But is anyone buying it?
Thursday, FBI agent Peter Strzok addressed a joint House Oversight and Judiciary hearing where he was grilled on anti-Trump text messages he sent while conducting the Russia and Clinton investigations.
“After months of investigations, there’s simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions,” said Strzok in his opening statement.
Strzok was pulled from Mueller’s investigative team when Mueller became aware of unflattering texts exchanged with FBI attorney Lisa Page. In those texts, Strzok called Trump a “loathsome human being”, “an idiot”, and “awful.” Strzok also professed his loyalty to the Resistance.
The New York Times reported at the time:
On July 27, Ms. Page wrote, “She just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about Trump.” That text message was sent after the Clinton investigation had been closed. Days later, the F.B.I. began investigating possible coordination between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
The two F.B.I. officials also criticized Mr. Trump as the Russia investigation was continuing. They told internal investigators that their comments were influenced by the troubling evidence they were seeing about Mr. Trump’s campaign ties to Russia, according to a person familiar with the internal investigation.
F.B.I. officials who worked directly with Mr. Strzok on the Clinton and Trump investigations said they never detected any bias in his investigative work. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, said last week at a congressional hearing that he could not discuss the texts because of the continuing investigation. But Mr. Wray said that he would “hold people accountable after there has been an appropriate investigation, independent and objective, by the inspector general into the handling of the prior matter.”
The F.B.I. declined to comment. Mr. Strzok, a former Army officer, and Ms. Page, a prosecutor who started her government career right out of law school, are career officials, not political appointees.
The hearing was a complete disaster, with everyone involved overly eager to score a couple points and toss in their contrived zingers, but the exchange with outgoing Rep. Gowdy is worth watching:
Strzok clung to the only reasonable way out of this mess, that despite volumes of evidence illustrating the depth of his disdain for the president, there exists no evidence that his clear biases impacted his professional work. Logically, it’s sound enough. Realistically, not so much.
It’s not impossible to be objective beyond political ideology, but the degree to which several members of Mueller’s team disliked Trump and clearly held loyalties to Hillary certainly taints the argument that Mueller’s Russian investigation remains focused and apolitical.
But the more we see of the Resistance and the measures they’re willing to take to subvert Trump’s presidency, it’s increasingly difficult to believe Strzok’s professionalism was the stronger ideological force.
— Holly Bowie (@Hollybowie) July 12, 2018
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