It’s a troubling day in America when the most powerful law enforcement agency in the world shows no interest in being transparent with those who have been appointed to keep them accountable.
But that’s exactly what’s happening.
Following a more than 10 hour closed-door House Judiciary Committee hearing with embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok, committee chairman Bob Goodlatte said Strzok refused to answer many of the questions directed at him.
Worse still, it was FBI lawyers who directed Strzok not to answer.
“Unfortunately, the FBI counsel in the room has instructed Mr. Strzok not to answer many, many questions,” Goodlatte told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
“That’s going to be a serious problem moving forward so we will be raising questions with the FBI and with the Department of Justice about why it is that their counsel is instructing Mr. Strzok not to answer questions.”
Goodlatte explained that these questions are key to getting to the bottom of Strzok’s role in the Clinton email investigation and the Trump campaign/Russia investigation, and the influence he had on the decision’s being made.
“These are questions that are central to our investigation,” Goodlatte said. “We’re asking questions about his central role in both the investigations related to Hillary Clinton and the investigations related to the Trump campaign and a so-called Russian collusion. And these are questions not about the substance of that second investigation, but about the process of his getting involved in that.”
“And they are advising him not to answer those questions,” he added. “I think that’s inappropriate and certainly not helpful to our investigation in the Congress.”
Goodlatte also said the answers that Strzok did give were not convincing.
“I cannot comment on the substance of his answers, but I can say that he had many, many other texts that are now available to the public where he uses many hateful comments, obscenities, not just about then-candidate Trump, now President Trump, but (about) other people involved in this matter and groups of people,” Goodlatte said.
“His explanations for… those questions about that hateful attitude are not believable,” he added.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the situation Thursday morning.
“Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed door testimony and, according to most reports, refused to answer many questions. There was no Collusion and the Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats and others who are totally conflicted, is Rigged!” he tweeted.
Republican lawmakers are getting fed up with the DOJ and FBI’s refusal to cooperate with Congress — and rightly so.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said the House is setting a new July 6 deadline for the FBI and DOJ to produce “all relevant documents” that Congress subpoenaed months ago.
“We urge our colleagues to join us in drawing a clear line in the sand and sending a message that this kind of obstruction has no place in the people’s government,” the two Republicans said in a statement.
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