Rep. Collins: Strzok's bias speaks for itself

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) discusses the testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

Posted: Jul 13, 2018 1:23 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2018 1:23 PM

Many of the media's seasoned political analysts professed to hear nothing new in FBI agent Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Thursday. It is true that the embarrassing and completely inappropriate text messages he exchanged with his FBI paramour, attorney Lisa Page, have already been publicly dissected.

But the hearing was the American public's first flesh and blood view of Strzok, this key figure in the FBI's Hillary Clinton email and Russia investigations -- and it wasn't pretty. The partisan bickering and speeches disguised as questions brought little honor to either the House Oversight or Judiciary committees in Thursday's three-ring circus masquerading as a hearing.

The FBI portrait, painted in agonizing detail by headline-hunting congressional interrogators, was an ugly view of an institution that once enjoyed a reputation for political independence, honesty and integrity. Strzok, an expert in the field of counterintelligence, had played a leading role in the Hillary Clinton investigation. And particularly damaging was the fact that, according to unnamed US officials, Strzok played a role in changing former FBI Director James Comey's wording regarding how she handled classified information from "gross negligence" to the noncriminal "extremely careless."

Strzok's testimony suggests the selection of the words "gross negligence" reflected his honest factual assessment of Clinton's conduct in the handling of classified email. Use of the words was flagged by unnamed FBI lawyers because "gross negligence" has a specific legal implication and might convey the wrong message about Clinton's actions.

The words "gross negligence" are used in a federal criminal statute related to misuse of classified information. Strzok then changed the wording to the legally tepid "extremely careless," thereby enabling his boss, Comey, to sound credible when saying that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a criminal case against Clinton based on these facts.

In defense of his decision to conclude the Clinton investigation, Comey stated that the probe "was done competently, honestly, and independently." He added, "I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation -- including people in government -- but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way."

But, of course, we now know the opinion of one agent, and he happens to be the one who substituted "extremely careless" for "gross negligence," a usage that might have suggested to some that Clinton had violated US laws in her handling of classified email materials. That agent, Strzok, despised Trump.

He admitted in congressional testimony and in documents revealed by the Department of Justice that he sent a variety of text messages to Page in which he referred to the current President of the United States as "a f*cking idiot," while Page called Trump a "loathsome human." To which Strzok replied: "Yet he may win."

In one exchange Page sent a text to Strzok saying, "(Trump's) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Strzok replied, "No. No he's not. We'll stop it."

In Strzok's testimony, he said those exchanges represented his personal opinions and that those opinions have never affected any official action he took. It was also noted repeatedly Thursday that the Justice Department inspector general's investigation concluded that Strzok's obvious expressions of bias using FBI phones did not influence any aspect of the Clinton and Russia investigations.

If Strzok were subpoenaed to testify before a jury in an ordinary criminal case, his actions would doom the case. Attorneys who try cases for a living as I do would view Strzok's texts and testimony as a gold mine and a mother lode of cross-examination material.

Regardless of the IG's findings, which are only his personal opinion, objective jurors would be stunned by such an obviously biased investigator being employed by the FBI in such a lofty investigative position. Strzok would insert reasonable doubt into any criminal case where he appeared as a prosecution witness.

Some may assume that if Strzok really wanted to sabotage the election of Trump all he had to do was leak the fact that the FBI was investigating Trump. But that logic doesn't fly. Strzok would have feared loss of his job or possible criminal prosecution for such a leak -- particularly if classified information were involved. The true test of Strzok's biases and intentions can be found in his malicious text messages.

The biggest tragedy of all is that the conduct of Strzok, Page and ultimately Comey may well have been far more damaging than any covert actions against the United States by the Russians. They have destroyed the institutional credibility of a sacred American institution, the FBI.

West Lafayette
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 78°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Delphi
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Monticello
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Logansport
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 79°
Warm Weekend Continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events