The FBI agent whose text pledging “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from winning the 2016 presidential election says he is willing to testify before Congress.
The lawyer for Peter Strzok said in a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte that his client would be willing to testify without immunity and would not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to any question, according to The Washington Post.
Attorney Aitan Goelman told the Post his client “wants the chance to clear his name and tell his story.”
In a separate interview with CNN, Goelman said “Pete is central to this story. We should let the American people see who he really is.”
“He thinks that his position, character and actions have all been misrepresented and caricatured, and he wants an opportunity to remedy that,” Goelman said.
.@jeremyherb gets letter from FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok’s lawyer to House Judiciary; Goelman tells me: “Pete is central to this story. We should let the American people see who he really is.” Willingness to testify first reported by @mattzap pic.twitter.com/QNcxhSDoAf
— Laura Jarrett (@LauraAJarrett) June 17, 2018
Politico reported Friday that Goodlatte was preparing to subpoena Strzok to appear before the committee.
Goelman wrote in a letter to Goodlatte that a subpoena would be “wholly unnecessary.”
“Special Agent Strzok, who has been fully cooperative with the DOJ Office of Inspector General, intends to voluntarily appear and testify before your committee and any other Congressional committee that invites him,” Goelman wrote.
Strzok worked on the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as well as the investigation into possible Russian collusion by Trump’s presidential campaign. He was removed from the Russian investigation after thousands of anti-Trump texts between him and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page — who Strzok was romantically involved with at the time — were discovered.
In the report issued Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Page asked Strzok in August 2016 if there was a chance Trump could actually win the presidential election.
“No. No he won’t,” Strzok replied. “We’ll stop it.”
Critics of the investigation into Russian collusion said Strzok’s text proved a bias within the agency against Trump that has influenced the investigation.
Goelman disputed his client’s ability to do his job objectively, saying in a statement released Thursday that “every witness asked by the (inspector general) said that Strzok’s work was never influenced by political views.”
Strzok “intends to answer any question put to him, and he intends to defend the integrity of the Clinton email investigation, the Russia collusion investigation to the extent that that’s a topic, and his own integrity,” Goelman said.
Goelman said Strzok “regrets” that his text has, in the words of the IG’s report, “cast a cloud” over the FBI’s investigation.
“I think what he was doing is expressing his political opinions in what he thought was a private text conversation, and he regrets that this has been weaponized by people with political motivations to try to discredit the Mueller investigation,” Goelman said.
A date for Strzok’s testimony has not been established.
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