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
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Warm Day, Record Warm Night, Then Showers & Storms Friday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 152396

Reported Deaths: 4023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion24905785
Lake13380352
St. Joseph8985161
Elkhart8530132
Allen7978222
Hamilton6000113
Vanderburgh567560
Tippecanoe358714
Monroe322238
Hendricks3221130
Johnson3051128
Porter303648
Clark289161
Delaware284574
Vigo256038
Madison232493
Cass222822
LaPorte220958
Warrick190065
Kosciusko179224
Floyd177367
Howard160066
Bartholomew139758
Dubois136726
Marshall134226
Henry123429
Grant122639
Wayne122127
Boone119548
Hancock115645
Noble114633
Jackson109413
Morgan93040
Dearborn92828
Daviess85333
Gibson84911
Clinton82916
Lawrence82634
Shelby80330
LaGrange77715
Harrison74824
Knox72110
Putnam71616
DeKalb69911
Posey6896
Fayette61417
Steuben6118
Miami5875
Montgomery57822
Jasper5744
White57215
Greene52137
Scott51013
Decatur49939
Adams4815
Whitley4426
Clay4396
Sullivan42913
Ripley4278
Wells4205
Wabash4029
Starke3977
Orange38825
Huntington3805
Spencer3746
Franklin36625
Washington3632
Jennings36013
Fulton3472
Randolph3439
Jefferson3305
Pike32915
Carroll31713
Perry29714
Jay2946
Fountain2883
Tipton27023
Vermillion2251
Newton22211
Parke2223
Rush2084
Owen2031
Blackford1983
Martin1960
Crawford1531
Pulaski1481
Brown1303
Ohio1247
Benton1080
Union1060
Switzerland900
Warren761
Unassigned0233

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