Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Matt Gaetz (1st District of Florida)
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) attended the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s (OGR) Joint Hearing on “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election: Testimony by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.”
During the hearing, Rep. Gaetz pressed Mr. Strzok about the reason for his dismissal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Surprisingly, though his salacious text messages were ostensibly the reason he was fired from Mueller’s team, Mr. Strzok revealed that Mr. Mueller did not ask about any of his text messages, nor was Mueller concerned that Strzok’s anti-Trump messages showed clear bias against the President.
A transcript and video of the exchange between Rep. Gaetz and Mr. Strzok can be found below.
Rep. Gaetz: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You said repeatedly today you were not biased, but Bob Mueller kicked you off his team as a consequence of your bias, didn’t he?
Mr. Strzok: I wouldn’t agree with that characterization. I think I answered earlier my understanding was that, and again, there were no words spoken about this, but it was the potential appearance he wanted to avoid.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Bob Mueller say I am not firing you for your bias?
Mr. Strzok: He did not.
Rep. Gaetz: What is your basis for the belief that it is the appearance of your bias rather than actual bias that resulted in Mueller removing you?
Mr. Strzok: I think his experience both with me, my work and the reputation of others about me and my work, he knows I am an individual that follows facts where they lay.
Rep. Gaetz: Your testimony today that you were removed not for bias but the appearance of bias is based on your perception of Robert Mueller’s perception of you?
Mr. Strzok: No, sir. I am saying what I think the logical case.
Rep. Gaetz: Let me ask it simply. Did Robert Mueller ask you if you were biased against Donald Trump?
Mr. Strzok: He did not.
Rep. Gaetz: So he didn’t ask you when he hired you?
Mr. Strzok: No. Not typically a question asked during hiring meetings.
Rep. Gaetz: One would seemingly think you were hiring someone to investigate something, you might ask. But certainly, then when you were removed, was it clear to you that Mr. Mueller was aware of incendiary text messages?
Mr. Strzok: Yes.
Rep. Gaetz: So he knew of text messages but never asked you whether you were biased or not?
Mr. Strzok: That’s correct.
Rep. Gaetz: Your girlfriend texted you on the 8th of August, Trump is not ever going to be President, right? Right? Do you recall your reply?
Mr. Strzok: I do recall my reply. If I hadn’t, it has been refreshed in my recollection four or five times today. Yes, I recall my reply.
Rep. Gaetz: What was it.
Mr. Strzok: I’m sure you have it. I don’t want to misstate it. “No, he’s not, we’ll stop it.”
Rep. Gaetz: Did Bob Mueller ask you about that text message?
Mr. Strzok: He did not.
Rep. Gaetz: About a week later on August 15th, you sent a text message regarding a meeting in Andy McCabe’s office, is that right?
Mr. Strzok: I don’t know the date. I do believe I know the text message.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Bob Mueller ask you what happened in the meeting in Andrew McCabe’s office?
Mr. Strzok: There are many meetings I attended, not many, but he did not.
Rep. Gaetz: Did Bob Mueller ask you what you meant by an insurance policy?
Mr. Strzok: Director Mueller did not.
Rep. Gaetz: On the 26th of July, this is contemporaneous with the opening of the Trump, Russia investigation, your girlfriend texted you, “Clinton has to win now.” You reply a few days later. “And damn, this feels momentous because this matters. the other one did too, that was to make sure we didn’t F something up, this matters because this matters. So super glad to be on this voyage with you.” Did Bob Mueller ask you why this matters?
Mr. Strzok: If you’re asking why it mattered, it was comparison between a case about…
Rep. Gaetz: I have seen you answer questions I did not ask. I want to know if Bob Mueller asked you about this text message.
Mr. Strzok: Director Mueller didn’t ask me about any text message, Congressman.
Rep. Gaetz: Gosh, just days after Mueller is appointed in two text messages, one on May 19 and 22nd of May, you reference impeachment. Did Bob Mueller ask you why you were referencing impeachment?
Mr. Strzok: Congressman, as I just stated, Director Mueller did not ask me about any text message.
Rep. Gaetz: I find that very interesting that Bob Mueller has to remove you as a consequence of bias, you don’t say it is bias, you say based on your perception of Bob Mueller’s perception of you, it couldn’t possibly be your bias, has to be the appearance of bias. When we get into the manifestation of that bias through your words, Bob Mueller doesn’t ask you about a single one of them.
Then I look at other people Bob Mueller picked on the team, like Lisa Page. Very curious to know whether or not he asked her about her incendiary text messages. Throughout the team you’ve got people working for Bob Mueller that have active connections to Hillary Clinton.
You know Greg Andre donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Kyle Freeny donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Andrew Goldstein donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign. James Quarles donated to the Clinton campaign. Jeannie Reed, represented Ben Rhodes in the Benghazi investigation, represented the Clinton Foundation against Freedom of Information Act requests.
Andrew Weissmann, number two for Mueller, attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party. Aaron Zebley, represented Justin Cooper who set up Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, then there’s you and Miss Page. It is interesting to me. When you were so damaging to the investigation that you had to go, that Bob Mueller, the person that brought in all these people, that had connections to Hillary Clinton campaign, did not ask you about a single text message.
I tend to believe, Mr. Chairman, it is because he didn’t want to know the answer and that there was bias, and your perception of Bob Mueller’s perception of you is totally unreliable.