesday that FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages show an “unprecedented” level of bias “you rarely see” from FBI officials.
Gowdy, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, discussed Strzok’s text messages during an interview on Fox News.
In particular, he was asked about a cryptic message that Strzok sent in Aug. 2016 to FBI lawyer Lisa Page referring to an “insurance policy” that appears to refer to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” reads the Aug. 15, 2016 text message. (RELATED: ‘We Can’t Take That Risk’ — Strzok Texts Show Agents Discussing ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump)
Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in July, just after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered a trove of politically-charged texts between Strzok and Page.
“If they were coming up with a quote ‘insurance policy’ in case Donald Trump won, that is devastating,” Gowdy told Fox’s Bill Hemmer.
“What I hope is that insurance policy was not a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.”
“This was a level of bias that you rarely see, frankly,” Gowdy added of Strzok.
The Andy referenced in Strzok’s text message is believed to be Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director. McCabe will be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
Gowdy said that McCabe is of interest to the committee because he “cuts across every facet of every investigation in 2016…from Secretary Clinton’s email to the investigation into the Trump campaign.”
Republicans on the committee will likely press McCabe on the conversation referenced in Strzok’s text message as well as his involvement in the early stages of the collusion investigation.
As the FBI’s second-in-command, McCabe was likely directly involved in the investigation, which was opened in July 2016. And as the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, Strzok was picked to supervise that investigation. Several weeks earlier, Strzok was helping lead the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Strzok conducted the July 2, 2016 interview with Clinton.
Asked about Mueller’s investigation in light of the Strzok revelations, Gowdy offered limited praise.
“I am heartened by the fact that [Mueller] kicked Strzok off as soon as he learned. I just wish he’d have learned sooner,” Gowdy said.
“He’s in the middle of major investigations,” he said of Strzok, adding, “Thank God he’s gone, but I want to know how the hell he got there in the first place.”
In addition to the “insurance policy” text, Strzok disparaged Trump, calling him a “f***ing idiot” and wrote “F Trump.” He also offered some praise for Clinton, even while he was conducting the investigation into her emails.
In March 2016, Strzok told Page, his mistress, that he would likely vote for Clinton. He also predicted that she would defeat Trump in a landslide.
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